View Full Version : Abnormal ECG But GP Says Not To Worry...

10-07-13, 10:35
Hi all,

First of all let me say a big thank you to the site admins and all the contributors. This forum has helped put my mind at ease countless amount of times in the past!

So the reason for my post is I'm a little concerned regrading some recent tests at my doctors which I'm struggling to find any good advice on the next steps to take, hence why I'm hoping on you fine people being about to point me in the right direction. I am a 28 year old male and for several years now I have been getting chest discomfort along with occasional bouts of episodes where I feel clammy, sweaty, dizzy and generally feeling unwell. After several trips to my GP they would listen to my heart and take my blood pressure before diagnosing me with costochondritis for the pain in my chest and anxiety for my other symptoms.

This issue comes and goes in bouts and despite keeping a diary of the times and days I can't see a pattern to it. So this last week I had 2 more of these attacks and at the weekend I threw my back out so went to the doctors on Monday and he advised an Xray, Fasting blood test and an ECG which were all completed yesterday. Only during the ECG the nurse tried to call in a doctor to look at the results but none were available, so a Senior Nurse looked it over asked me some questions and told me to come back tomorrow to see my GP. This morning he tells me that there was a slight abnormality to the ECG but nothing to be concerned about and that he doesn't feel the need for more tests or a further ECG. He has put the issue down to a number of reasons being; stress/anxiety of the situation, lack of sleep etc and the fact I'm 6 foot but quite slim. He says a normal ECG result is designed for a shorter person who is a bit more bulky so he says a 'couple of high spikes is fine as there is less muscles, tissue and bone for the impulses to travel to the electrode'.

He has prescribed me some propranolol 10mg to take when I feel stressed and sent me on my way! I have a genuine fear of death and particular heart attacks after my Grandfather died of one at 56 and my Nan (imagine a Hospital Matron) drilled into me as a child how horrendous it was and that I must live a healthy lifestyle. This news is really affecting me and I feel I should get it investigated further but not sure if that is just my anxiety issues playing up.

Sorry for the essay and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

10-07-13, 14:49
Without knowing what type of abnormality it was it's impossible to give advice, but I would trust the doctor's judgement if they say no further testing needs to be done.

10-07-13, 14:55
You are quite within your rights to ask some questions if you are still worried. Perhaps ask them to clarify for you just because of the family history and that its unsettling you. But as already said, they should know what they're talking about.

10-07-13, 17:24
I'm not sure what your abnormality was, but I suffered from terrible chest pains a few months ago and went to the hospital. They did a bunch of tests, including an echocardiogram and a nuclear stress test, because my EKG was abnormal (inverted T waves). I went to a cardiologist afterwards who said that it was normal--a "juvenile heart rhythm" that people usually grow out of. I may or may not grow out of it; I'm 24 currently, so only time will tell. But it's harmless and should cause me no adverse effects. So, it is possible to have cardiac symptoms, an abnormal EKG, but not have actual serious heart problems and to not need further testing. But I'd definitely go ask questions if you're unsure!

10-07-13, 18:18
Hi havent got time to post long reply but check my post from 2009 i thing, abnormal ecg.
hope it helps xxx

10-07-13, 18:20
I had an abnormal ecg a few months ago. They were concerned and did more tests and discovered a congenital heart defect, and I ended up having surgery. After my surgery, they did another ecg and it still showed some abnormality, which they are not concerned about.
I just want you to know that they are experts - they know the difference between an abnormality that is just a quirk of someone's heart, and one that signals a problem. They would have investigated if yours was the latter. Don't worry!

10-07-13, 18:24
I can see why you are worried. I suppose the GP is saying that you don't have any of the serious things they normally look for. Which is good. However, were they aware at the hospital of your family history in order to reassure you? I certainly think it would be in order to ask for further explanation, UNLESS you had that conversation with your GP..? In the meantime, don't panic about it because I am sure if it had been anything serious they would have immediately ordered more tests - but I do understand your concerns.

10-07-13, 18:28
Sounds to me like tests were done at the doctors, am i right.

10-07-13, 20:40
Hi all,

Thank you for the replies! The test was indeed carried out at my GP's office and the senior nurse practitioner who took the test asked me about my family history of heart disease but said grandparents didn't count it was more brothers, sisters and parents... Not sure how true that is.

Anyway all day having "twinges" in my chest and arms I'm fearing the worst but trying to maintain some balance of calm. My blood test should be back tomorrow so I'm going to call in to retrieve those and possibly ask to speak with the doctor again to try and put my mind at ease.

10-07-13, 20:45
Sorry for misunderstanding... sounds like a good plan, hang in there, you can do it...

11-07-13, 17:30
Hi All,

So an update today, I went to get my prescription of propranolol and had a chat with my local pharmacist and he said similar things to my doctor but was surprised the doctor didn't explain it all. He told me to take it twice a day for a week and he is going to call me to see how I got on, because this contradicts what my GP told me and because I'm still worrying myself stupid over this ECG I called the doctors for a chat with my GP.

He called me back this afternoon and put my mind a bit more at ease saying my chest was en caved due to how slim I am and that he is sure that is what caused the abnormality in the reading, but still hasn't told me what it was! He said only take the propranolol when I feel anxious and he will refer me to a cardiologist at my local hospital for further testing to put my mind at ease. In the mean time he says I'm fine to go on holidays etc (wish I was going somewhere!) and that there is nothing to worry about.

I have to admit, I'm a bit more relieved now I will be getting a second opinion and maybe more tests.

11-07-13, 17:35
That's great. And remember (I learned this the hard way) don't leave an appointment until you have asked questions, even if they seem silly ones. So glad you are doing better. x