If you have risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD) but are putting off seeing your doctor because you're concerned about what you'll find out, rest assured that CAD is treatable. In fact, there are many different treatments for CAD, its risk factors, and the symptoms that may lead to a CAD diagnosis.
Treatments include over-the-counter and prescription medications and medical procedures. Your doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes, such as a heart-healthy diet, regular physical activity, and stress reduction.
Don't delay talking to your doctor. If CAD goes undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to more serious heart problems. If you are currently being treated for heart disease, it's important to see your doctor regularly for tests to monitor how effective your treatment plan is.
Stress tests can help monitor coronary artery disease
If you are diagnosed with CAD, it's important to regularly monitor your condition. One test that your doctor may recommend to monitor your heart is a stress test. A stress test can help your doctor determine how your heart responds to stress.
In the most common form of this test—called an exercise stress test—you exercise while your heart is monitored. If you're unable to exercise, your doctor may recommend a nuclear stress test with a pharmacologic agent. In this test, you're given a drug (a pharmacologic agent) that increases your heart rate as if you were exercising. A stress test can help your doctor decide whether changes are needed to your treatment plan.