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What is involved in a "stress test" to test the heart? I have one next week.

Sorry WRONG CATEGORY. Please reroute to "health and fitness". Phone broke.

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There two kinds a physical and a chemical stress test. In both tests, they fit you with a cardiac monitor which are attached to you with sticky EKG leads. Sometimes they will start an IV especially if they are doing a chemical stress test. And they either have you perform some form of exercise such as running on a treadmill or an exercise bike, or they may give you a medication that will cause the heart to work faster. They then monitor how your heart responds to the added stress. A positive stress test normally indicates further study such as a cardiac catheterization and or an echocardiogram. Most people do an exercise induced stress test, but in some individuals who can't perform or tolerate the exercise will get a chemical stress test.

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Okay this helps a lot. Thank you. They said they were doing the electrocardiogram first because the EKG in doctors office showed something weird. I wonder if they expect me to bring someone with me or can I go there alone? Thank you for your wonderful help.
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I need to know if I should have my husband there, so I will call them and ask them if I need to bring him with me. Thank you again!
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Hi Sincerity..
This is an initial phase of testing, so I don't think you will need anyone to attend.. though its always nice when someone is there :)
You will more than likely do a
physical / treadmill test..
I do hope all is well :)
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Thanks blades! I had rheumatic fever and then strep throat several times Shen I was a child, and they think it affected my heart and if there's anything wrong, it won't be hard to fix. And I'll feel a lot better. I told my husband to be on call to come there if they tell me to call him.
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when not Shen**** -ugh !!!
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Meet me at my answer
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It is always nice to have someone there, but they don't normally anesthetize or sedate patients for a stress test so you should be able to drive immediatley afterwards. But it's always nice to have support. If they think the abnormal EKG is related to rheumatic fever, they probably suspect that there may be valve involvement. Have you ever been diagnosed with a murmer? Or perhaps some sort of mitral or tircuspid regurgitation? Well anyways if they didn't tell you had to have someone there with you, then it's matter of option. Good luck.
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Thank you very much for the help Blacksmith ! Yes, EKG's done several times show one of the lines with points that go up, when the points along the way on the line are supposed to be pointing down. I have no idea what that means, but it's not supposed to do that, a people look alarmed when they see it. Also, rheumatic fever valve damage shows up when getting older the doctors say. I never have been able to be real athletic . I can walk several miles, but I could never run or jog. I am hoping I will feel better and have more energy when I get this fixed.
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An ekg is used to monitor the flow of electrical impulses as they go through your heart. Since each heart beat is triggered by electrical impulses the EKG can tell a lot about type and quality of heart rythm is going on. The 12 lead EKG views these electrical impulses from 12 different views. It's nor quite a perfect 3 dimensional view but ir does paint a picture of what is going on with the heart. Other tests give more dfinitive pictures of cardiac function such as the echo cardiogram, stress test, and then the ultimate cardiac diagnostic we currenlty have which is the cardiac catheterization. You mentioned there was some wave inversion in one or more of your leads. Each lead corresponds to specific area of your heart and what it means really depends on which wave was inverted and which lead or leads were involved. But unless they rush in for an emergency catheterization, I would'nt get upset about it until you see whats what. It sounds like whatever the EKG anomoly was didn't suggest an emergency but simply the need for further study which is why you are getting the stress test. I hope this is of further help.
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It sure does help, especially the term "wave inversion ". That sounds a lot better than "the points go down instead of up" ha ha. If it's something that will make me feel better and have a better quality of life, that would be great if it could be fixed.
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What would cause points to face down instead of up? It was the wire they placed on the side of my chest. Oh well, I guess I'll find out.'I have a funny feeling (intuition) they're going to keep me there because my heart just beats weirder and weirder every day. I can feel it. I will come back here on Wednesday and let you guys know!
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Electrolyte imbalances,infections, medications, some sort of heart muscle or valve issue can cause this as well. There a a lot of possible causes. I couldn't even take a guess which may be your case. But the imprtant thing is your getting it checked out. Which is the most important thing you can do.
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Good answer ^. Bring someone with you, in the unlikely event that you're not able to drive afterwards. Also, be sure to wear clothing and shoes that are comfortable and appropriate for exercise. Good luck.

