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My doctor has decided to do a stress test on me next week. I have never had one... I don't know what to expect.

Ever since I had that fainting episode, I have been very lightheaded and sometimes dizzy, and I am getting a lot of chest pain. Mostly on my left side (front and back) but sometimes it goes to the middle and the right front.

I asked the person who scheduled it if I should go to work after, she says she didn't see why not... But I am finding that when I am too active, I start having more symptoms. Isn't a stress test an active test? Won't I be wiped out afterwards? Will I be able to go on to work for four or five hours?

Thanks,

Angela

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stress testing can wipe out someone WITHOUT autonomic dysfunction or, who is otherwise, completely healthy.

We tend to push the patient, literally, to the max during stress testing in order to get the best diagnostic data we can....we do this by trying to have the patient go as long as they can, every three minutes, with the treadmill picking up both with incline and in speed. we try and reach a target heart rate specific to the person's age in order for the test to be considered diagnostic.

If you find you are fatigued and wiped out normally or when you are too active, than I would suggest you avoid trying to work after having your stress test and instead, go home and take it easy. I know with my own experience, after my own stress test, I was very wiped out and just vegged out the rest of the day.

Good luck.

-Cardiactec.

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I had a stress test during my diagnosis at Mayo. I was completely wiped out after. I had also been doing some symptom-enducing tests before that also (sweat test, with the yellow powder- if you know it). My understanding is that they wanted me to reach a certain heart rate. Well it wasn't hard, I only reached the 3rd 'level' before I stopped. That was the one time POTS came in handy, heart rate got high enough earlier than a normal paitent would. I had some really great women running my test who were very reassuring and made sure I knew that I was SUPPOSED to tell them if something felt awful and I couldn't go on. So I did :lol: None of my symptoms seemed to show through however.

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Angela,I had a nuclear stress test(did not go on the treadmill)a medication injected simulates the exercise. I even found that exhausting.I was at the hospital for at least 4 hrs. Maybe an otherwise healthy,could and would go to work. My opinion is give yourself a break. Good Luck to you, let us know the outcome. Hugs Pat

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While it definitely wiped me out, it wasn't the worst thing- I'm not convinced that the TTT wasn't worse. I basically ended up walking quickly on the treadmill for a little over 5 minutes, and then it was over. :lol:

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It can be exhausting as they tilt the treadmill to get your HR up higher, faster....whether or not you feel like work could be very individual thing since you are still able to work.

But if in doubt, take the afternoon off..or can you then change your mind and go TO work if you feel ok?

Better to be safe and rest than to push yourself to provoke symptoms afterwards.

Good luck.

:lol:

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Hi,

They pushed me and pushed me until I fainted. I was telling them I couldn't handled it anymore and they were continuing to increase the speed anyway. They were telling me that I was not allowed to jump off the machine because I was telling them I was going to jump off.

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i felt very bad during and after the stress test and wasn't able to even sit in my wheelchair. when i got home i was put in bed and it took me almost a week to come back to my baseline.

as we all are different i don't think there is a standard, so you can prepare yourself for the worst and when you feel better than that there is reason to be glad :lol:;) . don't worry too much, you will be safe (unless you are treated like ernie, but than again that isn't common. i am sorry this happened to you ernie!).

hope everything will go smoothly and that it will help with your diagnoses,

corina :)

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My stress test wasn't actually that bad, I don't think. I only walked on the treadmill for like 2 minutes before I passed out, but passing out while on a moving treadmill is somewhat scarier than normal. They had two people there to catch me and I still almost hit the ground! I was only sick the rest of the day though.

Best of luck to you!

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Of course, we all have different experiences and reactions to a stress test and yours could be different too, but I think that there are more chances to it being exhausting. At least it is supposed to be a stress test and not a yoga session. :lol:

Mine was ... I cannot find the words to express it.

First of all the doctor was not very helpful. Imagine having to face such a test with a doctor who would have prefered being somewhere else instead...

As I used to feel lightheaded and dizzy even without any exercise, when the test started, it was difficult for me to concentrate on my feet while the treadmill was moving. I think it all ended in less than 5 minutes. I was trying to do my best, but was unable to look up and stared at my feet trying to walk faster... I felt my legs heavy, could not concentrate, was feeling tired and weak, lightheaded, etc.

