A cardiac stress test involves putting electrodes on your chest to detect heart problems. It takes just about an hour to complete and is considered a very safe procedure. It is important to recognize when you may need stress testing and how to prepare for it.
You Suffered a Heart Attack Recently
Having a heart attack can be one of the scariest experiences of your life. If you recently had one, you should schedule a stress test as soon as possible. Your doctor will be able to determine how strong your heart muscles are with this test and then recommend the appropriate solutions.
You Have Irregular Heartbeats
If you experience irregular heartbeats during physical activity, you may benefit from a stress test. Irregular heartbeats are not normal, so it is best to find out what is going on as soon as possible.
You Have Had Chest Pain
Chest pain is not something you should take lightly as it often indicates heart trouble. If you have been experiencing chest pain, you should order a stress test right away to be on the safe side.
You Want to Start a New Exercise Program
If you plan to begin a new exercise routine soon, your doctor may suggest having a stress test. The test will help determine what level of physical activity is safe for you.
How Do You Prepare for a Stress Test?
If you have made the decision to get a cardiac stress test, it is important to prepare for it. Here are a few helpful tips to get ready for this test.
- Avoid Eating and Drinking: Your doctor will likely want you to avoid eating or drinking anything but water for four hours before your test.
- Ask Your Doctor If You Should Stop Taking Your Medications: Before your stress test, give your doctor a list of all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you currently take. Certain medications may interfere with these tests, so your doctor may want you to stop taking them before your appointment.
- Wear Comfortable Clothes: To ensure that you are as comfortable as possible during your stress test, you should wear loose clothing and athletic shoes.
- Stop Smoking: If you smoke cigarettes, you will be asked to avoid doing so on the day of your stress test.
If your doctor has recommended that you get a cardiac stress test, you should schedule your appointment as soon as possible. Talk to a medical clinic, such as Alpert Zales & Castro Pediatric Cardiology, for more information.