An EKG is a test given at rest as a measurement of your heart’s electrical activity. It is generally done in the clinic. An EKG while walking or jogging on a treadmill is called a stress test. It is generally done in the outpatient center of the hospital. These tests can help you and your doctor decide if your heart is functioning normally.
So when should you have an EKG or stress test? You should have these tests, if you have symptoms of heart disease, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or fluid on the legs or arms. Sometimes people undergo these tests to look for silent heart disease if they have other health problems, such as diabetes or kidney disease. Still others undergo these tests if they are going to begin a strenuous exercise program, as part of testing before surgery or certain physicals (DOT or pilot) for strenuous jobs.
Several forms of stress tests, including exercise on treadmill, chemical injection, and nuclear medicine (which shows before and after pictures of your heart) are now available at Faulkton Area Medical Center. We also work with Cardiologists at Faulkton Outreach clinic and at Referral centers in Aberdeen, Pierre, Huron, and Sioux Falls to order these and other tests if your symptoms are severe. Now may be the time to discuss any heart disease concerns with your primary care provider!