The process of Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) involves the measuring of blood pressure as you move around and carry on with your normal life. The process typically takes place over the course of 24 hours.
The small blood pressure machine is attached to a belt around your body and a cuff that attaches to your upper arm. The machine monitors your blood pressure as you carry out daily activities. The machine is so small it is barely noticeable and can even be slept with it on.
This 24 hour monitoring allows medical professionals to get a clear picture of blood pressure patterns, changes and health concerns throughout the day. The test may be suggested for numerous reasons. This includes wanting to determine if readings are higher than they are away from the clinic, or because they want to monitor medicinal effects to ensure they are effective or perhaps to monitor blood pressure at night or while sleeping.
The tube has to be straight with no kinks or bends in order to be effective. The machine beeps prior to taking a reading at which point you should sit down, keep the cuff parallel to your heart and keep the arm with the cuff on it steady . Aside from these measures, one should try to ignore the cuff and behave normally.
Part of the process is recording a journal of daily activities, especially those before the reading was taken. You should also include a sleep log, including the time you went to sleep and woke up and when medications were taken. The readings should not be cumbersome or stressful and if viewed as such you should talk to your doctor to see if this impacts the results. Any other potential impediments to the reading and results should be mentioned to a doctor or medical professional as well.