For Diabetics - 10 heart tests that can save your life

For Diabetics - 10 heart tests that can save your life

Diabetes, carries with it a greater risk of heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, adults with diabetes are 2 - 4 times more likely to develop complications from heart disease than adults without diabetes.

Chest pain can be a warning sign of blocked arteries, which can leave the heart lacking for oxygen. This can lead to cardiac events such as a heart attack.

Chest pain and heart disease are troubling enough without having to worry about all the different terms that doctors can throw out at you - EKG, ECG, MRI, CT.

If you are faced with heart pain, your doctor may order one or more of these that may save your life. Here is a simple explanation of each.

The electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) records electrical currents that pass through each heartbeat. Looking at the pattern of the electrical waves allows doctors to make many diagnoses, such as rapid heartbeat or skipped beats.

If an EKG shows potential problems, an echocardiogram may be performed as a follow-up. With an echocardiogram, or ultrasound, sound waves are used to examine how well the heart muscle opens and shuts its valves to allow blood flow. Sluggish heart contractions can suggest a blockage.

Transesophageal ultrasound
A transesophageal ultrasound, or transesophageal echocardiography, is a test that produces even clearer pictures of your heart, chambers, arteries, and valves. This test uses sound waves and a thin tube that passes through your mouth, down your throat and into your esophagus.

Stress test
A stress test combines an echocardiogram and a treadmill workout. The test usually ends when you have reached 85% of your recommended maximum heart rate.

Stress echo
In a stress echo, the heart is imaged with an ultrasound both before and after the stress test described above. This test gives a more detailed image of the heart during exercise, and allows doctors to better find problems with arteries and blood vessels.

Calcium Score
A calcium-score screening heart test (coronary calcium scan) uses computerized tomography (CT) to detect calcium deposits in the coronary arteries of your heart . A higher coronary calcium-score suggests you have a higher chance of significant narrowing in the coronary arteries and a higher risk of future heart attack.

Continuous Heart Monitoring
A continuous heart monitor is a small monitor with an adhesive patch that you wear on your chest, and it records the electrical activity of your heart the whole time you’re wearing it. It looks for heartbeats that are too fast, too slow, irregular, or painful. Some people have abnormal heartbeats from time to time, and since they can come and go, wearing a heart monitor for a longer time allows abnormal heartbeats to be recorded. The monitor is usually worn 1-2 weeks. During this time, the person wearing it will enter information on an app whenever they feel any irregular heartbeats or pain. This allows the doctor to look at the heart activity during this time.

Cardiac CT Scan with Contrast
A cardiac CT (computed tomography) scan uses X-rays coming from various angles, combined with dye injected into the veins to provide contrast, and makes blood flow clearly visible. It is used to help diagnose blood vessel disease and conditions such as blockages or aneurysms. It is almost as clear as the angiogram, and not as invasive.

A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) use strong magnetic fields, radio waves, and field gradients to show images of internal organs. The MRI creates pictures that may show valve disease, clots, and hardening of arteries

The last step in diagnosing heart problems is the angiogram. It is the most conclusive test, but also the most invasive. A thin tube is threaded through the femoral artery or brachial artery to reach the heart. The test uses X-ray, a special dye, and a camera (fluoroscopy) to take pictures of blood flow. It is generally a relatively painless test.



For SEO, it would be helpful to establish a strong link to diabetes. I think using the word “diabetes” and “heart disease” (or similar) several times at the very beginning of the article will make it much more likely that it gets better PageRank for the people that would find us useful.

In general, the way to get good google ranking is:

  • think careful of the keywords that are likely to be used to search for your post

  • Make sure they are in the title, as close as possible to the first word of it. Google discounts titles some above 5 words, so 5-word-or-less in the title is a big premium for SEO.

  • make sure the keywords are mentioned multiple times in the article, in particular as close as possible to its head. The closer to the head of the article, the more highly ranked the keyword.

I figure I should write a post on the use of keywords in ContentTeam.

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I’m brain dead at the moment. Suggest edits? I can stick diabetes in there wherever it fits.

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Added diabeteeze at the beginning and in the title…

(except I spelled it correctly for better SEO)


i thought i had a ministroke. i was sent to get a carotid doppler which involves no radiation and was painless and quick. i had plaque (less than 50% stenosis though) even with a great EKG, blood pressure, all lipids are good. my family doctor suggested a baby aspirin a day. i have an appointment with a neurologist to help me interpret the doppler findings.


Hi vprediabetic.
Sorry to hear about that. I hope you are doing well otherwise.

Glad you could join us on the site. We’d love to hear your story and hope to share information about treatment

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A Holter monitor is a good (non-invasive) followup for an EKG or when some questions have not been fully answered.

This is a small device (pump sized) which is worn for 48 hrs (depending on how long the doc wants it) and provides continuous monitoring of cardiac electrical activity. It has a handful of sensors that are stuck to the skin and record electrical signals. Nothing invasive - very similar to the sticky contacts used for an EKG.

Comparing a Holter monitor to an EKG is perhaps similar to how a CGM compares to a fingerstick.

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@vprediabetic, welcome to the forum, it’s great to see you here!

Jeez, that is horrendous. How are you feeling?

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i get chest pain sometimes (usually when under emotional stress), but that might be related to being anemic, which i become off and on due to heavy periods. i am near menopause and am taking iron, so i hope anemia will be one less thing to worry about soon. the thing about aspirin therapy is if you stop it abruptly, your chance of stroke goes up in the next month. so i want to carefully evaluate whether i should start aspirin therapy. also, the ministroke (if that is indeed what it was) might have been triggered by taking more aleve than usual. i had taken only about 3 aleve a month to cut down on heavy menstrual flow, but then i found it could help with night time hot flashes. even then i would take it every other night. i was doing that for a week of two when i had what seemed to be a ministroke. the fda has strengthened its warnings concerning NSAIDs being associated with a higher risk of heart attack and stroke (not aspirin, however): “There is no period of use shown to be without risk,” says Judy Racoosin, M.D., M.P.H., deputy director of FDA’s Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia, and Addiction Products."