Stress test is used by doctors to make a diagnosis of a person’s current heart condition. It is also known as exercise test or treadmill test because it usually involves walking and some workout activities in order to monitor one’s heartbeat or condition under stress.
Uses of Stress Test
Now here are some of the most common reasons why a person may be required to undergo a stress test:
● To determine a person’s current heart condition
● To determine a person’s safe level of exercise.
● For diagnostic purposes.
● For cardiac evaluation in preparation for surgery.
● For a guided treatment or for treatment evaluation.
Kinds of Stress Test
There are different kinds of stress tests that a person may undergo depending on the purpose of the test and the desired result.
A Dobutamine or Adenosine Stress Test is administered to those people who are unable to do exercise activities. Basically, it’s a kind of drug that stimulates and makes the heart respond as if the person taking the test is exercising. In this way, the heart’s response to stress can still be determined.
An Echocardiogram Stress Test or usually known as “echo” records the heart’s movement in a graphic outline. This kind of stress test can accurately visualize and record the heart’s pumping action and response to stress.
In a Nuclear Stress Test, a very small amount of safe radioactive substance is injected into the bloodstream to give a clear picture of the heart’s tissues on a special monitor. This kind of stress test helps determine the parts of the heart that are healthy and functioning well, and gives an overview of the parts that are not in a good condition.
How to Prepare for a Stress Test
When taking a stress test, it is best if you are prepared to get the best result out of it. Here are some of the things you can do to prepare your body and mind for the test:
● If your stress test is exercise-based, make sure to bring comfortable workout clothes and shoes.
● Bring water to keep yourself hydrated.
● If it includes an echo test, women should wear comfortable and easy to remove bras.
● It the kind of stress test you are taking requires you to fast for 12 hours, as much as possible schedule it early in the morning so it would be easier for you and to avoid daytime fasting.
● If you have a breathing problem, make sure to bring your inhaler.
● Also voice out if you feel pain or discomfort before and during the test.
Stress Test and Cardiac Problems
Many people associate stress test to cardiac problems because the test is often used for cardiac assessment. If a person takes a stress test, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she has a cardiac problem. Some people are required to take a stress test to determine what kind of fitness activities and program suits them.