What is EKG Testing?
EKG Testing refers to Electrocardiogram tests performed to check the electrical activity of the heart. These tests are also called ECG tests and are used by doctors to check on possible heart problems.
EKG or ECG tests are usually indicated for persons showing some signs and symptoms that may indicate some underlying heart problem. When patients present with frequent palpitations or radiating shoulder or chest pains, his/her doctor may request for an EKG test to assist in the diagnosis of the patient’s condition. Chest pains may be secondary to conditions like angina or pericarditis, and may also indicate some form of heart attack. Through EKG testing, doctors will be able to know what causes such symptoms. Other symptoms that doctors may check on through EKG testing include shortness of breath, fainting, and dizziness.
EKG Testing is also used by doctors to test the overall health of the heart. Results from this test may help doctors know if one’s heart chambers are getting larger (hypertrophy). It is also commonly prescribed for patients with other conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Patients with family members who have heart problems are also prescribed to take the EKG test, as some heart ailments run in families. For some people, they may undergo EKG testing as part of a regular checkup on overall health, like in companies that require employees to have annual medical check-ups.
For those prescribed to undergo EKG testing, they don’t really have to worry much because this test is not painful and non-invasive. Basically a person is asked to lie still in bed for about 10-15 minutes. Electrodes will be placed on the chest area and the EKG test machine will record and print the heart activity. Usually there’s no preparation involved, except for those taking heart medications. In this case, the patient just needs to coordinate with his/her doctor for proper advice on when to take the medication.
EKG testing only presents findings at the time when the test was made, so it may not be able to point particular abnormalities in the heart which are not constant. Usually, several other procedures and tests are performed by doctors to properly diagnose a particular condition.