How do you prepare for a stress test?


Quick Answer

To prepare for a stress test, do not eat or drink anything except for water four hours before the test. Do not consume anything with caffeine and avoid taking heart medications, recommends WebMD. A diabetic person should consult a doctor regarding the correct amount of medication to take before the test.

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Full Answer

A stress test helps doctors determine if the heart receives sufficient blood during heightened activity levels, explains WebMD. Doctors also use it to recognize abnormal heart rhythms, assess the effectiveness of heart medications and confirm a person’s chances of developing coronary heart disease.

Avoid eating foods or drinking beverages with caffeine content 12 hours prior to the test, as caffeine may affect the results, says WebMD. Additionally, avoid taking the heart medications isosorbide dinitrate, isosorbide mononitrate and nitroglycerin on the day of the test. It is important to consult a doctor as some individuals need to take heart medications for treating chest discomfort during the test period.

Diabetic patients are typically advised to take half of their normal morning dose and have a light meal four hours before the stress test, according to WebMD. Anyone who takes pills for blood sugar control should take the medications when the test is done. Diabetics who use a glucose monitor at home can bring the equipment with them to check their blood sugar levels before and after the test.

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