When you visit a cardiologist, you probably assume that the evaluations that this medical professional will run will have you lying down while you have plastic patches attached to your chest to track your heart function. While is this commonplace, you should also know that your doctor may recommend you undergo a stress test. This evaluation works by you walking on a treadmill while the cardiologist monitors your heart.
During the test, the doctor will steadily increase the treadmill's speed as they take notes on your breathing and heartbeat. Naturally, you may assume that the only reason you will be subjected to stress testing is to assess your fitness level, but this is not entirely true. Keep reading for a few additional reasons why a cardiologist may have you undergo stress testing.
Stress testing helps preclude specific symptoms
One of the reasons why the average person is usually incapable of determining if they have developed a heart condition is that there are numerous symptoms that cardiovascular problems share with other health conditions. For example, you could have developed trouble breathing, and you assume that this is due to your lungs when, in some cases, it could stem from an enlarged heart.
With that said, your cardiologist will potentially subject you to stress testing so that they can rule out some symptoms that you have. Considering that they keep track of your heart rate as you undergo this test, they can tell if a particular symptom is worsening as your heart rate picks up.
Stress testing helps identify an underlying heart condition
On the flip side, your cardiologist could have you undergo stress testing so that they can determine if the symptoms you are reporting are related to an undiagnosed heart condition. Coronary artery disease, as an example, is a common heart condition that people develop as they age yet do not know they are living with. This heart disease is caused by the gradual accumulation of plaque in the arteries.
The more plaque collecting in these vessels, the more obstructed they become, and this impedes the flow of oxygen and blood to your heart. During stress testing, the cardiologist will keep an eye on your blood pressure along with your breathing and heart rate to establish if you are at risk of coronary heart disease or other conditions.
It is worth saying that while some patients are skeptical about undergoing a stress test, more so if they are living with a heart condition, the fact of the matter is that the doctor will not put you at risk of collapsing since they will know your limits of exertion.
If you think you need a stress test, contact a health center like Alpert Zales & Castro Pediatric Cardiology.
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