EKG Heart Stress Test in Jacksonville
An electrocardiogram (EKG) is a test that records your heart's electrical activity as spikes and dips (line tracings) on paper. When combined with an exercise or treadmill, the EKG heart stress test is used to evaluate how well your heart functions during exercise. Prior to starting the test, several small electrodes are applied as patches to your skin in different locations on your body. Before the test begins, your doctor or a technician may check your blood pressure reading and a blood pressure cuff may be left on your arm for use during the procedure. During an EKG heart stress test, you may be asked to walk on a treadmill or perform some other repetitive exercise. The EKG or ECG will continually record the electrical activity of your heart during exercise and the exercise load may be increased or decreased at certain intervals.
If you have physical limitations that prevent you from using the treadmill or other exercise equipment, you doctor may use an alternative method to safely raise your heart rate. Your primary care physician will use the results to make a general assessment of your overall heart health and will discuss the results with you. An EKG is widely used when a patient's complaints include chest pain. The attending physician may order an EKG heart stress test to check for abnormal heart rhythms, signs of coronary artery disease or irregular heartbeats. The test is also commonly used for pre-op physical exams as well as just prior to or immediately following a surgical procedure. If you have heart disease or are at an increased risk of developing heart disease, an EKG can give your doctor a current snapshot of how well your heart is functioning.
NOTE: You should not eat, drink caffeine or alcohol, or smoke for at least three hours before your test. Tell your doctor if you have taken Viagra or other stimulants within 24 hours of an EKG heart stress test.
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