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Diabetes Health Center

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Diabetes and Stress Tests

What Happens During the Exercise Stress Test? continued...

You will begin to exercise by walking on a treadmill or pedaling a stationary bicycle. The rate of exercise, or degree of difficulty will gradually increase. You will be asked to exercise until you reach a target heart rate, feel exhausted or start having any symptoms.

At regular intervals, the lab personnel will ask how you are feeling. Please tell them if you feel chest, arm, or jaw pain or discomfort, short of breath, dizzy, lightheaded, or any other unusual symptoms. It is normal for your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and perspiration to increase during the test. The lab personnel will watch for any symptoms or changes on the ECG monitor that suggest the test should be stopped.

After the test you will walk or pedal slowly for a couple of minutes to cool down. Your heart rate, blood pressure, and ECG will continue to be monitored until the levels begin returning to normal.

Although the appointment lasts about 60 minutes, the actual exercise time is usually between seven and 12 minutes.

Ask your doctor if you have any questions about the exercise stress test.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on July 11, 2014
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