A treadmill test or a TMT test, also known as an exercise stress test, is used to determine the effects of exercise on the heart. The exercise helps the doctor determine abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) and diagnose the presence or absence of coronary heart disease.
How Is The TMT Test Performed?
The treadmill test involves the individual walking on a treadmill while the electrical activity of their heart is monitored. Throughout the test, the speed and incline of the treadmill increase, and the results indicate how well the heart responds to the stress of different levels of exercise.
The individual will be hooked to an ECG machine to monitor the heart’s activity.
Who Should Undergo A TMT Test?
The test is a suitable choice if you face symptoms of heart disease, such as:
- Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Chest pain or discomfort faced due to poor blood flow to the heart (Angina)
A stress test is also recommended for individuals being diagnosed with heart disease and who:
- Want to start exercising
- Suffer from diabetes or other underlying conditions that increase their risk of heart disease
- Need non-cardiac surgery, and doctors must assess the risk of complications
- Are at a higher risk of complications due to family or personal history of heart disease
What Does The TMT Test Detect?
This test helps detect heart problems such as:
- Congestive heart failure
- Heart valve disease
- Coronary artery disease
- Congenital heart disease
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
Who Should Avoid The TMT Test?
The test is not suitable for:
- Individuals who have coronary artery disease who have undergone treatment and not witnessed new symptoms for years and doing well in medical therapy
- No history of any risk factors for coronary artery disease, coronary disease or symptoms
- At the low risk of a heart disease
- Suffered from a recent heart attack
- Have ongoing chest pain
- Undergone Aortic dissection
Tips To Prepare For The TMT Test
- Avoid eating or drinking anything right before or even a couple of hours before the test.
- Avoid smoking or consuming tobacco products.
- Stop consuming specific prescribed medications like beta-blockers and asthma inhalers. Always consult your doctor before stopping the medications.
- Avoid caffeinated food and drinks 24 hours before the test. This includes coffee, tea, energy drinks and specific over-the-counter medications.
- Always wear lightweight and comfortable shoes and sturdy walking shoes for walking on a treadmill.
- Relax before the test, as anxiousness can affect the test results.
What Happens After The Test?
Post the test, the healthcare provider will monitor your symptoms, blood pressure, heart rate and ECG until it returns to the normal range. This will take about 15 minutes, and once your heart rate is recovered, you can go home.
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