I've had what seems to be anxiety-related hypertension since I was a kid. I'm 27 now, and I remember when I was 13, my BP was taken and it was 180/80! I don't know why it was this high when I was 13, but I have been stressed about my BP ever since, and it has affected all my BP results since then.
But this past weekend, at my parent's house, I took my BP approximately 10-15 times at one minute intervals. Man oh man. The numbers started at 160/100 and dropped to 130/79 in the end. So I am now convinced that my "hypertension" was anxiety related all this time. And my pulse was around 80. It's usually in the upper 50's, so I'm sure that my systolic is even lower than that.
At the ER, which was my first visit ever, my BP was 190/115!
So it just goes to show how anxiety affects your heart. And to think that many doctors still don't support the "white-coat" phenomenon. And that yes, you can still have white-coat hypertension at home.
But are some people's BP more sensitive to anxiety than others? It seems the SLIGHTEST bit of anxiety will make my BP jump to insane levels!
My BP does the same thing.
The second I see that machine come at me at the Doctors office it goes sky high.
He'll take it again about 15 minutes later and it will be back in the normal range.
He told me to take it at home everyday for a week at the same time everyday....it was normal..actually well below 120/80 I took the readings to him at my next appointment and he said that only goes to show that it was all anxiety related
As for the "White Coat Syndrome"...my Doctor is a firm believer in it.
He also told me that it is very possible to have the "White Coat Syndrome" at home.
He said for some just the thought of the machine itself can send their BP sky high.
Another thing he told me was when taking a reading to wait at least 10 minutes between readings...he said taking it closer together can make you get false readings...he also said to wait at least 30 minutes after eating, smoking, or excerise before taking it.
He said something as small as talking or moving during a reading can cause you to get a false high pressure.
Hope this helps you a little and just know you aren't alone with the "White Coat Syndrome".
I hear you there. Mine is too. I dont know how these docs dont understand that some people are really sensitive to anxiety . They say you have a high blood pressure but they dont know that most of the time its fine until you walk into their office. Also my heart rate is more affected by anxiety than blood pressure which really sucks.
I took my BP and pulse so many times one day that I landed up in the ER! I actually got anxiety attack over the increased elevation. The anxiety increased the BP and pulse, I would take it again then freak out then take it again and freak out. I had my husband throw out the BP monitor.
If I wait 10 minutes between readings, it gives me enough time to build up my anxiety again. Even switching arms will have that effect. "Oh oh, I'm switching arms. It will be high!"
Anyhow, countless BP measurement surveys use 1 minute intervals for 10-15 minutes as their standard. Even machines with selectable interval settings have a 1 minute setting. So, I will trust the numbers I get from the 1 minute method.
Can you do a test for me? Do the 1 minute method 10 times and let me know if your systolic drops 25+ points by the end. If it doesn't, it means my problem really is anxiety.
I'd be more than happy to do that for you.
But before I do I have a question.
What if the results I get don't back up your theory?
I don't want to make you feel worse or send you into an attack.
And even if my results don't back up your theory that doesn't mean that your high BP readings aren't a direct result of your anxiety.
True, everybody is different and I may be extremely reactive to the slightest anxiety. But, if your results don't support my theory, I will probably have my heart checked out more thoroughly. I just highly doubt that someone who has a first reading of 120/80, for example, will drop to 90/60 after ten close readings. But then again, you never know. Maybe close intervals do indeed affect results that much. That's what I want to find out.
But I do sincerely hope that it's my anxiety that's making my first readings so high, and not the close intervals that's making my last readings so low (for me anyway).
I told you I didn't want you to get upset
I wish I hadn't done it now...please don't let it get to you...just because my readings didn't support your theory doesn't mean that your high readings are caused by something terrible or that you have high blood pressure...it very easily could be that your anxiety is causing you to get the high readings.
It was againest my better judgement to do this, now I wish I hadn't.
My advice is to quit taking your BP! If you're concerned with your BP readings, please call your doctor. You'll drive yourself nuts with BP readings and work yourself into an anxiety attack which will raise your BP! I've been there and it's no fun.
Actually, my BP doesn't actually drop in one shot when I take it 10 times in a row. There are big fluctuations (down, then up again, then down again), which makes me believe that the numbers are reliable. Otherwise, the numbers would just shoot down like your's did.
Hee hee. Don't feel bad! I'm not upset, just a little mixed up now. I just really don't want to have done damage to my heart by underestimating the effects of hypertension for all these years. Sure, I'm young, and my body can adapt for now, but it won't forever. Luckily, I finally found a family doctor, so I can get up to date on my health after 26 years.
Well thanks alot everyone. After reading your post I though hey I wonder what my BP is. Well I went to the store and of course was anxious when O took the reading. it was 150/90. So I talked myself into buying a BP machine. Went home took it and my reading was 125/80 which is normal. My point is that anxiety will cause your BP to rise so dont obsess over it. Now I have to go return this BP machine.
Last edited by tooanxious; 08-29-2004 at 08:57 AM.