If a heart problem is only apparent when the heart is under stress, a doctor can investigate it by recreating the same circumstances that raised the initial alarm. This process is called a cardiac stress test. Venu Prabaker, MD, a board-certified physician and primary care at Healthcare Medical Group of La Mesa in La Mesa, California, believes in an aggressive approach to preventive care to reduce the risk of long-term health problems. He provides stress tests to patients at risk of heart problems. Call the practice or book a consultation online today.
A stress test determines how your heart functions when under duress, like during exercise. Physical activity makes your heart beat faster and pump harder, which highlights blood flow problems.
The stress test, also known as the exercise test, involves walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike to elevate your heart in a controlled environment. As you exercise, Dr. Prabaker monitors your breathing, heart rhythm, and blood pressure. These cardiac stress tests will detect the patients who are going to have a heart attack a few months from now so that stent placement of surgery can be performed.
The test shows if the blood supply to any of the arteries that supply the heart is reduced, what level of exercise you can safely do before you experience problems, and if there’s any heart tissue damage.
Not everyone can take part in an exercise stress test. For some people, the health risks are too great. In these cases, Dr. Prabaker will use a drug to create the same effects as a stress test.
Dr. Prabaker recommends a stress test if you experience lightheadedness, shortness of breath, or chest pain. These symptoms can indicate coronary artery disease or a heart rhythm problem (arrhythmia). A stress test can also help Dr. Prabaker do the following:
Dr. Prabaker uses stress tests as part of his aggressive approach to preventive care.
Dr. Prabaker gives you specific instructions ahead of your stress test. These instructions vary depending on your circumstances but typically include instructions about food, medication, clothing, and cosmetics.
You might have to fast for a period before the test and avoid caffeine altogether for 24 hours.
If you use one, bring your inhaler to the test and let the team know that you have it with you. If you’re taking over-the-counter or prescription medicines, check with Dr. Prabaker about whether it’s OK to take them before the test.
You’re taking part in physical activity, so dress appropriately — leisurewear and training shoes.
Oil, lotion, or cream can interfere with your test results, so avoid wearing any cosmetics on the day of the procedure.
Dr. Prabaker’s preventive approach to health care helps his patients stay a step ahead of life-endangering health problems. Call Healthcare Medical Group of La Mesa today to make an appointment or book one through this website.