According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people living with diabetes are twice more likely to have a heart attack compared to those who have no blood sugar problems. This is because over time, when blood sugar levels are left uncontrolled, these can cause damage to the blood vessels in the heart.
Whether you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes or living with it for years, you need to work closely with your internal medicine physician, who will help you efficiently manage your blood sugar levels and thus reduce your risk of developing heart disease and other serious complications.
Central to helping you minimize your risk for heart disease is getting routine cardiac testing. This gives your doctor a good grasp of your overall risk for heart disease and whether there has already been any damage sustained to the blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart.
Below is an outline of the cardiac tests your doctor will likely recommend for you.
An ECG involves strategically placing 12 electrodes on to your chest and limbs. Electrodes are conductive pads attached to your skin that enable recording of electrical signals from your heart. The electrodes are connected to a computer, which records the information and displays them as waves on the monitor or on paper.
An ECG is used to detect abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmias); problems with your heart’s valves; a history of attack; narrowing or blockage of arteries in your heart, which are indicative of coronary artery disease (CAD), among other problems.
Echocardiogram (Echo Test)
If the result of your ECG is not normal, your doctor may require additional tests, such as an echocardiogram, which utilizes sound waves to produce real-time images of your heart. An echo test allows your doctor to examine your heart’s size, shape, and function as well as how its chambers and valves are pumping blood through it.
During an echo test, you will be instructed to lie still while a technician moves the transducer over your chest. The transducer emits sound waves that bounce off your heart, thereby producing images of its structures. The technician then takes measurements, such as the thickness of your chamber walls., which are what your doctor will use to evaluate the size of your heart.
Nuclear Stress Test
A nuclear stress test involves injecting a tiny amount of radioactive material, which will show how well blood is flowing into your heart muscle, both during exercise and when you’re at rest.
A nuclear stress test is essentially used for determining how well your heart is handling its workload and checking whether there is any disruption or damage in the arteries that supply your heart with blood, oxygen, and nutrients. The test also helps your doctor figure out the type and level of physical activity most appropriate for you.
Cardiac Testing in Irmo, SC
At SC Internal Medicine Associates & Rehabilitation, we offer a range of cardiac testing procedures, among several other diagnostic services, as part of our commitment to delivering comprehensive and high-quality health care to the residents of Irmo, South Carolina, and all of its neighboring areas.
Give us a call today at (803) 479-1111, or use this form to request a cardiac testing appointment or a consultation with one of our internal medicine physicians.