Taking care of yourself early can positively affect your health and lifespan, while reducing medical costs associated with long term debilitating diseases. Long term health begins with obtaining a baseline of your current health status. Such an assessment begins with diagnostic testing and tests like an EKG to check on heart health are good places to start.
What is an EKG?
An EKG is short for an electrocardiogram; sometimes you may see it abbreviated as an ECG. When the heart beats, it sends out electrical waves throughout the heart. An EKG basically measures the electrical activity of the heart. The EKG machine tracks these beats and electrical impulses and can provide a lot of information regarding the functioning of the heart, revealing either normal cardiac activity or showing what areas of the heart are not functioning properly.
An EKG is a basic procedure that you can do in the doctor’s office or clinic. The procedure does not take long (perhaps 10 or 15 minutes) and involves the placing of about 10 electrodes on your body, mostly on your chest. The test is painless and does not involve any electrical shocks. The heartbeats and waves related to the electrical impulses are graphed on paper that is in the EKG machine.
The EKG test is an invaluable diagnostic tool for determining the status of the heart and can reveal many things about a person’s overall cardiac health. For starters, the EKG can detect abnormal heart rhythms. Abnormal or irregular heart rhythms can lead to many cardiac issues, including heart attacks and strokes. Many such issues can be treated with medications while more serious issues may require surgery.
Measurements of EKG activity can also reveal a condition known as cardiomegaly, an abnormally enlarged heart. Discovering this on an EKG can alert the physician to look further to detect a potentially serious underlying condition. Abnormal high blood pressure or some level of heart failure can lead to enlarging of the heart. Thirdly, an EKG can show if the heart is getting enough oxygen to function properly. Without sufficient oxygen, the heart will become damaged, resulting in heart failure, perhaps death. Blockages in coronary arteries can cause a reduced flow of oxygen to the heart and procedures or surgery can correct that.
Visit Exer Urgent Care For a Heart Check-Up
At Exer Urgent Care, our skilled, compassionate, and professional staff understands health issues and stand ready to assist with your care needs. With 55 convenient walk-in urgent care clinics throughout southern California, we offer fast and professional service. We offer weekday, weeknight and weekend hours to serve you on your terms, for your convenience. Whether it’s an EKG or a routine physical, let us assist you with all your clinical needs.