What Is A Treadmill Stress Test And What Is It For?

What Is A Treadmill Stress Test And What Is It For?

Treadmill Stress Test

A treadmill stress test, also known as exercise stress test, is a medical test that is used to determine if there is blockage in the coronary arteries feeding the heart. The procedure helps to show if the heart is receiving sufficient oxygen and if there is proper blood flow. 

During the test, the patient will be asked to walk or run on a treadmill while hooked up to an electrocardiogram (or ECG) machine to monitor the patient’s heart rate. Patients performing a treadmill stress test should wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Throughout the test, there will be an increase in the treadmill’s speed and incline. Patients should let the technologist know should there be any experience of chest pains, dizziness, unusual shortness of breath, or extreme fatigue during the test. Once the results are satisfactory, the patient’s heart rate and breathing will be monitored for a few minutes while lying down.

The patient’s readings are then analysed to determine if there is a need for further evaluation or a treatment.

Why Should I Do A Treadmill Stress Test?

This exercise stress test may be done as part of a health screening. It may help to identify heart conditions that the patient is not yet aware of, and it can also be used to determine the patient’s current level of health. This may be important if there are plans to start a new exercise regime as it helps the doctor to advise on what level of exercise the patient can safely handle. 

Besides during a health screening, doctors may also order a treadmill stress test to:

  • Diagnose a coronary heart disease.
  • Diagnose heart rhythm problems or arrhythmia.
  • Determine the best treatment for the patient’s heart condition.
  • Check if a heart surgery is safe for the patient.

Smokers who are 40 years old and above should check with a doctor if a treadmill stress test is advisable or recommended.

Where Should I Get A Treadmill Stress Test?

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This article is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.