You need to have a cardiac stress test done? If so, don’t worry! They are not that bad at all. The only unpleasant thing about doing one of these tests is that there’s exercise involved. Otherwise, you’re in and out fast.
But the brief exercise is an important part of the test because your heart needs to be stressed. How healthy your heart is will only be determined if it is stressed so they can see how it is actually functioning. The specifics, and generalities, of stress tests will be discussed in this article. Let’s begin.
There’s a lot going on with the nuclear stress test, but these tests are valuable and can reveal much about the health of the patient’s heart. If your heart is healthy, then it will take up more radioactive material than given during a test. High amounts of blood coursing through your heart is absorbed through its walls as it continually pumps blood through your body.
If you do have clogged arteries, less radioactive material will actually be seen because the flow will be reduced. This is the simple premise or one of them behind the nuclear stress test. Of course if there are severe blockages, then the blood flow will not be normal and this can be seen in the images. Your heart needs to be under some amount of strain and duress for the test to work appropriately. If you are relaxed and breathing normally, there is no way to measure your EKG and see if something is wrong. People “load down their heart” when you place it under a lot of stress. Putting your heart under a load can be done by walking fast or running for not too long at all. It will be obvious if you have any abnormalities or problems with your heart when measured when loaded down. It is very common for such a situation to exist, but is not always a sure thing. It’s hard to tell if you don’t have a symptoms and you feel fine everyday.
Isotopes, or radioactive chemicals, are often given to patients when a physician needs to see their heart. The doctors, after injecting the chemicals into the patient’s bloodstream, will watch with specialized imaging equipment in their office. The doctors can image your heart because of the energy emitted by the radioactive solution in your bloodstream. This acts to illuminate the bloodstream and of course how well it flows into and out of the heart. Doctors can very easily see if there are any blocks or restrictions to the flow of blood. How the heart is pumping your blood will be very clear to them. This pump, your heart, can then be measured in regard to efficiency ratings that physicians use everyday.
Receiving radioactive injections during a nuclear stress test is an area of concern for some people. This is an understandable concern even though the dosage is very low. Everybody is, in a way, protected by the annual limits for radioactive exposure which conform to safety standards. If you don’t want to do this, your doctor should have an alternative for you.