“An exercise stress test (sometimes referred to a treadmill test or exercise test) helps your doctor determine how well your heart handles work or stress. This test can bring to light potential issues such as abnormal heartbeat, reduced blood flow, and possible indicators of coronary heart disease.
An exercise stress test is a test performed by your healthcare provider where you exert yourself on a treadmill that gets progressively harder over time. Your healthcare provider will monitor your blood pressure, your ECG signals, and also monitor you for symptoms to see if you develop any concerning issues throughout the test. An exercise stress test may be considered in patients, depending on their personal history, their current presentation, their family history, any symptoms they may have. All these things are taken into account and discussed with the medical professional to decide whether or not you need a stress test. The main reasons to do an exercise stress test are to rule out significant coronary artery disease, symptoms associated with exertion, and also to assess a safe level of exercise for patients. Prior to a stress test,, we advise our patients to stay hydrated and to bring gym clothes change of a shirt because you might be sweating and sneakers because you’ll be exerting yourself on the treadmill.
In order to prepare for a stress test, we advise our patients to stay hydrated. Your doctor may also advise you to stop certain medications prior to the stress test as well. So the time it takes for a stress test really depends on each particular person and their age and gender. The results of a stress test are either normal, meaning there are no significant blockages or arrhythmias noted with exertion, abnormal, which means that there may be a significant blockage or a significant arrhythmia associated with exertion or they can be equivocal. At the end of the stress test we go over the results with the patient on the spot. We have certain criteria that we use during the stress test to determine someone’s exercise capacity, and that’s one of the beauties of doing a stress test as well.”