If you’ve ever watched a medical drama show on television you’re familiar with the acronym EKG. But you may not realize that EKG stands for Electrocardiogram. This is one of many diagnostic tests that your cardiologist can use to determine how well your heart is working. Here are some specific pieces of information that can be learned from your next EKG.
The Rate At Which Your Heart Beats
During an electrocardiogram test, your cardiologist will determine your heart rate. This is calculated as the number of times your heart beats in a single minute. The average healthy heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats a minute and the lower the number is the more efficiently your heart is beating. There are factors that can impact your heart rate including your weight, stress level, activity level, and age. If your heart rate is consistently higher than normal (tachycardia) or consistently lower than normal (bradycardia) you may consider consulting with your cardiologist.

The Regularity Of Your Heartbeat
Another thing that your cardiologist can determine from your electrocardiogram is whether or not your heart is beating regularly. A regular heartbeat keeps a normal and consistent rhythm. An irregular heartbeat, also known as arrhythmias occurs when the heart’s electrical system is miscommunicating. This may be the reason your doctor has ordered an EKG. Often people with an irregular heartbeat become aware of it when they feel a fluttering sensation in their chest, and in many cases these irregular beats are harmless. However in some instances, an arrhythmia can be very dangerous, so check with your cardiologist if you experience any concerning symptoms.

The State Of Your Heart Muscle
Through the magic of modern medical technology, your cardiologist can use an electrocardiogram to determine the health of your heart muscle and whether blood is flowing to it easily enough. In many cases, the EKG is able to see that an artery is blocked before (or even during) a heart attack occurs. This test can also show important information about the physical structure of your heart without having to undergo any invasive procedures.

The EKG is an important test that can easily and safely alert doctors to potential concerns within their patient’s heart. This painless test is solid gold in the hands of a doctor who can read the results and can warn you of potential issues before, after, or even while they occur. If you have more questions about this diagnostic test, contact our office and we’ll introduce you to one of our cardiologists.