In order to undergo an ECG there are a few things you should be prepared for. If you are a man, the technician may need to shave a part of your chest hair in order to attach the electrodes to your skin. If you are a woman you will require to remove your jewellery before the procedure. You will also be given a gown to wear which will cover your chest partially during the procedure.
As a precaution, if you are on any medication for heart disease, it is best to discuss with your doctor about stopping the drug a few hours before the procedure in order to get accurate readings. In some cases your doctor may want to place the electrodes on your feet and arms, be prepared and avoid wearing socks during the procedure.
What do the readings mean?
Although it is complex to understand what these waves actually mean, there are a few things you can find out about your readings.
- If your heart beats are lower than 60 beats per minute it means that you might be suffering from a condition that is causing your heart rate to slow down drastically, like CAD (Coronary Artery Disease), myocarditis, myocardial infarction etc. Other conditions like thyroid imbalances, electrolyte depletion or certain heart medication that can also cause a drop in one’s heart rate.
- If your heart beats too fast, that is anything above 100 beats per minute, it signifies conditions like defects in one of the valves of the heart or other conditions like hypertension, stress etc. This is also known as tachycardia.
Finally, an ECG is the first step in diagnosing an abnormality with the heart, but there are further more advanced tests that might be required to reach an accurate diagnosis. Just remember to relax and not get too nervous about the test, the more relaxed you are the better your results will be.
You may also like to read:
For more articles on heart disease, check out our heart disease section. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates! For daily free health tips, sign up for our newsletter. And to join discussions on health topics of your choice, visit our forum.