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Question about abnormal EKG and low Potassium

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Old 02-02-2005, 06:36 AM   #1
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pam1000 HB User
Exclamation Question about abnormal EKG and low Potassium

I am a 41 yr old female. A couple of weeks ago I had an abnormal EKG. I was told this was due to low potassium. (My primary care dr who prescribed the medicine was supposed to check my potassium levels but did not - I have been on this medicine for about 5 yrs)

This is what it says on my EKG readout:

Sinus Rhythm
T wave abnormality, possible anterior ischemia (-0.1+ MV T wave in V3/V4) Abnormal ECG

Does anyone know how to interpret this?

I am now scheduled for a stress test where they inject you with thallium on Tuesday and I am terrified. My biggest fear in life is that I will have a heart attack!!! I have had a consultation with the cardiologist and she seems to think I have nothing to worry about. She took me off the BP medicine with the diuretic and replaced it with Atenolol 100 mgs once a day and Zestril 10 mgs once a day. Is there anyone out there who has had a similar experience with a good outcome? I really need some support and good news. All replies welcome.



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Old 02-03-2005, 05:05 AM   #2
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Lenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB UserLenin HB User
Re: Question about abnormal EKG and low Potassium

Pam, don't worry; the thallium stress test is a very good test and it will show up any congestive heart problems or arterial blockage.

An ECG interpretation is really what separates the men from the boys and you should rely on your cardiologist's interpretation. Usually a GP will shake his head knowingly when all he really sees are the same "squiggly lines" you do.

As far as the estimate that the irregular ECG was due to "low potassium", that just plain guesswork. If your serum potassium level goes low on a diuretic you have to either supplement the potassium, usually by diet, or switch away from the drug, ESPECIALLY if you have weakness symptoms from the low K+.
I think EVERYBODY'S serum potassium goes slightly low from most common diuretics. It's just the way they WORK. (Nearly all the potassium in the body is in the cells, so too much can be made of low serum potassium. However, if you get LOW SODIUM, you've got a BIG, BIG problem.)

Good luck with the stress test.

(I hope you don't start coughing day and night from the Zestril, many do!)

Last edited by Lenin; 02-03-2005 at 05:12 AM.

Old 02-03-2005, 09:11 AM   #3
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Kitten1980 HB User
Re: Question about abnormal EKG and low Potassium

Try not to worry, hon. The stress test will show if there's any problems - or not . And if you were on a drug that causes low potassium, there is a high probability that is the problem. The only thing that might confuse the issue is that you've switched drugs now, so by the time you do the stress test everything will be back to normal. That's good, of course, but it probably means that you won't ever really know for sure what caused the problem. Why were you initially having the ECG?
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen." ~ Hebrews 11:1 ~

Old 02-09-2005, 06:13 AM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 54
pam1000 HB User
Re: Question about abnormal EKG and low Potassium

Thnaks for the responses!!

GREAT NEWS Just got my results back and there are no blockages nor heart damage. I just cannot tell you how relieved I am.



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