Totally different ECG readings -- worried sick

Following acute stress I had severe chest pain right under the bottom of my breastbone last week and it got so bad was rushed from the library to A&E. Whist in the library the paramedic took an ECG and said the T waves showed a depression. My normally good blood pressure (120/67 the week before) was 160/103. I was so scared. In A&E another two ECGs were taken and they showed no T wave depression. The young doctor wasn't very helpful and simply said "it's the ones in here that are important, and they're fine". The terrible pain turned out to be a stomach thing due to acid and stress, my BP is back to normal. Can someone explain why I should get an abnormal ECG with the paramedic as I'm still no clearer and all I get told is " yes it was abnormal but the ones in A&E were fine". Really need an explanation please from someone in the know as the paramedic told me it could be due to ischaemia and in any case a lot of older people -- I'm 71 -- have this as it's just age". Thank you.

14 Replies

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  • Hello,

    Our body gives out indication it is having problems in different ways at different times!

    To understand an ECG fully one needs years of training, understanding a graph produced by a machine whether looking for a plane at the bottom of the sea or one's heart. There are a number of waves pattern produced from a ECG. You had stomach problem, this could have given out abnormal indications or understanding the graph. Stress do take BP to a elevated point, if your BP is now normal Stop worrying, enjoy life.

  • I agree with Bala. Stress can affect your BP. Is there any way you can reduce your stress levels and stomach problem?

  • Thank you for the above comments but I ALWAYS have a very high BP when the paramedics come out to me. This isn't a regular thing I hasten to add!! but I'm mentioning it as I practice deep breathing before they arrive and deliberately keep my body responses calm. In other words I don't have a panic attack. My pulse was steady and not rapid so I'm a bit baffled at such a high reading -- the highest yet!! I've just got an enquiring mind haha.

  • Oh Sarah, that must have been terrifying! I don't like the reference to age as if ischaemia is an inevitable consequence; Centenarian Okinawans are commonplace, or at least used to be before Okinawans started eating the 'displacing foods of modern commerce'.

  • Er, what???????

  • Hi Sarah, I didn't understand but have just read an article from insidershealth.com about the Okinawan Centenarian Study and its very interesting indeed.

  • Oh I see, just googled them!! :)

  • Hello Sarah1942,

    Please Google 12-lead electro cardio gram, you may be able to understand some of the terminology in ECG!

  • thank you, will do.

  • Hello Sarah 1942, I agree that it may well be due to stress at the time. Get regular check ups with your GP and try to stop worrying.

  • I agree with Kevin. This is the job of your GP go and talk to him/her and ask them to explain to you.

    It is their job to take care of your well being and that includes how to make you feel comfortable. It definitely is not the job of Google as this could cause even more doubts.

  • Hello,

    Ask yourself a question:- "How often do a GP look at a ECG graph?" A cardiologist on a daily basis therefore you need a referral to a cardiologist! A cardiologist can do more tests and offer you better medication.

  • We'll in A&E I would have thought the doctor treating me in the cubicle wasn't just a GP?? And he said he would ask his consultant about the "abnormal one" as he put it. (The one the paramedic took in the library). But I didn't hear anymore. He was busy with loads of others and to be quite honest I was relieved to be told the blood test and chest X-Ray were clear and I could go home!!! I'm due for a donut heart scan in about 3 months ---- a long time but that's because I'm moving to another part of the country so I will have to wait all over again to be seen by a cardiologist at a different hospital. So apart from my GP there's no-one else to ask.

  • I have always thought that stress plays a big part in our health or lack of it. Also, perhaps you could have a look at your diet and keep a diary and see what could be triggering your acid attacks. Perhaps you have developed an intolerance to certain foods. I was surprised after having tests to find that I was intolerant to dairy only 3 years ago! and this had been the cause of 20 years of IBS! All sorted now and free of all symptoms! I wish you well.

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