When a person is faced with a lot of duties, heavy responsibilities, influential life events and crisis, he is confronted with stress.
Stress is quite normal. In fact, it is beneficial. It keeps us focused and alert. However, too much stress is harmful. A stressed out person is vulnerable to illnesses. One of the most common and the most dangerous effects of too much stress is heart disease.
Unfortunately, many people ignore the symptoms until it is too late and they get sick. They might not even know that they are stressed and think that what they are feeling will just pass away. That is why doctors recommend people to take a stress test.
A stress test is also called a treadmill test or exercise test. Through a stress test, a doctor can find out how your heart is working amidst an increased workload or physical effort.
The test makes the body work harder than it should. This means the body will require more oxygen. Therefore, the heart will beat faster to pump more blood and deliver more oxygen to the cells. The stress test will then determine if there is an increased blood supply in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. It also helps the doctors determine what sort of exercise is needed for a patient.
A stress test starts with the doctor asking a person about his health background. The doctor also asks him about his work and how he is feeling. Next, medical sensor pads are placed on the patient's body and hooked up to a heart monitoring equipment. The patient then steps up on a treadmill and walks slowly.
The speed of the treadmill is increased, making the patient walk at a much faster place. Furthermore, the treadmill also inclines gradually. In effect, it is as if the patient is walking up a small hill. The person is also asked to breathe into a tube.
During the test, heart rate, breathing, blood pressure and electrocardiogram is measured and monitored.
When the person is exhausted, he can tell the doctor to stop the machine. The patient's heart and blood pressure is also checked after the machine is stopped.
Medical professionals are usually present when during the stress test. While the stress test might involve very little risk for healthy people, doctors don't take chances when the test is administered to stressed-out people. Medical assistants are usually present to handle emergencies that may happen.
Stress tests are used to diagnose possible or existing heart diseases, determine a safe level of exercise and to find out if the patient is in danger of heart disease in the midst of stress.