Exercise stress or cardiac stress test is a test that measures how well your heart responds during physical activity. This usually involves walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike while you are hooked up to an EKG machine. The EKG machine monitors your heart’s activity during the test.
If your primary care doctor has ordered you to get a stress test done, you certainly want to know more about it. Here, Garden State Medical Group shares what you need to know about stress tests:
What Is a Stress Test For?
A stress test is a test that is used to determine how well your heart can handle stress. This test is used to help determine the risk of a heart attack or a stroke.
The goal of a stress test is to see how your heart responds to the stress. This includes how hard your heart works, how well it pumps blood, and how well it tolerates stress.
If your doctor has any reason to believe you are at risk for a heart attack or a stroke, a stress test can help determine if you need additional treatment. It can also help you and your doctor to create a plan to reduce your risk.
How Does a Stress Test Work?
A cardiac stress test is a diagnostic tool used to evaluate how well your heart functions under stress. The test typically involves walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike while your heart rate and blood pressure are monitored.
During a cardiac stress test, you will be asked to exercise on a treadmill or stationary bike. Your heart rate and blood pressure will then be monitored throughout the test. You may be asked to wear a heart monitor during the test.
The test usually takes about 30 minutes. You might feel some discomfort during the test, but it should not be painful.
After the test, your doctor will interpret the results and determine if you have coronary artery disease. If you do have coronary artery disease, your doctor may recommend further testing or treatment.
Why Do I Need a Stress Test?
If you’re like most people, you might see a stress test as something you’d only need if you were having heart problems. But stress tests can be useful for people without heart problems, too.
A stress test can help you find out how well your heart handles physical activity. It can also help your doctor see if you’re at risk for heart problems in the future.
During a stress test, you’ll be asked to walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike. Your doctor will monitor both your heart rate and blood pressure. The test will also measure how much oxygen your heart is getting.
If you’re not in good shape, your doctor may recommend that you start with a low-intensity stress test. If you’re in excellent shape, you may be able to do a high-intensity stress test.
Who Should Do a Stress Test?
The decision to do a stress test usually depends on a person’s age, symptoms, and risk factors for CAD. A stress test may be recommended for people who have risk factors for CAD, such as:
- A family history of CAD
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
A stress test may also be recommended for people who have symptoms of CAD, such as:
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- irregular heartbeats
A cardiac stress test is a way of determining how your body responds to stress. It can help you identify any potential health risks and allow you to make changes to your lifestyle to reduce your risk of developing a stress-related illness.
Your doctor may recommend a stress test if you have a history of heart problems or if you are at risk for coronary disease. The test can also help diagnose conditions such as heart failure and arrhythmia.
If you are considering a stress test, talk to your primary care doctor about the risks and benefits. Make sure that you inform your physician if you are pregnant or have any other health conditions.
Garden State Medical Group offers the services of some of the best physicians in New Jersey. Our doctors focus on the prevention and management of diseases and conditions. Schedule your appointment with us today!