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    Top 10 Reasons People Need to Get an EKG

    EKG Test

    Listening to your heart has never meant so much. An electrocardiogram, or EKG, allows cardiologists and heart specialists to listen to your heart by recording the heart’s electrical movement, rhythm, rate and strength. This non-invasive test uses adhesive electrodes that send electrical signals to monitor heart function, spot abnormal heart activity and diagnose various heart conditions, such as heart disease, heart failure and irregular heartbeat. Whether you need to ease your mind, satisfy your curiosity or receive answers about the condition of your heart, EKGs will give you on-the-spot results and a healthy reality check. Here are the top 10 reasons to get an EKG:

  • Heart Attack: A heart attack happens when a blood clot blocks blood flow through a coronary artery, which feeds blood to the heart muscle. The symptoms, intensity and causes of a heart attack vary from person to person, but there are often warning signs and patterns that may be foretelling of a heart attack. If you’ve experienced a previous heart attack or are concerned about the condition of your heart, an EKG test is an effective way for doctors to examine the current function, pace and rhythm of your heart to help prevent or prepare you for a possible heart attack.
  • Heart Failure: Heart failure is a condition where your heart can’t fill and pump enough blood for your body, which may result in narrowed arteries, high blood pressure and other cardiac diseases. Lifestyle changes, especially improving your diet and exercise habits, can help prevent and improve heart failure. In order to detect the signs and symptoms of heart failure or evaluate your current condition, you can get an EKG test to monitor your heart rate, rhythm and evaluate other health problems that may cause heart failure.
  • Chest Pain: Chest pain from cardiac problems is generally associated with additional symptoms, such as pressure, fullness or tightness in your chest; crushing pain that radiates to your neck, back, shoulders and left arm and pain that comes and goes and varies in intensity. According to the Mayo Clinic Web site, chest pain can occur hours, days or weeks before a heart attack strikes, and is considered one of the earliest signs of a possible heart attack. An EKG test can monitor how the heart is functioning, by its rhythm, rate and strength, and determine if you are at risk for a heart attack, heart failure or heart disease.
  • Shortness of breath: Shortness of breath is another common symptom for those experiencing cardiac issues. It is generally described as an extreme tightening in the chest and feeling of suffocation. Not all cases of shortness of breath are cause for concern, but reoccurring or unexplained shortness of breath usually indicates a medical problem like potential heart attack, heart failure, coronary heart disease or heart arrhythmias. An EKG test will help determine if your shortness of breath is due to a heart condition and how you can manage this symptom.
  • Nausea: While nausea rarely indicates a serious health problem, persistent nausea and vomiting may be the result of many conditions, including heart attack or heart failure. An EKG test will detect if the heart is too large, overworked or has an irregular heartbeat, which may lead to heart problems, as well as nausea or vomiting.
  • Palpitations: Palpitations are rapid, fluttering and pounding heartbeats that are often caused by exercise, stress, medication, stimulants and sometimes an unidentified medical condition. To pinpoint whether palpitations are symptoms of an irregular heartbeat or a more serious heart condition, an EKG test may be needed to measure your heart rate and rhythm.
  • Anxiety: Anxiety can stem from traumatic events, stress, genetics, illness, substance abuse and other related conditions. An EKG test can help determine if your anxiety has been brought on by heart disease, panic disorders or other medical causes.
  • Fatigue: Chronic fatigue is greatly understudied, and its causes are not completely understood. What doctors do know is that fatigue can be an indicator of low blood sugar, depression, mild, chronic low blood pressure, immune system dysfunctions and other health concerns. An EKG test will determine if irregular heartbeats, an overworked heart or irregular sized heart are causing chronic fatigue or if you can rule out this possible diagnosis.
  • Abdominal pain: Abdominal pain isn’t always a cause for concern, but it can be a symptom of a more serious medical condition, such as an aortic aneurism, angina, heart attack and pericarditis, which is inflammation of the tissue around the heart. Upper abdominal pain and heartburn are most often felt by women who experience a heart attack. An EKG test can detect if you have a heart condition or another related problem that needs further attention.
  • Fainting: Fainting, or near fainting, may be caused by decreased blood flow to the brain, irregular blood flow from the heart, limited blood or fluid in the blood vessels and other plausible reasons. Fainting may also be a symptom of heart disease, heart attack or another cardiac issue. An EKG test can check to see if you have abnormal heartbeats, a heart defect and other conditions that may cause fainting and dizziness.

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