12 May Test for a Healthy Heart
Stress is relative. Some experience it physically, some emotionally. But generally, stress can have health implications when unmanaged. Your body responds to stress in different ways, and your heart stress can be an indicator of a condition that is hidden or undetected. Doctors use a stress test to determine if a person’s heart can handle physical activity well.
According to the National Institute of Health’s Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a stress test is a physical test of your heart’s ability to handle stress, and the best way to identify if someone has coronary heart disease or arrhythmias. The test is conducted by asking you to run or walk on a treadmill, or ride a stationary bike, while testing your heart. If you or your doctor suspects you may have a heart condition, a stress test could be used to confirm it.
There are two types of stress tests: one requires physical exercise, another is an imaging test. The latter uses radioactive dye to image the heart and valves; it can also be done with an echocardiogram, which uses soundwaves to create an image of the heart pumping blood. During the test, your doctor is checking for any abnormalities in heart rhythm, heart rate or blood pressure, or any chest pain. Additionally, you may be asked to breathe into a tube to measure the strength of your lungs.
Monitoring your heart health is essential to full body health. Speak to your doctor about your heart, and any potential risk factors for heart disease. Regular exercise and balanced diet, along with not smoking and only a few alcoholic drinks per week, will help prevent heart disease. It’s also important that stress is properly managed.