Learn about different kinds of heart tests

Daybreak

Your doctor tells you he wants to test your heart. Should you worry?

There are several different kinds of tests and some can be scary. They can be confusing and unsettling for some patients.

Find a good cardiologist to explain the tests in plain language. For example, the cardiac stress test, which isn’t as stressful as it sounds.

“It’s not a scary test. It’s not putting you mentally under stress. It’s physically putting you under stress. I don’t want any patient to be scared or worried about a stress test. It’s not going to be harmful. It’s not going to be painful at all,” said M. D. Cardiovascular Disease Christopher DeSimone of the Mayo Clinic.

Another common heart test is an electrocardiogram, which is often called an ECG or EKG. It’s a ten second snapshot of the electricity in your heart, it’s painless and it shows how healthy your heart muscles are.

An echocardiogram gives doctors a better look at a patient’s heart in real time, a kind of ultrasound for the heart to see how blood is flowing.

Specialists can diagnose what’s going on with your heart electrically and structurally and what they could do to make you feel better, prolong your life and improve your quality of life.

Next week, well get hooked up to a Holter monitor and show you how that works, measuring your heart.

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