3 Things to Know About Cardiac Stress Tests
Your doctor will likely schedule a cardiac stress test if you have symptoms suggestive of coronary artery disease. In other cases, your doctor may want to test whether your current cardiac treatment plan is working appropriately. Before undergoing a cardiac stress test, you’ll want to understand a few things.
You want to go through the exercise process on an empty stomach. The reason for this is, should there be any complications it is best to have an empty stomach and prevent aspiration of contents into your lungs. If the test is in the morning, your doctor may recommend no food or drink after midnight. If the test is later in the day, however, you should avoid eating for four to six hours beforehand.
Some medications slow your heart rate and may need to be held. Your doctor will recommend which of your medications to skip and which to take before the cardiac stress test. If you are taking beta blockers for high blood pressure or congestive heart failure, you may be asked to skip them before your stress test.
It is crucial that your heart rate rises during exercise for the best results. Consult your cardiologist regarding current medications beforehand.
Lastly, consider exercising before your stress test. A daily gym routine is not required. You should be able to achieve target heart rate during the stress test.