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Okay, I will tell my husband he needs to come after all . Thank you so much for your help!
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Yes. You may feel like you've run a marathon afterwards, and who wants to drive after a marathon?
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When my husband had a stress test, he forgot to bring his gym shoes, so he went on the treadmill in his socks. He had foot pain for days afterwards. Moral of the story: dress appropriately!
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Sincerity.. You should contact your physician and get more information on the test.. It being an initial test at your regular doctors office , it is probably a physical/treadmill test that will not require your husband to be there. Your information will then be sent to a Cardiologist to be read. A plan will be devised to address any issues that may be present.
I hope we can discuss this more if you need or want to :)

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He already did the initial test in the office when I just off handily mentioned my heart was skipping and I had been sick as a child with rheumatic fever (I was there for something else) and then his EKG test on me was showing weird things so he called the hospital and they are doing a stress test there with a echocardiogram (?) first, then on to the exercise part.
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OK I see.. there are some affective medications... but I have problems processing them.. so that didn't work for me..
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I'm goggling echocardiograph right now to see what that's about.
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Goggleing***
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I think it might be good for your husband to go with you..
Make it a date :)
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whatever ha ha
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The ecg is non evasive..
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What?
You know all I have are great ideas :)
That was another great idea haha!
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I was amazed how the procedures changed in the 10 years prior to when I had my procedure... which was an Ablation by the way..
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The "whatever" was supposed to show up after I was trying to spell "goggleing" and spell check kept saying to spell it"goggling" so I gave up on how to spell it and just wrote "whatever@. And YES good idea on making it a date. We'll go out to lunch somewhere yummy! For Vanetines I got (because I told him not to spend money) the BEST surprise ...white chocolate covered strawberries ! They were huge! I have one more left. Think I'll eat it now!
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Okay! I just looked up Ablation because I didn't know what it meant. That sounds SCARY Blades !
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Well there wasn't much of an alternative .. I was having 18000 misfires a day...
I had become hypersensitive and treated it with coffee and extreme exercise
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My heart rate was 32 beats a minute at rest.. I was a well conditioned athlete way back then :) .. but at 110 bpm my heart beat perfectly, that the reason for the coffee and exercise.. the harder I went the better I felt
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Sorry I missed the other comment..
Yum! the strawberries sound wonderful
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Don't worry about the echo., it's just a fancy ultrasound. It uses doppler to view speed and direction of blood flow.
Stress test and echo are both non-invasive. Now, cardiac cath. IS invasive. Good luck and don't worry. They are just looking to see how much, and if any, damage from the illness. I'm confident you will be fine.
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Drs offices usually don't do a very thorough ECG (or EKG). They will do a 12 lead or 15 lead ECG at the clinic for the cardiologist to review. The echo is just a fancy ultrasound. The stress test is simply to see how the heart is doing under heavy working conditions. Not to worry. All these are non-invasive. I'd bring your chauffeur along, just in case you feel like you've "been rode hard and put away wet" after all the testing. Good luck. I know you will be fine. It's all just to see how much damage was done waaaay back when. A loooong time ago.

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Thank you so much. That helps a lot too. I have asthma and sometimes it's hard to tell if it's the lungs or the heart, because with an asthma attack the heart will beat faster to get more blood flow to the lungs for the oxygen and it's meeting resistance because of the asthma and round and round we go. So with the damage from the rheumatic fever, we need to get this fixed so more damage isn't done when I have an asthma attack. I just don't think I can do those exercises since I have this asthma so maybe they'll do the chemical stress test. The same hospital also has on record when I had an asthma attack and was in the ER for 12 hours and maybe I should call them up before the test and have them obtain the EKG they took in the ER for those 12 hours while they were getting the asthma attack under control.
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More pieces to the puzzle is always better. It makes their job easier, more efficient, and more accurate.
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Do you have copies of those test results from your previous asthma attack? Do you have previous stress test results, EKGs, etc? A list of all your current meds? Bring them with you. If you're in the US, it's very hard to get any continuity of care these days-everyone does their best, but our medical system is broken. Don't depend on anyone but yourself to have all the necessary pieces of information available that make up your medical condition. That's another reason to have your husband with you. You have complicating factors, and you need to be able to be your own advocate. Verify everything, and never assume that anyone already knows everything they need to know about your medical history.
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