Can You Drink Coffee Before an Echo
Echo also known as echocardiogram is a test conducted to know the condition of the heart. In the echo test sound waves of varying frequencies are used for printing pictures of heart. In medical terms the test is also known as diagnostic cardiac ultrasound and echocardiography.
Facts about The Echo Test
- Sound waves helps in printing images of different chambers of heart, valves, blood pipes like veins, arteries & aorta and walls.
- An instrument known as transducer is inserted over the chest. Transducer produces sound waves which are then bounced back from the heart. The variation in sound waves is then converted to pictures and viewed on screen.
- Some people have misconception that echocardiogram is harmful but this is not true. Instead, the echo test is very safe and helpful.
Can You Drink Coffee Before An Echo?
Doctors recommend avoiding intake of coffee or any other caffeinated drink for minimum 24hours before the echo test. In addition, doctors also recommend skipping over the counter medications having caffeine content. This is so because intake of caffeine suddenly increases the blood pressure and heart rate. This ultimately leads to irregular heartbeats causing adverse effect on the echo test results. Hence, patient undergoing the echo test should strictly avoid intake of tea, coffee or any other caffeinated drinks or medicines.
The echo test helps in taking a look in to the structure and functioning of the heart. The echo test is very effective in identifying the following:
- Echo test helps in identifying size and shape of the heart along with the thickness of the walls surrounding the heart
- Movement of Heart
- To know if the valves of the heart are working properly or not
- Heart’s pumping strength
- Helps in identifying the size of the heart valves
- To know if there is any infection or tumor growing inside the heart
- Echo test also helps in identifying if there is any blood leakage from the heart
- Blood clotting in the heart chambers
- Minor or major holes (is any) present in the heart
- Abnormalities associated with the large vessels surrounding the heart
- Abnormalities associated with the outer and inner lining of the heart
How the Echo Test is Conducted?
Echo test is always conducted by trained and experienced technicians. Echo test can be conducted either in hospitals or in doctor’s clinic. On an average the echo test lasts for almost an hour. However, depending on the condition and severity of the patient the duration of test varies.
- During the echo test, the patient is asked lie down on the test table and then doctor or technician place small metal electrodes on the chest of the patient. All these electrodes have wires attached which are then hooked to electrocardiograph machine also known as ECG or EKG machine. The machine helps in tracking the heartbeats.
- The electrodes are stick on the body of the patient with the help of a colorless gel. This gel also facilitates passing of sound waves through the skin.
- Room where the echo test is conducted often has dim or less light so that technician can take a clear look on the picture monitor.
- During the echo test technicians may ask the patent to follow a certain breadth pattern, like they may ask to hold the breadth or breadth slowly.
- A transducer is slowly passed around the chest. This produces sound waves, which are bounced back from the heart printing images of different parts of heart.
- These sound waves are then converted in to pictures and displayed on the screen. The picture is recorded for the doctors to refer it in future when required.
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