Test Prep Instructions

Your doctor has ordered a Treadmill Test. This is sometimes called a Stress Test. You will walk on a treadmill while the technologist watches for changes on your EKG. Some changes can show that your heart is not getting enough oxygen when it has to beat faster.

The blood vessels that take oxygen to the heart muscle are called coronary arteries . Blockages in these blood vessels can keep your heart from getting the extra oxygen it needs when you exercise.

An EKG is done before you start the test, and while you walk. The technologist will watch for changes on your EKG while you walk. They will also watch for changes in how you feel during the exercise.

Like many medical procedure, exercise stress tests have possible risks such as an abnormal heart rhythm and blood pressure, fainting and in rare instances, heart attack. The exercise stress test will be conducted by trained personnel in a careful manner. A cardiologist is readily available at all times.

Before the test:

  • Do not eat or drink anything for at least 2 hours before your test.
  • Take medications (with sips of water) unless your doctor tells you not to.
  • If you have diabetes, your doctor may want to lower your dose of insulin, or other diabetic medicine. You will not be eating a full meal until after the test.

During the test:

  • Your EKG, heart rhythm, blood pressure and symptoms will be monitored.
  • The treadmill will start at a slow speed. The speed will be gradually increased every 3 minutes.
  • Your heart rate will gradually get faster. The test will be stopped when you reach your target heart rate, or when your legs become tired.
  • The technologist will stop the test if you have significant symptoms, or changes on your EKG. You should report any changes in how you feel.

After the test:

Tell the technologist or doctor if you have chest discomfort, heart flutters, dizziness or extreme weakness after the test.