People who are recommended to go for stress test need to know about some important tips and preparations which they should follow before going for the test. Usually doctors prescribe stress test only when they suspect any problem in the coronary artery present in heart. Also, some doctors prescribe stress test when they want to figure out the condition of the heart before designing a safe and secure exercise routine for the patient. According to Benico Barzilai, who is MD, Head of Cardiology section at Cleveland Clinic; patient should be aware of some of the basic aspect of stress test other than just wearing loose cloths and comfortable shoes.
Can You Smoke Before a Stress Test?
As such smoking is injurious to health and one should completely avoid smoking but for people who find it difficult to quit smoking, should at least skip smoking on the day of stress test. This is so because smoking badly harms the blood cells, also smoking slows down the functioning of the heart, which in turn leads to alteration in the stress test result. Further, smoking also makes it difficult for the patient to walk or run on the treadmill.
Other than smoking, let us take a look on some of the other important tips associated with treadmill stress test:
Skip Meal: One should stop intake of food minimum 3 hours before the stress test. This will avoid inconvenience while walking or running on the treadmill. Dr. Barzilai has said that there is a drastic difference between taking the stress test in full stomach as compared to when stress test is taken in empty stomach. People can perform exercise more efficiently on empty stomach. If the stress test is scheduled early in the morning then it is advised not to eat anything post mid night.
Skip Medication: Before going for test it is advised to discuss with the doctor in advance about the type of medication that can be taken before the test and the one that has to be avoided. The test is conducted to know the functioning of the heart at the time of exertion and there are some medications that drastically reduce the heartbeat of the patient. Such medications need to be avoided for availing accurate test result. Usually doctors ask their patients to skip the following medications:
- Any type of beta blockers prescribed for controlling high Blood Pressure (BP) problem and heart failure
- Some variations of calcium channel blockers asked for controlling high BP problem
- Nitroglycerin medications given for increasing flow of blood to heart.
Skip Caffeinated Drinks: Patients should avoid intake of caffeine drinks minimum twenty four before the stress test. This is so because caffeine significantly increases the heart rate and also the blood pressure. This is not the end it also leads to uneven heartbeat pattern. Along with caffeinated drinks it is also recommended to avoid chocolates.
Slight Exercise: Before going for the stress test it is advised to build up some activity level in the body. Patient who remain in sedentary condition for a prolonged period of time find it difficult to walk properly on the treadmill. Building strength helps a patient to walk effortlessly on the treadmill so that doctors can get a clear idea about the condition of heart.
Take Care of Diabetes: Patents who are suffering from diabetes should inform this to the doctor beforehand; so that doctors can recommend the necessary precautions they need to follow. As such food and medications both should be avoided before the stress test but the patient need to maintain the insulin level in the blood; then they are advised to take half dose of the medication and small meal portion before the stress test. Avoid intake of medication that is prescribed for controlling blood sugar level.
- What is the Purpose of a Stress Test?
- Do I Need a Stress Test?
- Can You Eat or Drink before a Stress Test?
- How Much is a Stress Test?
- What Do You Wear for a Stress Test & What is the Procedure for Stress Test?