How to Know if You Have Heart Disease

July 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Heart Disease

The heart functions like all the other muscles; it needs to be conditioned in order to prevent injuries, like heart disease. To do this, a healthy diet and exercise is needed to get the right nutrients for it to function properly. Keeping your body’s arteries healthy is part of this, particularly those in the heart. When there are heart disease risk factors, several tests are done to find out how severe the damage is.

The heart disease you suffer from will show the kind of testing you are subjected to when you have heart disease risk factors. First of all, your family history will be checked to see if the heart disease is genetic. Several heart disease risk factors will need to be looked at before deciding on which test to use to fix your heart disease problem, such as the following:

1. The electrocardiogram (EKG) is used to measure the electrical impulses that your heart sends out from your skin’s surface. The less electrical impulses your heart sends out, the less your heart is working to its full capacity. Sometimes, however, the heart may produce unnatural EKG ratings, so it is essential to re-check during a span of time to compare results later on.

2. Echocardiography looks at how the heart works by emitting sound waves with the heart that is then turned into images. These images will show your heart’s structure along with its pericardial sac and septum; it will also show how thick your heart’s walls are. Echocardiography will check every flow of blood from the heart and how well the blood is being pushed out.

3. Radioactive perfusion is when doctors inject certain chemicals into the vein and then see how the heart reacts. The lower the uptake, the less normal the blood flow is, which means the arteries might be narrowing, resulting in heart disease.

4. If the EKG results are normal, you will be required to take a stress test that will monitor another EKG. This is usually done on a treadmill, which will reveal the changes in your electrical impulse, if any, that the EKG could not detect earlier.

5. Sometimes, an angiogram or catheterization is done where a small tube is put in an artery to inject a dye that will show your coronary arteries perfectly while doing an x-ray.

6. CT scanning tomography is used for a more comprehensive representation of each blood vessel, so that the doctor can see if the heart’s arteries suffer from heart disease.

No single test can tell you specifically if you suffer from heart disease. If you have the heart disease risk factors, several tests might be necessary to prove the actual presence of the heart disease.