Are you wondering what can a heart scan tell you about your heart health? Find out why scans are performed and how they can help you.
Doctors use heart (cardiac) CT scans to view your heart and blood vessels. They use safe amounts of radiation to create detailed images that help detect any problems. During an exam, they inject a specialized dye into your bloodstream, which is then viewed under a special camera.
If doctors need to view the arteries that bring blood to your heart, they will use a coronary CT angiogram. Keep reading to learn more about these heart scans, why they’re performed, and how they can help you with your heart health.
Heart Scans Explained
A heart scan is necessary to look for certain conditions, including congenital heart disease, plaque buildup, heart injuries, blood clots, and tumors. In other words, if you’re experiencing heart problems, it’s likely that your doctor will order a heart CT scan to detect any issues without making any incisions. However, there are some risks to keep in mind.
The contrast material (or special dye) contains iodine, which is later flushed by the kidneys. But if your kidneys are having issues due to injuries or diseases like diabetes, you may have to drink extra fluids to help your kidney expel the dye. Fortunately, newer dyes present much less risk to the kidneys. Still, you may have an allergic or adverse reaction to iodine-based materials, so let your doctor know if you experience any side effects.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you will be exposed to radiation. Typically, the amounts used are harmless and considered safe for adults. However, they are not safe for a developing fetus, so you should avoid a scan if you are pregnant or could be pregnant.
Preparing for a Heart Scan
Your doctor will give you instructions on what to do before the exam (e.g.: fasting before the scan). During the exam, you’ll be lying down on a table and have to remove any jewelry or metal items like piercings. Unless you have been sedated, you should be able to drive yourself home after the exam. The whole test shouldn’t last longer than about 10 minutes.
After the Scan
Make sure you drink lots of water to help remove the dye from your system. It won’t take long for your doctor to receive the results from your scan, at which point they will go over them with you. Based on the images, your doctor will recommend certain lifestyle changes, procedures, and treatments to address any issues.
Taking care of your heart is essential for a long and healthy life. If you want to get ahead of the problem, start making healthy changes now. Exercise regularly, eat healthily, manage your stress, and take supplements like L-arginine Plus. Its ingredients effectively promote circulation, overall heart health, and more, so what are you waiting for? Support your heart by leading a healthy life and taking L-arginine Plus.