EKGs and Stress Tests
By Grand Rapids Cardiology
August 01, 2018
Category: Cardiology
Tags: EKG  

EKGs and stress tests are exams that your cardiologist will perform to check on the strength and health of your heart and cardiovascular ekgsystem. They are a first course of action for diagnosing heart disease or determining if a patient is at risk for a heart attack. Learn more about these tests and visit Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI for a checkup.

What Is an EKG?
An EKG (also called an electrocardiogram) is a relatively quick exam that is performed in the office when you visit your cardiologist for a checkup. You’ll lie back on a table while a technician applies patches to your chest and limbs. A machine takes a record of the electrical activity in your heart and provides your doctor with a reading. This test can detect evidence of a previous heart attack.

What Is a Stress Test?
If you have an irregular EKG result or you’re feeling symptoms of a heart problem, your Grand Rapids, MI cardiologist may refer you for a stress test. There are different ways that this test can be performed—a standard exercise test or an imaging test. During an exercise test, an EKG machine checks the heart while the patient performs moderate exercise, like walking on a treadmill. During an imaging stress test, a machine takes photos of the heart while you’re exercising. A special dye may be injected to map out the heart and see the blood flow. 

Keeping Your Heart Healthy
You and your cardiologist must work as a team to keep your heart healthy and strong. There are a number of actions that you can take to increase the chance of positive results on EKG or stress tests:

- Take your medications as prescribed, and consult your doctor regularly to ensure that the medications are meeting your needs.
- Modify your diet to include more heart-healthy foods, including salmon, leafy green vegetables, antioxidant-rich berries, garlic, nuts, and olive oil.
- Quit smoking and other high-risk behaviors.
- Take a light walk each day and do everything possible to reduce stress.

See Your Cardiologist for a Checkup
If you’ve had heart issues in the past or have been experiencing symptoms, see a cardiologist at Grand Rapids Cardiology in Grand Rapids, MI. Call (616) 717-5141 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ronald VanderLaan.