A stress test is a test that helps to know about the heart condition, especially when the body is involved in physical activity. When we exercise, our heart pumps faster and harder, that’s why while exercising, a stress test can bring up if your heart is facing any problem with blood flow.
While you are riding a stationary bike or walking on a treadmill, a stress test can be done. In this process, your breathing, blood pressure, heart rhythm, etc are recorded to perform the stress test on you. Another alternative is taking drugs that provide outcomes just like exercise effects.
What are the types of the stress test?
It is interesting that a stress test can be done in several ways. They all work to check the blood pressure, heart rate, electrical activity, and oxygen level within the heart. But there are some differences in the different processes.
Different types of stress tests are as follows:
- Exercise stress test.
- Exercise stress echocardiogram.
- Nuclear stress test.
- Cardiac rehabilitation stress test.
What is the objective of a stress test?
A stress test is a commonly performed test with the objective of finding out the followings:
- How well is your heart pumping blood?
- How does the heart act while doing any physical activity depending on your sex and age?
- Does the heart receive enough supply of blood?
- How does your heart perform compared to other people of your sex and age?
- Is there any discomfort like breath shortness, chest pain, or dizziness while doing any physical activity?
Is a stress test something I might need?
Well, you might need a stress test to find out if you have any of the following heart problems:
- Coronary artery disease.
- Congestive heart failure.
- Heart valve disease.
- Congenital heart disease.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
How does a stress test function?
First of all, your heart needs to pump faster and harder in order to start the stress test. Physical activity like riding a stationary cycle or walking on a treadmill is an easy way to prepare the body for a heart stress test. Then the heart response is recorded as soon as the heart starts pumping faster.
The measurements required for a heart stress test are given below:
- Heart rate
- Blood flow
- Blood pressure
- Electrical activity
- Oxygen level
These measurements are required for the doctor to find out if you are having any heart problems. The heart issues that a stress test can find out are as follows:
- Issues with blood supply to the heart muscle.
- Valves or muscle issues.
- While exercising the heart’s electric stability.
Who needs to undergo a stress test?
You may need to undergo a stress test for the following reasons:
- Before starting exercise.
- If there is a personal or family history of heart disease.
- Before undergoing any treatment one needs to know about the heart condition.
- Having any physical condition that may risk having a heart disease.
- Before going under a non-cardiac surgery to find out if there are any complications of heart diseases.
- And a must if you are having any heart disease such as angina, Arrhythmia, dyspnea, etc.