EKGs are a safe and painless test designed to measure heart rhythm, measure blood flow to and from the heart, thickness of the heart muscle, and to diagnose a possible heart attack. During an EKG, you will lie flat while the electrocardiogram composes a picture on graph paper of the electrical impulses moving through your heart. This test only takes ten minutes to administer but the actual test only takes a few seconds to complete.
Your doctor will keep your EKG patterns on file to compare them to future results. If you have an abnormal EKG, your doctor may order an x-ray to see whether or not the heart is enlarged or if the lungs are congested with fluid.
What Can an EKG Help Your Doctor Find?
An EKG can help physicians diagnose a real-time heart attack in progress. This test can often detect heart disease, heart attack, or an enlarged heart. It can also detect concerning problems and patterns in the heart over time. If you have high blood pressure, an EKG may show your heart has become enlarged to the extra amount of work the heart must endure to pump more blood under higher pressure.
If you are experiencing dizziness, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, or heart palpitations, it is recommended that you consult your doctor right away for an EKG. Because heart-related problems are time-sensitive in nature, it is critical to receive testing and a diagnosis as soon as possible in order to improve your overall prognosis.
Who Is a Good Candidate for an EKG?
Patients with a family history of heart disease and high blood pressure benefit from routine EKG exams. You might need an EKG if you have experienced potential signs of heart disease, including palpitations, an elevated heart rate, or chest pain. You may also need an EKG if you are experiencing lightheadedness, shortness of breath, fatigue, confusion, or weakness.
Additionally, any patients experiencing an elevated heart rate as a symptom of other problems should receive an EKG. Even if you have no personal or family history of heart disease, unrelated conditions that place stress on your heart, such as dehydration from IBD conditions, can place strain on the heart. Left untreated, this can lead to including coronary artery disease, stroke, and venous thromboembolism.
What to Expect From Your EKG
During your EKG, you will lie flat on an exam table. The technician will place several sensors on your chest and extremities (the arms and legs). These sensors have leads connecting to the electrocardiogram machine, creating a 3D map of your heart’s natural rhythm, These have the potential to immediately alert your healthcare provider of any unusual activity in your heart. This test typically lasts for a few seconds. From there, your doctor can interpret your results immediately.
AMA medical group was founded to support every member of the community. If you have a family history of heart disease or you are experiencing unpleasant symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact us at (727) 331-8740 to schedule an appointment.
What to Expect from Your Comprehensive Physical Exam
Physical exams are typically performed during a routine office visit. If you require additional screenings or imaging tests, they may be completed at an imaging center or at a hospital. Blood draws can be completed at the doctor’s office before any samples are sent to a lab for further analysis. Men and women will have different kinds of physical health examinations.
Women typically require a mammogram, a pap smear, a pelvic exam, a cholesterol test, and an osteoporosis screening.
Men typically receive a cholesterol test, a prostate cancer screening, a testicular exam, and an abdominal aortic aneurysm screening.
If you have any concerns during this process, be sure to discuss them with your doctor. Additionally, if you have been experiencing any unpleasant symptoms, it is important to share them with your healthcare team so that any additional diagnostics can be run.
Lastly, it is critical to share any vitamin or holistic regimen you are taking, as these can interfere with certain medications or tests. If your doctor is unaware of what you are taking, it could lead to a delayed or incorrect diagnosis.