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LAUGHTER IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEART
Laughter balances your stress hormones, reduces inflammation in your arteries, and increases HDL or “good” cholesterol. These effects last at least 24 hours, according to the American Heart Association.
24-Hour BP Monitoring
24-Hour BP Monitoring or Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM) is a continuous test that measures the patient’s blood pressure as they do their normal daily routine. The test takes 24 hours normally, it uses a small digital blood pressure device that is attached to a belt around your body that is connected to a cuff around the patient’s upper arm. The device measures the blood pressure at regular intervals throughout the day in order to calculate the patient’s average blood pressure.
It is important to make sure that the tube to the device is not twisted or bent. The device will beep before the monitor is about to take a reading and the patient needs to keep the cuff at the same level as the heart and the arm remain steady. The patient will be asked to keep a diary of the activities he/she do during the test. Any uncomfortable or distracting feeling when the readings are being made should be referred to the doctor or nurse for it may affect the reading.
Normally, the device is fitted to the patient at the hospital or clinic. The device takes blood pressure readings at regular intervals throughout the day: usually, every 15-30 minutes during the daytime and 30-60 minutes at night and the patient needs to keep the monitor on through the night. It is important that the patient do their normal daily routine during the test except going swimming, taking a shower or bath – or anything that gets the device wet.
Ambulatory BP monitoring can detect abnormal fluctuations in BP that might go unnoticed when blood pressure is only measured in the doctor’s office. It is a very useful way to detect white coat hypertension, masked hypertension, and sustained hypertension of the patient. After 24 hours, the patient can remove the device and BP cuff and return the equipment to the clinic or doctor’s office then a computer can analyze the readings and generates results.
24-hour BP Monitoring
In some cases, antihypertensive drugs do not control BP effectively throughout the entire day and night. An ambulatory BP monitoring can be used to determine how well some antihypertensive drugs used by patients can control high BP. Depending on the patient’s BP pattern, the doctor may need to adjust the dosage prescribed or the time that the medication is given. In other cases, more than one drug may be required to stabilize BP.
Ambulatory monitoring can rule out white coat hypertension diagnosis, so that patients are not given unnecessary prescriptions for BP-lowering drugs. The test can also detect masked hypertension, so that patients receive the medications needed for high blood pressure. The incidence of stroke, heart disease, and organ damage due to hypertension can be reduced among those patients. Ambulatory monitoring may also be useful in evaluating a patient’s response to long-acting antihypertensive medications.