What Can an Electrocardiogram Tell Me About My Heart?

Jul 01, 2023
What Can an Electrocardiogram Tell Me About My Heart?
An EKG, or electrocardiogram, is a potentially life-saving test that provides critical information to doctors about your heart. Keep reading to learn how an EKG works and what information it relays about the health of your heart.

Your heart is one of the most vital organs because it supplies oxygenated blood to every area of your body. The heart is a muscle and can suffer damage or become overworked, resulting in severe symptoms and injury.

An electrocardiogram is one of the most accessible diagnostic tools doctors use to get a clear picture of your heart health, but how does it work?

If you're suffering from chest pain or shortness of breath, the Heart Clinic of Hammond team offers a fast diagnosis with an EKG for rapid intervention.

Leading our team are two experienced cardiologists, Dr. Ghiath Mikdadi and Dr. Farid Zayed, who provide expert care and cutting-edge treatments for various heart problems.

What is an electrocardiogram?

An electrocardiogram, or EKG/ECG, is a noninvasive diagnostic tool to evaluate your heart's electrical activity. It's a fast and painless test that quickly records your heart's rhythm and rate to clue us into any issues with your heart health.

We perform the EKG right in our office, providing patients with a fast diagnosis for optimal outcomes. You change into a gown and lay on the exam table for the test.

During the procedure, we place electrodes on your chest to connect to the EKG machine. The electrodes pick up your heart's electrical activity and transmit it to the machine, which prints it on special paper.

You need to remain completely still during the test but can breathe normally. Moving during the test may skew your results.

There's no special preparation for an EKG. If you feel okay and the results don't indicate a severe problem, you can do your normal activities afterward.

Who needs an EKG?

An EKG is one of the simplest tests we perform to evaluate the health of your heart. You may need an EKG if you have any of the following symptoms related to your heart:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fast heart rate
  • Shortness of breath

You may also require an EKG if you have arm or jaw pain associated with chest pain or experiencing any of the above symptoms with weakness or exercise intolerance.

Information we gather from an EKG

An EKG is a priceless diagnostic tool that gives our team critical information about your heart muscle. We use this information to come to a diagnosis and customize a treatment plan for the root cause of your symptoms.

During an EKG, we can see several vital pieces of information about your heart health, which include the following:

Electrical activity

Your heart works with electrical activity that allows blood to enter the heart chambers, become oxygenated, and pump to the rest of your body.

An EKG shows the electrical activity of your heart in the form of a rhythm strip. The electrical activity should look the same with every beat and have a standard format.

If your EKG shows various types of electrical activity, it clues us that something is off with your heart muscle.


When we measure the electrical activity in your heart, we can see if there's damage to one or more areas of your heart muscle. Although we can't see a picture of your heart, the electrical footprint provides crucial information about your health.

Time intervals

We read rhythm strips in time intervals between each heartbeat. The time intervals allow us to figure out how long it takes for the electrical signal to pass through your heart muscle, which provides essential information about your heart.

Understanding the results

We can see the results of your EKG in real time as the electrodes transmit your heart's electrical activity onto a rhythm strip or paper. We can see right away if you have any of the following issues:

  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • Heart failure
  • Current or past heart attack
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Aneurysm
  • Circulatory issues

We take these results and determine the next step in your treatment. The cause of your symptoms may be apparent, such as a heart attack, or may require more testing through an echocardiogram, Holter monitoring, or a stress test.

To schedule an EKG with our team, don't hesitate to call us today at 985-974-9278 or request an appointment online for a consultation at our Hammond or Amite, Louisiana, office.