An EKG also known as an electrocardiogram or ECG is a test that measures problems in electrical activity within the heart. An EKG shows the heart’s electrical activity on a piece of paper in the form of lines. The spikes and dips are also known as waves.
Electrocardiograms are usually implemented to find the cause of chest pain, check the progress of mechanical devices such as pacemakers; check out medication is affecting your heart, and overall health of the heart and to detect if any heart diseases are present. Different types of EKG’s that physicians implement are holter monitoring, event recorder, and stress test.
Some examples in instances when you may have an electrocardiogram test are; during physical examinations, stress test, before a major surgery, and before any surgeries involving the heart, (as well as Pre, during, or post-surgery). more often than not, there are no risks during an electrocardiogram. Electricity is not run through your body from the machine. So in most cases an electrocardiogram is perfectly safe. The test usually also takes no more than 10 to 15 minutes until completion. Some of the health issues the test will show your doctor are heart rate, heart rhythm, heart attack, inadequate blood and oxygen level to the heart and structural abnormalities to name a few.
It is believed by some doctors that everyone ever 35 should have a baseline EKG done to have something to compare to you as you get older. An EKG cannot predict whether or not you’re going to have a heart attack. In some cases an electrocardiogram may need to be read several days later when comparing to a previous electrocardiogram due to the fact your test can appear to be normal during heart attack. No special preparation is needed before having an electrocardiogram test.
Drinking cold water and physical exertion can cause misleading changes in the electrical patterns during the test. The test can be performed in a hospital or in a doctor’s office. You will usually have anywhere from 12-15 leads or electrodes connected to your body in specific locations, you will be asked to lie still and breath normally as the machine measures your electrical activity. Usually right after the test, your doctor will be able to tell you the results.
In conclusion, echocardiograms are very much more useful in interpreting heart rhythms. They are not meant to prevent nor are they meant to treat any type of heart conditions and or diseases. In some cases that is determined through healthy living and genetics.