The treadmill is an examination that gives information on whether the heart receives a sufficient blood and oxygen supply from the circulatory system when physical stress happens. A treadmill test is done to gain important information if there are blood pressure and heartbeat anomalies. The treadmill is not recommended for those who have had a heart attack recently or when someone suffers from a chest ache. For them, it is better to do a treadmill test according to their doctor’s recommendation.
In a treadmill test, you walk on a treadmill that makes your heart work progressively harder. An electrocardiogram (ECG) monitors your heart’s electrical rhythms. The doctor also measures your blood pressure and monitors whether you have symptoms like chest discomfort or fatigue. A treadmill test can show how significant the blockage in blood flow if there’s any. If signs of ischemia (obstructed blood flow) develop with little exercise, the blockage is likely significant and in need of aggressive intervention.
The treadmill test is relatively safe, but for safety reasons, it would not be used if patients have unstable angina, severe pulmonary hypertension, uncontrolled arrhythmia, or other acute illness. The test may be considered if these conditions are controlled.
Treadmill Test Preparation
Before the test, the doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about your medical history. Tell your doctor about your symptoms (chest pains, shortness of breath, and stiff joints). Make sure to let your doctor know if you have diabetes. Avoid eating, smoking, or drinking caffeinated beverages before the test. On the day of the test, use loose and comfortable clothing. Report any chest pains or other complication you notice on the day of the test.
After the test, you’ll be given water and asked to rest. Your doctor or nurse may monitor your blood pressure after the test. Result will be given a few days after the test.