What is an ECG Stress Test?

An exercise electrocardiogram test or ECG stress test helps in finding out the changes that your heart experiences during an exercise. It is possible for a doctor to see the signs only when carrying out the ECG stress test. Therefore, many cardiologists prefer the ECG stress test to those who are experiencing pain the chest, have a medical history of heart attacks or attained a particular age.

What is an ECG Stress Test?

What Happens in the ECG Stress Test?

ECG stress test is the role player in finding the region where the heart is receiving a weak inflow of blood. Under pressure, the heart demands more oxygen than at rest. Therefore, any blockage may cause chest pain or death due to the heart attack.

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The ECG Stress Test

As said earlier, the ECG stress test manages to calculate the electrical impulses produced by the heart when you are at rest and when you are undergoing stress due to the exercise. The exercise involves running on a treadmill until you show the signs of weakness or chest pain.

At first, the nurse will place the electrode patches to the chest, legs, and arms. The doctor will then monitor the impulses created by the heart at rest. A cardiogram machine helps in recording the electrical impulses.

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Secondly, you will be running on an inclined treadmill for around 45 minutes or more, depending on how well you can tolerate the ECG stress test activity. When you sense the signs of weakness and dizziness, you can reduce the speed and come to the halt position. The machine records the impulses even during this phase.

The Results

As the doctor possesses both the documents, he/she will study them thoroughly and explain the situation. It will give an insight for the physician to find the region where there is a blockage. If the case is severe in solving using medicines or a simple lifestyle change, then a cardiologist may prescribe for surgery.

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What are the Prerequisites?

According to doctors, performing the ECG stress test on an empty stomach is the best way to check for any malfunctioning of the heart. The reason is that an individual can perform or last more on an empty stomach while performing the exercise.

You will have to skip meals and stay empty at least three hours before your test appointment. You should also keep away from coffee for 24-hours, as the caffeine content interferes with the results. For diabetic patients, consulting their doctor is the best way. They will alter the dosage level to suit the ECG stress test requirement. You can carry the glucose meter to check for the sugar levels before and after. You can consume food after completing the ECG stress test and take the insulin to get back to the normal levels.

For people with asthma, carrying inhaler is advisable. They can use it, in case there is an emergency.

Risks of ECG Stress Test

There are no risks involved in the ECG stress test. For those who do not participate in exercises, it is preferable to warm up before getting on the treadmill to wake up the muscles from the sedentary lifestyle. Nevertheless, the test facility possesses the emergency equipment to protect from incidents that may or may not occur during the activity.

Treatment After ECG Stress Test

With the help of the ECG stress test, as the doctor understands the functionality of the heart and its condition, it becomes easy to opt for the best practices that will reduce the narrow passage.Therefore, there will be an improvement in the blood flow to the heart, even when there is pressure. It further provides insight into the tolerance level and presence of other heart ailments.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: June 21, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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