Stress tests are a common assessment used by cardiologists used to reveal potential issues in a patient’s heart. As the name suggests, during the course of your stress test the technician will stress your heart chemically or through exertion and then test its function. There are several different variations of this test though all work on the same model: stress then test.
Here are three of the things your cardiologist may be looking for when they order your stress test:

1. Coronary Artery Disease
Your coronary arteries branch off from the aorta and provide blood and oxygen into the heart. Over time plaque caused by high levels of cholesterol in the blood builds up around the artery walls making it more difficult for blood to get through. As blood flow is more and more limited through the coronary arteries a patient will be diagnosed with coronary artery disease. Left untreated this disease can lead to heart attack or even heart failure. Stressing your heart chemically or through exercise will allow your cardiologist to see more clearly how efficiently blood is flowing through these arteries.

2. Arrhythmia
An arrhythmia occurs in patients when the body is not able to properly control the electrical impulses that are meant to create a normal heartbeat rhythm. Like many other conditions, a heart patient’s arrhythmia can be caused by lifestyle, prior damage to the heart muscle, or even genetics. Some arrhythmias are induced during exercise or other times of stress to the heart, and for that reason a cardiologist may elect to use a stress test to examine heart arrhythmia patients. Additionally, some may patients develop an arrhythmia because they have coronary artery disease.

3. Wellness Testing
It is not uncommon for cardiologists to order a stress test on patients as they get older. The risk of heart disease drastically increases in men over the age of 65, patients who have a history of heart disease, and patients with certain ethnic backgrounds. For this reason, your doctor may ask you to participate in preventative stress testing to get ahead of any potential issues.

Stress testing is a powerful tool which allows cardiologists to see what is happening inside your body when you’re outside of the office. There are many different conditions your cardiologist can diagnose using the various types of stress testing, for more information or to find the right cardiologist for you, contact us today.