How to Prepare for the Exercise Stress Test

dr. simi paknikar
Medically Reviewed by dr. simi paknikar, MD
Last Updated on Sep 01, 2014
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How to prepare for the Exercise stress test

The patient should abstain from eating or drinking anything except water for four hours before the exercise stress test.

  • Smoking should be avoided before the test.
  • Caffeine has to be avoided for 12 hours before the test as it may interfere with the results. Any food or drink containing caffeine has to be avoided.
  • With regards to heart medications, the patient has to do exactly as his/her doctor advises to. These medications should not be taken unless the doctors say otherwise.
  • Other medications may be continued unless instructed otherwise.
  • The patient may bring an inhaler if he uses it for breathing.
  • He/She should use comfortable shoes and loose clothing.

How a diabetic patient is prepared for the test

  • If the patient is on insulin, the dosage on the day of test has to be discussed with the doctor. Usually half the morning dose plus a light meal four hours before the test is prescribed.
  • If the patient is on pills to control blood sugar, he/she should not take them until after the test is complete. Skip a meal before the test.
  • Blood sugar levels before and after the test may be measured.

Reference

  1. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed.

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