If you've recently fainted, experienced heart irregularities, or gone through another heath scare, you'll want to seek medical care. Usually, this means going to urgent care, but if you feel fine after an episode, consulting your family doctor is acceptable. Your physician will talk to you about what exactly you experienced, and will also refer you for some testing. One test that is common for someone in this situation is a stress test, in which you'll walk and run on a treadmill while your body is hooked up to an echocardiogram machine. This test is designed to assess the health of your heart when it's under stress, and can be a valuable tool in diagnosing what is going on with you. Here are some tips for succeeding in this test.
Don't Try To Overdo It
In a sense, this isn't a test that you can pass or fail. Rather, it's just an opportunity for your doctor to understand how your heart performs. Don't try to overdo your performance just to feel as though you succeeded at the test. For example, just focus on following the doctor's instructions and don't try to impress him or her. If the doctor asks you to jog at a steady pace, don't start sprinting to demonstrate how healthy you are. Doing so will only disrupt the efficacy of the test.
Try To Relax
There's little question that you might feel a little anxious when you're going through a stress test. You'll have several monitors hooked up to your body, and this alone — coupled with the new environment and thoughts about the health of your heart — can be stressful. Do your best to try to relax. Simply focus on a point on the wall in front of you and follow the doctor's commands. Don't look at the machine or think about the monitors on your body. The more that you allow yourself to get worked up, the higher your heart rate will get — and this can negatively impact the test.
During your stress test, your doctor and a technician will give you a variety of simple tasks. For example, they might have you walk at a brisk pace while they monitor your heart activity. It's important to communicate honestly throughout the test. If you feel light headed or are beginning to experience chest pains, it's critical for you to relay this information. Don't simply feel as though it's more important to get through the test.
For more information, talk to a doctor, like those at Alpert Zales & Castro Pediatric Cardiology.