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Having Chest Pain? A Stress Test Can Tell You Why

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When you’re having chest pain, it’s important to seek medical care as soon as possible. At Dr. Avi Ishaaya Centers in Los Angeles, CA, we offer different diagnostic tests to evaluate how well your heart works and to determine the cause of your chest pain. When we study your circulatory system, we get valuable information on how to best care for your heart. Dr. Avi Ishaaya, a board-certified physician in pulmonary, sleep, internal and geriatric medicine, regularly provides heart testing, such as a stress test, to new and current patients. Most of our heart tests are performed in-house and on the same day of your appointment. We do our best to get you your test results expediently so that you can be treated quickly. We can provide treatment options and suggest lifestyle changes that will improve your health and quality of life.

Who should have a stress test?

Dr. Ishaaya typically recommends a stress test for patients who:

  • Are overweight or obese

  • Are over the age of 45

  • Carry most of their weight in their middle

  • Have a family history of diabetes, heart disease, or stroke

  • Live a sedentary lifestyle

  • Eat an unhealthy diet

  • Are a smoker or live in a home with those who smoke

  • Have sleep apnea, high blood pressure, or hypothyroidism

  • Have hormonal imbalances

What is involved in a medical stress test?

During a stress test, we will record your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing, and evaluate how tired you are at different levels of physical activity. We use an ECG or EKG test to record your heart’s electrical activity. This can determine how fast your heart is beating and analyze your heart’s rhythm. It also measures the timing and strength of the electrical signals as they pass through your heart. One of the common questions Dr. Ishaaya hears is, “How do they do a stress test for heart issues?”

A stress test at Dr. Avi Ishaaya Centers in Los Angeles, CA usually lasts about 15 minutes. In a typical stress test:

  1. You are hooked up to a device that will monitor your heart.

  2. A blood pressure cuff is wrapped around your arm.

  3. You stand on the treadmill as it begins to move slowly.

  4. The treadmill slowly increases in speed.

  5. The treadmill goes into an incline.

  6. You may breathe into a mouthpiece for a few minutes.

  7. After slowing down, you will get off the treadmill and lay down to have your blood pressure checked.

If you experience dizziness, chest pain, severe panting, or any other abnormal signs, we will stop the test immediately. The stress test is safe, but any adverse reactions, such as flushing or abnormal heart rhythm, will be looked for continuously throughout the test to ensure your safety.

Results of a stress test

After your stress test, Dr. Ishaaya can review your results with you during a follow-up visit to Dr. Avi Ishaaya Centers in Los Angeles, CA. Some possible results of your medical stress test may include:

  1. Normal blood flow during both exercise and rest

  2. Normal blood flow during rest, but not during exercise. This can indicate a blocked artery. Further tests are needed for this diagnosis. Surgical intervention may be needed, such as a coronary artery bypass or balloon angioplasty and stent placement.

  3. Low blood flow when exercising or while resting (or both), which suggests coronary artery disease

If your stress test is normal, no additional tests are needed. However, we may suggest you have a stress test every year to ensure your health remains steady.

Learn more on how a stress test can diagnose chest pain problems

At Dr. Avi Ishaaya Centers in Los Angeles, CA, we use heart testing technology that helps patients who are experiencing chest pain. Board-certified physician Dr. Avi Ishaaya can help determine the cause of chest pain and explain what a heart test will show. Call our Los Angeles, CA office today to schedule an appointment and to learn more about what is involved in a medical stress test.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.