Stress testing is pivotal in finding out how well your heart works under an intense workload. During the test, the body is working harder than normal, and helps doctors determine if an adequate amount of blood is being moved by the heart, or if there is a lack of blood being moved.
What are Some Reasons to Conduct a Stress Test?
Doctors can have many reasons to conduct stress testing. The test will show if you have an irregular heartbeat, or if any chest pain is related to your heart. The test will also give doctors an idea of your aerobic fitness, and will allow them to advise you on the intensity in which you should exercise. The stress test will also show if any treatments related to your heart are working, or if you need additional tests conducted.
What Happens During the Stress Test?
During the testing you will have patches placed on your body in various locations which are then hooked to machinery to monitor your heart. You will walk on a treadmill at a slow pace, gradually increasing in speed and incline. The increase is designed to make your body work hard, and will increase slowly to monitor how the heart handles the increase of work. After the test concludes, you may be tested for blood pressure and heart rate again to test the recovery ability of your heart.
What is Monitored During the Test?
A variety of factors will be recorded during stress testing. The heart rate at various points throughout the testing will be recorded. Breathing will also be monitored at several points throughout the test as well. Blood pressure may be monitored during or after, or both. You also may be asked how you feel during the testing, allowing your doctor to maintain safety while also getting information on your state.
Is the Stress Test Dangerous?
No, stress testing is very safe. The amount of work done at the peak of the stress test is just as if you were jogging up an incline. The doctor is also monitoring the test very closely, allowing anything unusual to be caught before any complications occur. The test may be concluded at anytime if need be.
How is the Stress Test Administered?
Stress testing can be done in several ways. A treadmill is the most common. A stationary bike can also be used with the same effectiveness. A drug may also be given to mock the effects of exercise. There may be more, however, all methods are the same in principle: they are designed to make the heart pump more blood, allowing doctors to get information on how your body handles harder work.
Stress testing is not a hard or dangerous procedure at all. Just remember to wear comfortable clothes and running shoes! Contact Cardiac Associates of North Jersey today to schedule your stress test! We are conveniently located in Oakland, NJ.