What is the Purpose of a Stress Test?

A stress test does not involve any risk. Stress test does not cause cardiac arrest. However, all the laboratories that conduct the analysis have emergencies and mechanisms to protect and prevent the patient in case of unforeseen instances.

What is the Purpose of a Stress Test?

Stress test ensures that the person undergoing the test has a healthy heart. The stress test reveals underlying or undetectable fluctuations within the heart during abnormal functionalities. For instance, a person resting has a healthy functioning heartbeat, with the blood flowing smoothly and carrying the oxygen with ease. During stress test exercise activities, the demand for the oxygen increases. For a person who suffered from heart ailments or an attack, the condition worsens, making them feel fatigued, shortness of breath, and in severe cases, death.

People who experience chest pain after exercising, those who have previous episodes of heart attack, and heart ailments are suitable for undergoing the stress test.

Choosing the stress test will be of immense help, as it will display the fluctuations of the heartbeat during rest and post workout session. Such differences will make it easy for a cardiologist to prepare a treatment, where the patient can adhere to both rest and pressure.

Before participating in the stress test, the doctor will ask the patient to stay on an empty stomach. It means one should not eat, drink, and even smoke. For diabetic people with medication, talking with their doctor is important. They will reduce the dose before the test day to ensure that it does not interfere with the stress test. The same thing is valid for other people who are undertaking any medicines. At the same time, the doctor will also ask to keep away from caffeine content products and alcohol.

Stress Test

Conducting a stress test is easy. However, the use of the machine such as a treadmill or a bicycle (standalone) changes according to the symptoms mentioned by the patient. Usually, the treadmill is the suitable choice for everyone.

Before starting the stress test, a technician will attach electrodes to the form patches to the chest, arm, and legs. The other end attaches to the computer that continuously monitors the impulses created in the heart. The first step is recording the impulse of the heart during the rest phase. In the second phase, the technician will ask the patient to use the treadmill and begin walking or running at slow speeds. The individual can use the railings for support.

The machine will begin to record the impulses. The technician will slowly increase the speed of the machine, as directed by the doctor, and notice the changes taking place. Depending on the results, the doctor will ask for variations to get in-depth analysis. The stress test data collected will be helpful in preparing the treatment, which regulates the flow of blood continuously and helps in carrying the oxygen to the heart at consistently at all times.


When the stress test result is positive, it states that the person is suffering from silent ischemia. The disorder is high in people suffering from previous heart attack episode, diabetes, and obesity. The treatment begins with a natural process, where the doctor asks the patient to change their lifestyle.

The second method after a positive stress test includes a change in the food habits, which helps in reduction of cholesterol levels, ensuring that there is no further damage to the coronary arteries. The third includes the addition of exercises, which helps in reduction of weight without exerting excessive pressure on the heart. Practicing all these methods will help an individual to overcome the ischemia with ease and avoid the occurrence of another heart attack episode.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 14, 2017

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