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How Do I Prepare for a Nuclear Stress Test?

The preparation for a nuclear stress test is fairly simple. As with any cardiac stress test you will only want to have a light meal before the exam. If you were to eat a heavy meal you may experience vomiting and nausea with the exercise portion of your test.

For people who are diabetic make sure that you take a snack to your appointment with you or at least have one prior to the exam.

You will want to avoid all types of caffeine for twenty four hours prior to the nuclear stress test. This is because of the effect caffeine has on the heart. When you come in for your test we want you heart working as un-stimulated as possible.

The other concern with caffeine is your blood pressure; it can cause your blood pressure to be slightly higher then normal. So this means that there is no coffee (decaffeinated or not), tea, chocolate, soda and any pain reliever that contains caffeine.

If you are scheduled for a nuclear stress test and you are currently on any medications for your heart or blood pressure or breathing medications talk to your cardiologists about whether or not you will need to hold any of those medications for the test. In some cases you may be asked to stop taking a medication for a day or so prior to the test, especially if the medication is used to control your heart rate.

Make sure that you are wearing comfortable clothes. The clothes need to allow you to move freely and comfortable and you will want to make sure that you have tennis or athletic shoes on. While you may be asked to change into a gown for the examine you will most likely only have to remove clothing from the waist up.

For the nuclear stress test or any cardiac stress test you will need to make sure that you bring a detailed list of all your medications. Make sure that this list includes any vitamins or supplements that you take on a daily basis as well. You will most likely be asked when the last time you took the medications was.

Your skin will also need to be free of any oils, creams or powders. This makes it so that the electrodes that will be placed on your skin for the exercise portion of the nuclear stress test adhere to the skin without difficulty. This the only preparation that is needed for this particular cardiac stress test.

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