Millions of Americans struggle with cardiovascular diseases every year. Most of the time, men and women aren’t aware they’re suffering from one until it’s too late. That’s why at Creekside Family Practice in Huntsville, Alabama, the team of doctors are trained in providing electrocardiogram (EKG) screenings as part of initial cardiovascular evaluations.
An electrocardiogram, also referred to as an EKG, is a test that measures the activity of your heart. If you believe you are experiencing a cardiac event, you should go to the nearest emergency room – they are better equipped to handle this type of emergency. However, our doctors may perform an EKG as part of your regular annual physical or during a visit, to diagnose cardiovascular disease and treat it before it becomes a problem.
An EKG will allow your doctor to identify whether your symptoms are related to a more severe condition. In many cases, an EKG tests for coronary heart disease, which describes a condition where blood vessels to your heart are partially blocked.
EKGs take about 10 minutes and are painless. EKGs are designed to measure the electrical activity of your heart. First, your provider places 12 electrode patches to your chest, legs, and arms to record the electrical activity from different vantage points.
An EKG will also allow your doctor to see how your blood moves through your body. They will be able to detect possible abnormalities and can refer you to a specialist if they find a result that requires more specialized evaluation.
The team at Creekside Family Practice encourages you to discuss any of your heart-related concerns. That way, your doctor can get a diagnosis and begin treatment as soon as possible.
Abnormal EKG results can have multiple meanings. An abnormal EKG doesn’t necessarily mean you’re suffering from cardiovascular disease. For example, it’s possible that an EKG might flag an unusual heart rhythm that doesn’t affect your overall health.
In other cases, however, an abnormal EKG can be the sign of a medical emergency, including an arrhythmia or a heart attack.
There isn’t much for you to do to prepare for an EKG. Nonetheless, there are a few things you should consider to ensure the best possible results. Since your health specialist places sticky electrodes directly on your skin, you should avoid using oily moisturizers or anything that might prevent the electrodes from sticking. You should also discuss any medications you might be using, as some might interfere with the test.
If you have any questions about your cardiovascular health, please discuss them with your doctor by booking an appointment.