Category Archives: Non-Invasive Diagnostic Testing
Most of us know someone who has needed an angioplasty and lives with one or more stents in their arteries. Many of us also know people who have needed a heart bypass or CABG. Ultimately, the reason for either procedure is the buildup of plaque in the arteries that has slowly narrowed them to the point where the heart is not receiving enough oxygen-rich blood. If left untreated, this condition known as atherosclerosis can lead to significant chest pain and a heart attack.
But for those of us that have spent the best part of our lives sitting on the couch and eating poorly, is there any hope? Is there any way that we can avoid the eventuality of requiring a procedure to unclog or bypass our arteries? The short answer is “sort of.”
When you’re young and healthy, the last thing on your mind is keeping up with heart screenings. It may seem like a distant problem that you will not have to deal with for many years to come. But the truth is that the more proactive you are about your heart health, the better chance you have of detecting a condition early, opening up widerpossibilities for prevention and treatment.
Just as women perform self-breast exams, men get prostate checks and we are all recommended to get colonoscopies at certain ages, regular heart screenings are imperative for your health and well-being.
With the hectic pace of modern living, when someone mentions a stress test you might be forgiven for believing you will be evaluated for how well you handle the stresses of daily life. However, that is not the purpose of a cardiac stress test. Rather, a cardiac stress test applies physical strain and stress to the heart to see how it reacts as it pumps harder and faster. You might be interested to know, however, that how your heart reacts under physical stress is also related to how your heart may react under emotional stress, which can also increase rhythm and blood pressure significantly.