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Everything you need to know about ECGs

Among the tests a GP practice can perform to measure your health is an ECG on your heart to check if it is performing normally or if you may have an issue.

An electrocardiogram (ECG) detects abnormalities by measuring the heart’s electrical activity. There are a few different ways that it can be performed, either in a clinic or on a device that you wear under your clothes for a few days.

Who should have an ECG?

Your GP might recommend you to have an ECG in Nanango at our clinic or by using a holter that you wear at home. The heart check can be performed on anyone but usually it is because of a history of heart disease or due to other risk factors like smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or they have been experiencing symptoms like a shortness of breath, chest pain, irregular heart beats, dizziness, a fast heart rate or fainting. ECG is a heart check which will show up any irregularity in the heart rhythm or show damage to the heart’s muscle.

What does an ECG show?

An ECG in Nanango at our clinic will show measurements of the heart which may allow for diagnosis of various conditions associated with the heart.

Conditions include:

  • Enlargement of the heart
  • Heart damage
  • Blockages of arteries or poor blood supply to the heart
  • Inflammation such as pericarditis or myocarditis
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Arrhythmia (slow, fast or irregular heart beats)
  • Monitoring medications that affect the heart
  • Monitoring pacemakers

How is an ECG performed?

Having a clinical heart check with our ECG in Nanango gives you peace of mind that a diagnosis of any issues may be made. It’s not an invasive test and you can eat and drink as normal beforehand. Electrodes will be attached to your chest and limbs so it’s best to wear clothing that is easily removed (including bras as wire can interfere with the reading). You will lie down as data from the electrodes is relayed to the machine and the whole test usually takes about 10 minutes.

Sometimes you can use a take home ECG which measures your heart over a few days. You wear electrodes on your body and a small device is attached to you which monitors the recording. It’s a helpful test for people who don’t suffer from symptoms all the time. You may not be feeling faint or suffering from pain while having a clinical ECG in Nanango so this method is particularly useful for that scenario and you can record any physical symptoms in a diary or on your phone.

What happens after an ECG?

Your GP will have a chat about the results with you. Based on the outcome there may be further tests or a treatment regime may be implemented. Even people with heart disease can have a normal ECG result so it’s important your GP takes a range of factors into consideration during your heart check.

If you are concerned about heart health or would like to have a chat about having an ECG, call Drayton Street Family Practice today on (07) 4171 0711 to book an appointment with one of our GPs.

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