Purpose of EKG: When Do You Need One?

purpose of ekg

Did you know that as many as half of Americans have some form of heart disease?

If you’re worried about taking care of your heart, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and having regular medical checkups can help prevent heart attacks and other life-threatening conditions.

Even if you’re diligent about eating well and exercising, heart issues can still happen to anyone. Whether you have a diagnosed heart condition or you suddenly feel unwell, you may have to get an EKG test at some point in your life.

What is the purpose of EKG and when do you need one? Keep reading to learn all of the important facts.

What Is an EKG?

EKG stands for electrocardiogram. Doctors conduct this test by asking the patient to lie down while they attach sticky pads across your chest and other extremities. These electrodes monitor your heartbeat.

The good news is that unlike getting a shot or treating a burn, getting an EKG isn’t uncomfortable. All you need to do is be still and try to stay calm so the test can give your doctor the most accurate results.

What Does an EKG Show?

After you lie down for a few minutes, the doctor can print out the results of your heart activity. This graph full of peaks and dips looks similar to what you would see on a heart monitor. The doctor uses this data to determine if your heart has an abnormal rhythm, if there isn’t adequate blood flow, or if your heart has a structural problem.

When Do You Need an EKG Test?

If you have a history of heart disease in your family, getting an EKG can help you see if your heart is also at risk. Other times when people should get an EKG test are if they’re experiencing symptoms of heart issues. This can include chest tightness, dizziness, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, a rapid heartbeat, and weakness.

What Can You Do to Protect Your Heart?

If your doctor notices abnormalities in your results, you’ll likely need to make lifestyle changes to prevent a heart attack or other serious complications. Aside from exercising and adopting a healthier diet, there are other ways you can protect your heart. Avoiding drinking and smoking, finding healthy ways to manage your stress, and keeping an eye on your blood pressure are great ways to be proactive about your well-being.

Now You Know the Purpose of EKG

Now that you understand the purpose of EKG and when you would need one, you’re more prepared to take care of your heart.

If you ever feel like you’re experiencing issues with your heart, it’s always wise to seek medical care immediately to diagnose the problem. The professional staff at Emerald Coast Urgent Care would love to take care of you if you live in Destin, Panama Beach City, or Inlet Beach in Florida.

Contact us to learn more about our walk-in clinic services and how we can help you with heart issues or other conditions.

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