If you have symptoms of heart disease, your doctor may recommend a heart test. Several different types of tests are available. The right test for you depends on many factors, including your age, health history, and the type of symptoms you have. Doctors usually start with a physical exam and a review of your medical history. They may also order one or more blood tests to check for markers of inflammation or other conditions that can contribute to heart disease.
When you have symptoms that could mean heart disease, it is important to get the right heart test. It comes down to what your doctor recommends and what both of you agree upon. Below we have 6 tips for choosing the right heart test for you:
1. Discuss Options With Your Doctor
Have a discussion with your doctor about which heart test they recommend based on your current symptoms and medical history. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about each test, such as what to expect, how to prepare for it, as well as the benefits and risks of the procedure. In most cases, you should trust the advice and guidance of your doctor. As medical professionals, they are highly knowledgeable about medical tests and which ones are ideal for various circumstances.
2. Consider Your Family Health History and Risk Factors
If you have a family history of heart diseases, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, these are important facts you should share with your doctor, as they will consider them in your diagnosis and treatment. Many times, knowing about your family’s health history, particularly specific conditions that run in the family, can guide your doctor to recommend certain tests. Symptoms related to heart issues can overlap, so having the context and clues that your family health history can provide is a great way to steer toward the right heart test for you.
3. Consider Your Symptoms
Your symptoms are the primary guide for your doctor when choosing which tests to order. For example, if you experience chest pain, an electrocardiogram (EKG) may be ordered. Other common symptoms that might lead to testing include shortness of breath, dizziness, or irregular heartbeat. Be as detailed and transparent about your symptoms as possible, so your doctor can recommend the best possible test for you.
4. Select an Experienced Medical Center
Always choose a reputable medical imaging practice for your heart test. Not all testing facilities, equipment, and staff are created equal. You want to select an experienced and reputable practice for your testing, so you get accurate and timely testing done. When making an appointment for testing, inquire about the experience of both the physician and technician performing the test, as well as reading and interpreting the results.
5. Review the Risks Associated With Each Test
While many diagnostic procedures carry some risk factors, tests vary in their invasiveness level, as well as how likely they are to produce complications. If you are uncomfortable with a particular test, discuss your concerns with your doctor. In some cases, you may be able to get an alternative test that you are more comfortable with.
6. Get a Second Opinion
You should feel confident in your medical team and the recommendations they provide for tests and treatments. After discussing heart test options with your physician, if you feel uneasy about proceeding with any particular test, get another medical opinion. It can be helpful to get a second opinion from another qualified doctor, especially if you have a complex medical history or multiple risk factors for heart disease, or if you are simply uneasy about how you are being recommended to proceed.
Following these six tips can help ensure that you undergo the right diagnostic procedure for your heart health concerns based on your individualized circumstances.
Quality Heart Health Tests in Irmo, SC
SC Internal Medicine Associates and Rehabilitation is a premier primary care facility that is happy to also offer state-of-the-art on-site diagnostic testing for heart conditions. We are an independent practice, which means we are able to offer you quality, comprehensive, and compassionate care, and accurate diagnoses. Our primary care doctors foster positive, long-term relationships with our patients. We look forward to offering you the same level of care and service.