Measuring Stress Through An Exercise Test

By Alex Sanders

Life changes or crisis, overwhelming duties, and adult responsibilities are the common factors that when a person goes through surely will cause a lot of stress.

Odd as it may sound, stress is but a part of everyday life and could be perceived as beneficial in the sense that it keeps one more alert and focused. Of course too much of anything is not beneficial, so is stress or excess pressure. One who is too much stressed is susceptible to becoming ill. It breaks down the body's defense and keeps immunity low, thereby making the person vulnerable to common illnesses and specifically heart disease.

As most people are afraid of finding out they are sick, left unnoticed, the symptoms that are ignored are even harder to handle as it might be too late. Some people are stressed and are manifesting symptoms already like difficulty breathing or palpitations and are not even aware yet. They think these symptoms will just pass. This is the reason why a medical evaluation called an exercise stress test is recommended by medical practitioners.

An exercise stress test is also known as a treadmill test. This test will show how your heart functions with an increased physical effort or the body tends to work double time than it normally does. This extra effort would mean more oxygen demand, so the heart beats faster to get more blood pumping in the system and provide the cells with needed oxygen. Medical sensor pads are strategically put in the patient's body and then hooked to a heart monitoring equipment. The patient then starts to exercise using a treadmill, slowly pacing from walking slowly to eventually running at its maximum tolerable pace. The treadmill speeds up eventually, the patient then compensates by walking at a much faster pace. The incline varies, having an effect of walking up a hill or a stiff climb. There is also a tube that the patient will be asked to breathe in.

Electrocardiogram as well as blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration are measured and monitored. The test can be stopped anytime the patient feels exhausted to continue and the machine will be put to a halt. Heart rate and blood pressure will then be rechecked.

The test makes use of point rating system in order to come up with an estimate of the stress a person is under. Points under 75 from 40 will indicate the patient is under less stress. From 75 to 100 points tell us the patient is in moderate stress, and from 100 to 150 in high stress, so anything above that requires emergency help.

Psychological evaluation then follows this physical stress test for the therapist to determine the level of stress each patient has. The questions' themes are regarding the patient's personal opinion and viewpoint on life. This is for the reason that our brains react to stress by manifesting in many forms of physical symptoms or illnesses. - 31520

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