Top 5 Things to Know Before an ECG Test

Stop and listen to the beating of your heart. That thump, thump, thump is precious and should always be regarded as a blessing for it means life. When the doctor recommends this test, do not be scared. It does not mean you are alarmingly sick. On the other hand, Knowledge is power. The more you know about your condition, the higher the chances of preventive action being successful in providing you overall wellness and good health conditions.

  1. Understand what ECG means and how it will help you:


ECG stands for Electrocardiography or EKG coming from the Greek word, kardia meaning heart. It is a medical test that interprets the activity of the heart over a period of time as detected by attaching electrodes to the surface of the skin and recorded by a machine external to the body.

A machine records the electrocardiograph. The Electrocardiograph records the electrical activity of the heart muscle and displays traces on a screen which can be printed on paper. It aims to detect if there is any (heart) cardiac abnormality through the electrical activity generated by the heart as it contracts in this non-invasive procedure.

ECG is recommended for patients who have experienced symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, irregular heartbeats and chest pain. It is used to diagnose if a person has a heart problem like enlargement of the heart, arrhythmia, poor blood supply and congenital heart defects.

  1. Various heart problems that can be diagnosed by ECG

Appearing below is a list of some heart problems that can be diagnosed by the Electrocardiogram test or ECG.

  • Damage to the heart caused by blocked arteries
  • Abnormal position of the heart
  • Poor blood supply to the heart
  • Enlargement of the heart
  • Imbalances in the blood chemicals (electrolytes) that control heart activity
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Abnormal rhythm or Arrhythmia
  • Heart Inflammation or Myocarditis/ Pericarditis
  • Cardiac Arrest during ER or ICU monitoring
  • Disturbances of the heart’s conducting system
  1. Things to do prior to test
  • Be at the hospital early and ask for the location where the ECG Test would be done.
  • No food or drink restriction before the test. It is ok to eat about an hour or before leaving the house, just not exactly before the test itself. You can however drink water to calm yourself.
  • Do not put your heart in any stress, after all, heartbeats would be measured and must be as accurate as possible to your present condition.
  • One should wear clothing that would not get in the way of the wires, in other words, something simple and non-complicated.
  • Let your doctor know if you have any allergies to adhesive tapes that may be used to attach the electrodes to your body.
  1. Long-term benefits
  • ECG is used to measure the rate and regularity of heartbeats and the effect of drugs or devices used to regulate the heart.
  • The result of the ECG will determine any treatment needed if any condition is determined in the results.
  • Taking this test regularly is recommended especially if the patient has a family history of heart disease, smoking, weight issues, diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure for preventive course of action and
  1. Possible side-effects and what to do after ECG

Good news is there are no recorded evidence that proves and side effects from taking this test. The ECG does not send the electric current to the body thus proven safe and no known risk to its takers. However, in some cases patients are allergic to the tape used in connecting the electrodes which may cause reddening of the skin.

So do take the ECG Test immediately when recommended by your physician, do not be afraid for this is for a good purpose. It will help improve your overall wellness by recording necessary data to help determine the course of action necessary to prevent any unwanted life threatening disease or to improve your present heart condition.

A healthy happy heart is necessary in living a long fulfilling life. Time is valuable and should not be wasted.  Make sure the thump, thump, thump of your heart equates to a long well lived life.


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