Ambulatory Blooc Pressure Monitoring

Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) is a method of assessing and managing your blood pressure levels at regular intervals over 24 hours. This allows Dr Sigauke to get a more accurate reading of your overall blood pressure.

What are the uses of ABPM?

Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring has become increasingly popular for tracking hypertension (high blood pressure) in patients. A 24-hour ABPM is used to pick up any abnormalities in your blood pressure, especially while you sleep.

Other uses for ABPM include discovering hidden conditions, such as:

  • Elevated hypertension linked to heart or kidney damage (sustained hypertension)
  • Hypertension that is normal at the doctor's office by elevated at home (masked hypertension)
  • Elevated hypertension only at the doctor's office, known as white-coat hypertension
  • 'Borderline' hypertension
  • Issues with blood pressure medication
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Hypertensive pregnant women

How is ABPM performed?

Blood pressure is typically measured using a sphygmomanometer, a monitoring device inside an inflated cuff that wraps around your arm. Dr Sigauke will fit a similar device onto your arm that must remain in place for the next 24 hours. This means you must limit your movement and ensure that the device remains at the same height as your heart.

Readings are taken every 30 minutes during the day and every hour at night, which you will feel as the cuff inflates. You need to keep track of your readings and note the times you eat, take medication, sleep and wake up. It's important to note that the device is not waterproof, so you will either need to avoid bathing or remove the device when doing so.

After the 24 hours are complete, you can remove the cuff and device and return it to Dr Sigauke for an update on your blood pressure levels.

The benefits of ABPM

The more prolonged and frequent readings of blood pressure levels that ABPM provides allow Dr Sigauke to fully understand your blood pressure and detect if you have hypertensive issues or are at risk for cardiovascular conditions. If you are already hypertensive, performing an ABPM can help Dr Sigauke monitor your medication's effectiveness and possibly adjust your dosage, switch medications or combine them for better results.

Are there any disadvantages?

The most common issue patients face with 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is the discomfort it can cause.

Wearing the cuff can lead to some irritation and soreness, including:

  • Pain in the upper arm
  • Rashes or itching
  • Interrupted sleep

If you are experiencing any severe issues during your ABPM, contact Dr Sigauke immediately.