Sometimes the difference between heart disease and cardiovascular disease can seem confusing. Heart disease is a general term for an array of conditions that can affect your heart. These can include coronary heart disease, congenital heart defects and heart rhythm problems like a heart arrhythmia. Cardiovascular diseases concern any kind of illness or condition that can cause restricted or blocked blood vessels. When blood vessels are restricted or blocked, it can cause chest pain. It’s usually not long after experiencing this notable symptom until a heart attack or a stroke occurs. Having stress testing performed can tell you and our doctor a lot about your cardiovascular health.
A stress test is also known as an exercise test or a treadmill test. This is because we will need to test the strength and stamina of your heart by putting you on a treadmill or a stationary bicycle for a short period of time. This is done in order to increase blood flow to the heart. When this is accomplished, a doctor can monitor your heart to see how well it performs under pressure, or stress.
Before stress testing, we will ask you a few questions about your medical history. We will also ask about your exercise habits. If you don’t exercise regularly, questions concerning your daily movement activities will then be taken into account. We want to know how active you normally are so that we can have a good idea about your fitness level. We will then use this information to decide what kind of stress testing is best for you.
Electrodes will be placed on various parts of your body. The electrocardiogram that the electrodes are connected to will tell our doctor how well your heart is managing the increased flow of blood. Your blood pressure will also be closely monitored during the test. The test will continue until your heart rate has increased to a target that is set by our doctor based on your level of health. The test will end when you become overly tired or symptoms of heart strain start to manifest. These can include:
- Notable changes in the electrocardiogram
- High or low blood pressure
- Vertigo or dizziness
- Chest pain
- Inability to breathe effectively
- Atypical heart rhythm
If you have been receiving treatment for a heart condition, stress testing will tell us how well the treatment has been working. If you have been experiencing symptoms of cardiovascular disease, we will then be able to verify this. A stress test with negative results is often what leads to a diagnosis of certain kinds of heart disease or cardiovascular conditions.
Our doctor at Cardiac Associates of North Jersey can then arrange a treatment plan based on your level of health and the results of the stress test. If you have been experiencing troubling symptoms, contact us today and schedule a consultation at our office in Oakland.