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What does an EKG indicate?
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What does an EKG indicate?


  I am 28 years old and I have had regular physical exams over the last 3 years, including EKG tests.  I have never had anything seriously wrong with me except that I am about 20 pounds over weight and my cholesterol has been extremely high (although lower this year than last).  Over the last 2 months I have had periods of rapid heartbeats. It usually begins when I am experiencing either some reflux or I feel bloated, but instead of coming up it sits in my chest and causes my heart to beat extremely rapidly.  I have to either cough or hiccup or burp to get it to stop.  It also occurs during exercise, although it also clears up with either a burp or cough.  At first I didn't think twice about it but it now happens rather frequently.  My doctor told me it was nothing to be concerned about since my EKG's have always been normal and that losing some weight and watching my diet would probably clear up the reflux.  I trust his opinion, but I was curious as to whether or not a problem like I am having would show up on an EKG?  When he administered the test, I was not experiencing any of the symptoms.  Can you give me some advice on this?  I would appreciate it.
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Dear J.D., thank you for your question.  If you were not experiencing the symptoms of the fast heart beat while your ECG was being done, then it's unlikely anything abnormal would have shown up on the tracing.  Most likely, this is a benign condition, but you could wear a portable heart monitor for 24-48 hours to see if your symptoms could be reproduced while your heart rhythm is being recorded.  You may want to talk to your physician about this issue.  

I hope you find this information useful.  Information provided in the heart forum is for general purposes only.  Only your physician can provide specific diagnoses and therapies. Please feel free to write back with additional questions.  Good luck!
If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at www.ccf.org/heartcenter.   The Heart
Center website contains a directory of the cardiology




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