Want to find out how your heart health is doing? The following are some key tests to understand your heart health.
“[The heart] has chambers, it has valves, but it also has its own electrical system,” says Paul Knoepflmacher, MD, clinical instructor in medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. “It also has blood vessels in it, and any of these components can go wrong and have problems.”
In other words, one test may not be able to give you a full picture of what is happening in your heart. While there are plenty of heart tests out there, your doctor will focus on the ones that apply to you. “You really direct the tests to the patient’s needs,” says Nieca Goldberg, MD, medical director at NYU Langone Health, Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health.
If you feel that your heart is in need of a checkup, then talk to your doctor about the benefits of undergoing the following exams.
According to Satjit Bhusri, MD, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital, EKGs are for patients that show signs of heart disease. These symptoms include fatigue and shortness of breath.
“An echocardiogram is basically a test that uses sound waves to get an image of the heart,” says Knoepflmacher. In a way, it’s similar to how ultrasounds work for helping pregnant women see the baby in their womb.
The American Heart Association (AHA) explains that a stress test measures how well your body handles a workload. It does this by monitoring your body’s activity during and after exercise. As part of the test, you will walk or run on a treadmill while being supervised by a doctor. There are also nuclear stress tests, which let doctors see photos of your heart after exercise through the use of a special camera.
Just like a regular echocardiogram, this exam uses ultrasound pictures of your heart. However, these pictures are taken before and after exercise, according to Michelle Weisfelner Bloom, MD, a cardiologist at Stony Brook University Medical Center.
Cardiac CT Scan
If you want to check the health of your arteries, you can undergo a cardiac CT scan. By taking X-rays of your heart and blood vessels, it checks for calcium buildup in your arteries. Doctors can get a “calcium score” from this exam, which helps predict your risk of a heart attack and how aggressive your treatment should be.
Understanding Your Heart Health
By undergoing some of these exams, you’ll be able to get a good sense of how your heart health is doing. If you want to prevent heart disease, it’s a good idea to start practicing healthy habits today.
For example, you can exercise on a regular basis, eat nutritious meals, and take supplements like L-arginine Plus. Its ingredients boost healthy circulation, blood pressure, cholesterol, and more. Give your health what it needs by leading a healthy lifestyle and taking L-arginine Plus.