Exercise Stress Test (EST)


What is an EST?

A stress test, also called an exercise stress test, gathers information about how your heart works during physical activity. Because exercise makes your heart pump harder and faster than usual, an exercise stress test can reveal problems within your heart that might not be noticeable otherwise.

An exercise stress test usually involves walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike while your heart rhythm, blood pressure and breathing are monitored.

Your doctor may recommend an exercise stress test if he or she suspects you have coronary artery disease or an irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia). The test may also be used to guide your treatment if you've already been diagnosed with a heart condition.

During your Exercise Stress Test
  • Small pads (electrodes) are placed on your upper body to monitor your heart rate.
  • You are shown how to use the treadmill. You need to exercise for as long as possible.
  • The exercise is very easy at first, and then it slowly gets harder.
  • Your heartbeat and blood pressure are monitored during and after the test.
  • You will be asked to sign a consent form for this test.
Preparation
  1. YOU MUST BE FASTING FOR THE TEST:
    Do not have anything to eat or drink for 2 hours prior to the stress test.
    If your appointment is in the afternoon, please have breakfast-NO COFFEE

    No caffeine 24 hours prior to the stress test, including:
    Coffee, chocolate, decaffeinated coffee, tea, soft drinks and medications such as Darvon, Anacin, Fiorinal & Tylenol 3.

    If you are a patient with diabetes: Always carry your own diabetic testing kit.
    Take medications and Insulin as required along with a small meal or snack.
    Bring a snack and drink with you in case you have to wait.

  2. MEDICATIONS: Continue with your medications unless otherwise advised by your cardiologist.
    Please bring a list of your medications including dosage and frequency.

  3. WHAT TO WEAR:
    Women
    Comfortable pants/sweatpants
    Soft-soled or running shoes
    Loose fitting T-shirt (short sleeves)
    No one-piece garments

    Men
    Comfortable pants/sweatpants
    Soft-soled or running shoes

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