New Experience As A Go Red For Women Challenger: Ankle-Brachial Index Test
I’ve met many wonderful people on my journey so far. It started with all the wonderful medical staff that tested me to make sure I was healthy enough to participate in the Go Red For Women Challenge. I had never had my blood pressure taken through my ankles, but learned that it was important to see if I had any blockage in my lower extremities. Here’s how it works and why.
The ankle-brachial index (ABI) is a simple, reliable means for diagnosing PAD. Blood pressure measurements are taken at the arms and ankles using a pencil shaped ultrasound device called a Doppler. A Doppler instrument produces sound waves (not x-rays) and is considered noninvasive because it does not require the use of needles or catheters. The ABI test is simple enough to be performed in any doctor’s office or vascular laboratory.
How is the exam given?
You will be asked to lie on your back while standard blood pressure cuffs are placed around your ankles and arms. These cuffs will be inflated briefly above your normal systolic blood pressure. Once the cuffs are deflated, blood pressure measurements are taken using the Doppler instrument. The arm and ankle systolic blood pressure measurements are recorded. Then the ankle systolic pressures are divided by the highest arm pressure to establish an ABI measurement for each leg. The ABI range that is generally considered normal is .95 to 1.2.
I was normal, yea, and it was an easy procedure. My tech and I laughed and talked through it. (I had to keep apologizing for my scaly, dry feet and chipped toenail polish. Hey, it’ s winter!!)!!! I’m so happy to be in the Go Red For Women Challenger program. I’ve learned so much about my body AND my mind. Quitting smoking has been painless and I am feeling healthy and IN CONTROL.