A Guide to Your Stress Test: How to Prepare and What to Expect
If your doctor requests that you undergo a stress test, you might be unsure what to anticipate. Stress testing Covington effectively diagnoses existing heart conditions and ensures your heart is healthy enough for exercise. This is a crucial test used by cardiologists to assess patients’ heart health. Your doctor can establish if you have an abnormal heartbeat (arrhythmia) or whether specific symptoms, including trouble breathing, are caused by a heart issue with the aid of the stress test.
How to Prepare for the Test
Before the test begins, inform your doctor about any current drugs you are taking. This includes over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplements like multivitamins. Continue taking your medications unless the doctor instructs you to cease taking the medication before the test, as is the case with several cardiac drugs.
Your doctor may instruct you to abstain from food and liquids for two to four hours before the test. This will lessen your chance of feeling queasy throughout the exam. For walking or jogging, you should wear comfortable workout gear and footwear.
The Stress Test Process
Once you enter the exercise lab, your doctor will connect electrodes to your arms and chest. The electrodes are attached to an electrocardiogram (EKG) device, which records the electrical activity of your heart. The EKG also monitors your heart’s rhythm and rate. The blood pressure cuff that the doctor will also fasten to your arm will tighten as it grows throughout the test.
Once you are ready, you will work out on a treadmill or stationary bike. If you become unwell while doing the test, a doctor or nurse will be on hand to help. On a treadmill, you should begin by slowly walking without moving. The treadmill will tilt up to an incline, and the pace will increase to raise the difficulty level
To determine how much oxygen you have consumed, your doctor may ask you to breathe into a tube. You will start pedaling gently on a stationary bike and work your way up to cycling more quickly. If you cannot exercise, your doctor will give you medication to imitate exercise by speeding up your heartbeat and raising your blood flow.
Potential risks of stress tests
The risk of a cardiac stress test is minimal. The hazards of a stress test, such as a change in blood pressure or an irregular cardiac rhythm, are minor since it replicates challenging exercises like jogging or sprinting up a flight of stairs. Chest discomfort is another possibility, however these side effects usually disappear soon after exercise. If you were prescribed medicine because you could not exercise, you could get headaches, jitters, or anxiety.
A stress test is a method that physicians may use to assess your heart health, and if you are at high risk for developing severe cardiac issues, this will assist your medical team in deciding on your course of treatment. Call Louisiana Heart and Vascular to book your appointment for a stress test.