Causes of an irregular EKG include side effects of certain medications, abnormal heart shape and size, heart attack, and ischemia, states Healthline. Electrolyte imbalances and severe arrhythmia may also lead to an abnormal EKG reading. An EKG is a test that records the electrical activity of the heart.
Medications such as calcium channel blockers, beta blockers and sodium channel blockers taken to improve pulse rate may worsen the condition and an abnormal EKG, notes Healthline. An irregular EKG can occur when one wall of the heart is larger than the other.
A heart attack can interrupt the heart's blood flow, damaging the heart tissue due to low levels of oxygen, explains Healthline. Ischemia occurs when the blood supply to the heart is inadequate, causing low oxygen levels as well. The dead tissue fails to conduct electricity, leading to an abnormal EKG. Calcium, potassium and magnesium conduct electricity in the body. Low levels of the electrolytes in the heart cause an irregular EKG.
Symptoms that require an EKG include congested chest, heart palpitations, unexpected weakness, and chest discomfort or pain, according to Healthline. Other symptoms are difficulty breathing and high pulse rate. Treatment depends on the underlying condition and includes taking certain medications or using a pacemaker to restore the balance of electrolytes and reverse arrhythmia. Surgery and cardiac catheterization may help improve blood flow.