A Stress Test – Why You Need It And How To Prepare

Posted on: 19 September 2018

When your doctor tells you that he's scheduling you for a stress test, your heart may skip a beat. It's only one test, but why do you need it? How do you prepare for it? Here, you'll find the answers to those questions.

Why do you need the stress test?

The doctor likely ordered the test because you had some sort of heart-related health issue. This test will show the doctor how your heart works while it is at different levels of stress. So, he'll see what your heart does when you're calm and after you've walked a couple miles. The hope is that the test will show the doctor any blockages or damage that needs to be repaired.

What do you do to prepare for a stress test?

To prepare for a stress test, you will need to do a few things:

  1. Talk to the doctor about any medications that you take daily that should be skipped. Some medications will prevent the test from providing accurate results.
  2. Go hungry. You don't want to show up for the stress test after eating a heavy breakfast. It is far easier to exercise on an emptier stomach than it is on a full stomach, and you'll be doing some exercising for the test. Don't skip your meal if you have diabetes and haven't discussed it with your doctor. Diabetes management must be kept in mind as you prepare for this test.
  3. Skip the coffee. Caffeine doesn't just boost your energy level and get you moving, it gets your heart pumping faster too. Skip your coffee the day of the test so that the results are accurate.
  4. Start walking now. If you don't walk daily, now's the time to start. You don't want to go in for the test completely out of shape. If you walk a little bit each day leading up to the test, you'll have a much easier time completing it. Just make sure to ask the doctor if it is OK for you to do the walking prior to starting.

Your doctor will work with you to get you prepared for the test and will answer any questions that you have about the test itself or the results that it has provided. Hopefully, the test will go off without a hitch and you'll be able to find out what's going on and get the treatment that you will need. Contact a clinic, like Alpert Zales & Castro Pediatric Cardiology, for more help.