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Stress Test Article
What A Stress Test Can Tell A Doctorfrom: Conquer Anxiety and Depression
Many people with suspected heart conditions are asked to undergo a stress test. While this sounds like it might involve gauging reactions to emotional stress, this particular test goes well beyond.
A medical stress test, quite often dubbed a treadmill or exercise test, is designed to help a doctor discover how well a patient's heart responds to work. In other words, physical stress. During the test, doctors are able to determine how well the circulation system is performing and they can even ascertain how much exercise is right for a particular person to handle.
What To Expect
In many cases, a stress test is performed in a doctor's office, in an outpatient center or even at a hospital. The entire test is carefully monitored and patients are not encouraged to work themselves to the point of exhaustion. The point of the exam is to see how much a person can safely handle in regard to physical activity and to enable doctors to better determine if a heart condition might be present.
During a stress test, patients can expect to do some work while being hooked up to testing devices. This can include a blood pressure cuff, electrocardiogram machine and other important diagnostic tools.
The test begins with a person being wired into a heart monitor. They are then asked to walk on a treadmill as the pace and incline are slowly increased. People are allowed to stop at any time they need to and can expect to have their heart and blood pressure checked during the test.
What The Test Tells Doctors
A stress test can be a useful diagnostic tool for a number of different health-related conditions. It is commonly prescribed to help doctors:
* Determine if coronary artery disease is present.
* Diagnose heart problems in the face of shortness of breath, lightheadedness and even chest pains.
* See if procedures to improve the circulation have actually been successful.
* Predict likelihood of heart conditions.
* Determine a safe level of exercise for a patient.
A stress test might sound a lot worse than it is, but it generally is a fairly painless procedure that can tell a doctor a whole lot about the state of a patient's heart and circulation system. If a patient is unable to perform the test physically, medications might be used to force the heart to simulate exercise. Sometimes, a nuclear stress test is prescribed to not only enable the doctor to see how the body reacts to activity, but also see what is happening in the process.
Stress test procedures are very common in cases where heart conditions are suspected. They are also not at all uncommon for use as tools to help doctors see how much patients can safely do without stress their hearts too much in the process.