For accuracy purposes, some diagnostic tests require a little preparation on your part. So, what do you need to do before you have a cardiac stress test? According to a recent publication by the Heart and Vascular Team at the Cleveland Clinic, the following tips are good to know before you step on the treadmill:
- Skip a meal. Your goal is to have an empty stomach, so don’t eat before you have a stress test. Experts state that individuals can exercise longer and more safely when they aren’t full!
- Know which pills to take. A stress test is designed to evaluate your heart during exertion, and some medications slow down the heart rate too much. Consult your physician to find out what you need to take prior to your test.
- Pass on the caffeine. Skip your morning coffee and avoid taking over-the-counter medications that contain caffeine. If you’re taking a chemical or nuclear stress test, some experts recommend avoiding caffeine for at least 24 hours before testing.
- Exercise beforehand. Daily gym routines aren’t necessary, but you should strive to have some type of daily activity, especially if you are sedentary.
- Manage your diabetes. Take care of your diabetes first! Before testing, talk with your doctor about your diabetes medications and the safety of skipping a meal.