The doctor and nurse kept asking me if I wanted to stop and I refused, but it was only because I wanted to continue. My body was telling me to stop and I was not aware of it, but they were. When I agreed to stop and finally sat down, I noticed that I was having most of the symptoms and was unable to breath normally.

The nurse said I was hyperventilating because I was nervous. nervous? ;) (but I do not think it was hyperventilation, because I have been investigating afterwards I found the following:

Hyperventilation (or overbreathing) is the state of breathing faster and/or deeper than necessary, thereby reducing the carbon dioxide concentration of the blood below normal.

This is in contrast to hyperpnea, where the increased breathing is required to meet demand, as during and following exercise or when the body lacks oxygen (hypoxia), for instance in high altitude or as a result of anaemia. Hyperpnea may also occur as a result of sepsis, and is usually a sign of the beginning of refractory sepsis.

Hyperventilation causes various symptoms such as numbness or tingling in the hands, feet and lips, lightheadedness, dizziness, headache, chest pain, slurred speech and sometimes fainting, particularly when accompanied by the Valsalva maneuver. Sometimes hyperventilation is induced for these same effects.

The related symptom tachypnea (or "tachypnoea") (Greek: "rapid breathing") is characterized by rapid breathing and is not identical with hyperventilation - tachypnea may be necessary for a sufficient gas-exchange of the body, for example after exercise, in which case it is not hyperventilation.

Well, I was indeed breathing faster but not deeper, because a deep breath causes me chest discomfort or pain. In fact it was a rapid and not deep breathing.

The doctor said my stress test result was:

Intolerant to excercise.

At that time I had no idea about POTS...

Cannot answer if you will feel so weak when doing the test, but at least you can see that we all have different reactions. I would say that there are more chances for you to rest after the test but there is always a possibility of feeling ok. Who knows?

I wish you a good test with the best results for you!

Love,

Tessa

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Oh boy,

Sounds like I am in for a great time. lol.

This weekend has been awful. I have tried to be more active and it has really knocked me back.

I was told to expect a 3 hour test on Wednesday, and I am thinking I can't even take 15 mins of walking... Not even thinking about running, or walking quickly. My heart rate was running high yesterday, even on my meds, and my BP continues to run high. :( I guess I am really scared. I am trying not to think about it too much.

Thanks for all the encouraging words,

Angela

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Don't worry - they won't have you walking for 3 hours. That is probably the length of time you will be in the department. By the time they have got you booked in, changed into a gown, prepped your chest and stuck on the ECG leads etc then you do the actual test (anything from 1 to 20 mins for the superfit) then they monitor you whilst you recover and your heart rate slows back to normal.

I had my stress test before I developed POTS (they were checking for exercise induced arrhythmias) and got to the stage where I was running on the treadmill (15 mins completed).

I'd recommend that you tell your employer that you won't be in after the test - then if you feel ok it will be a bonus and you can always call work and go in if you feel up to it. You have to learn to live life at a different pace with POTS and listen to your body.

Hope it all goes ok for you,

Flop

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Update:

Had my test this morning. It wasn't that bad, except I went down twice. The first time I hit the floor kind of hard, they weren't expecting me to fall, even though I told them I was not feeling well and dizzy. Fell on my tailbone, that's gonna hurt tomorrow. The second time they had me stand, and I was okay until I turned to move and fell again.

In the waiting room later, a man was lamenting the time it took to get his heart rate to 132. I could have told him I hit 164 in less than 30 secs :)

So, they said they didn't see anything glaringly obvious on the preliminary stress test results, so it probably isn't my heart, so I will need to see a different specialist for the chest heaviness, shortness of breath and fainting. :( I will get the final results in a day or two.

Thanks everyone who posted and made me feel more at ease about this test!

Angela

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Hi Angela,

I'm glad to hear that the stress test wasn't as bad as you had feared. I think that the heart rate increases from POTS make interpreting stress tests in us rather difficult, especially as we often only manage a very short time on the treadmill. Don't be suprised if the result comes back as "inconclusive" - that doesn't mean that you have ischaemic heart disease, just that it is difficult to read your test,

Flop

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"Nuclear pictures of the heart are taken before and after exercising. Abnormalities in these pictures can tell your doctor if there is a blockage in the arteries of your heart. It can even tell if you had a heart attack in the past. The test will also calculate the "ejection fraction" which is a measure of how well the heart muscle contracts.'

http://www.arundelheart.com/new_page_3.htm

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