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Old 10-19-2004, 03:13 PM   #1
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White Coat and no believing Dr

Hi All, male 42, ex-smoker, 240 lbs.

To make a long story short, bp has always been good. Went to donate blood last january after a bad day and bp was 150/100, got rejected so made a Dr's appointment.

Went to my regular Dr and it was high there also, so had to monitor it each week for 8 weeks. Well my anxiety about this got the best of me and each week when I went it was higher than the previous week but my home measurements showed normal or maybe slightly elevated. Dr sent me for a stress test and all was well with that it things settled down. Made some life style changes, quit smoking and started exercising, bp has been awesome, 115-130 over 73 to 88, taken at different times, stressed and unstressed.

Well went to the Dr today and here it is again, bp 160/100 and heart rate 100 was just taken before I left and was 117/76. Dr is convinced something is wrong and wants me to see a cardiologist. I think it's white coat syndrome which she dismisses. Could wait to get home and test it tonight and it was 130/85 but fell to 127/76 within 20 minutes. How quickly does blood pressure respond and should I continue my battle for White coat syndrome or give in and go to the cardio?

Thanks,

Mark

 
Old 10-19-2004, 03:56 PM   #2
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Re: White Coat and no believing Dr

I always get anxious before having my BP taken. It doesn't matter if it's the cuff at home or in the doctor's office.

Last edited by redherring; 10-19-2004 at 03:56 PM.

 
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Old 10-19-2004, 04:37 PM   #3
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Re: White Coat and no believing Dr

BP fluctuates alot, but seeing yours goes awhile nice and low, then jumps up real high, I would go see a cardio man just to set your mind at ease. Besides, those are the best drs. for knowing how to treat BP if U do have a problem. I think your dr. is playing it safe, both for her and U. JMHO Good luck..

P.S. Have U also had your home monitor checked by your dr. ? I know I had a horrid time convincing my old dr. I didn't need additional BP meds., as my home readings were fine 90% of the time. Once I brought in the monitor for him to see and check, then he stopped pushing for more drugs, and in fact, lowered the dose on one. So far, things have gone pretty well, until I see the dr., then it goes up to the 150's/90's range.

 
Old 10-20-2004, 06:01 AM   #4
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Re: White Coat and no believing Dr

It sounds like white-coat. If you take running measurement for 2 months & see good readings than what else could it be. A lot of people have white-coat. I am one of them. My doctor will have my b/p taken when 1st get to his office & then test it again 15 minutes later. It always drops 15 points. Seeing a cardiologist can't hurt, but at 150/100????? I think that with lifestyle changes like losing weight & not drinking that you can get your #'s even lower. Why the rush for a stress test???? Doesn't really sound like a medical emergency to me at all. I have had #'s like 160/80 at the doc. before. I know that I have white-coat. Have gone to a specialist, had EKGS+. It really doesn't matter. Why doesn't he do a CBC, Metabolic Panel, Thyroid Check, EKG & Chest Xray before referring you out??? It's called CYA.

 
Old 10-20-2004, 06:16 AM   #5
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Re: White Coat and no believing Dr

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkH
Well went to the Dr today and here it is again, bp 160/100 and heart rate 100 was just taken before I left and was 117/76. Dr is convinced something is wrong and wants me to see a cardiologist.
I've had two doctors. In one of the offices, my blood pressure and heart rate are fairly good. In the other doctor's office, I feel sluggish, my blood pressure soars and my heart rhythm gets erratic.

My solution? I stay away from the doctor, who's office has an unhealthy environment.

The medical industry needs sick patients in order to build profits. If a doctor's office can get a patients symptoms to get worse, then the doctor has a patient for life.

Quote:
I think it's white coat syndrome which she dismisses.
White Coat Syndrome is an interesting theory. If someone's blood pressure soars when going to the doctor, what does it do during other times of stress, like when waiting for a light to turn green, or in heavy traffic, or during a test, or when watching a scary movie, or when waiting for someone, or when under pressure at work, or when watching an exciting sports event?

If someone's blood pressure can be fairly easily effected by anxiety and stress, shouldn't that person be on meds to keep the BP down at all times?

OTOH, does the patient's Blood Pressure go up because the doctor's office's environment is unhealthy? Old carpetting, old records, piles of magazines, real or artificial plants, under-serviced AC system, mold, etc?

There are many great doctors, but I feel that there are doctors who either lack appropriate talents or ethics, just like any profession.

Last edited by Machaon; 10-20-2004 at 07:16 AM.

 
Old 10-20-2004, 09:01 AM   #6
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Re: White Coat and no believing Dr

Thanks evveryone for the replies. I think she wants me to go to a cardio because she doesn't understand differences between my readins and hers. I'm not sure how well versed she is with treating anxiety.

I think this is currently my Dr's concern that my bp can go up quickly but this hasn't been proven either, I have about a 30 minute ride to her office so it could be going up the whole time. Personally I don't have a fear my bp being high in her office but I do have a fear that my Dr has a concern about it.

Personally I think it's untreated anxiety as I have a history of dwelling on heart related issues and over the years have been to the er and her office for various issues. All my tests always come up negative. I think the hbp is a new twist on my older palpitations anxiety. I'm going to call her and talk about anxiety meds and see where that goes.


Mark

 
Old 10-20-2004, 10:25 AM   #7
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Re: White Coat and no believing Dr

White Coat Syndrome is an interesting theory. If someone's blood pressure soars when going to the doctor, what does it do during other times of stress, like when waiting for a light to turn green, or in heavy traffic, or during a test, or when watching a scary movie, or when waiting for someone, or when under pressure at work, or when watching an exciting sports event?

It's called being human. I feel that being over-medicated is just as bad as having HBP. My G/F is 23, her B/P was 143/75 the last time we went to the drug store, is she on meds???? No. My Mom had a reading of 150/100 after driving 30 minutes to the doc. Is she on meds??? No. If it just happens from time to time, it is called being human & it frustrates me that docs. prescribe so easily. I'd like to feel like my old energetic self before I went to my 1st doc. 19 months ago. It beats feeling like a zombie.

 
Old 10-20-2004, 06:16 PM   #8
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Re: White Coat and no believing Dr

Axe,
I could not agree with you more about the whole thing! I want pre med energy. I am unhealthier with a low bp laying in bed due to the meds. The only difference is I still am not convinced its soley the meds. I feel that bad... It could be cfs, but before the clonidine I felt good, skating, playing hockey, lifitng running, etc. I am fustrated.

Last edited by stackzone; 10-20-2004 at 06:17 PM.

 
Old 10-20-2004, 06:41 PM   #9
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Re: White Coat and no believing Dr

Me too. i wish i had never gone to the dr for hbp, but then again, maybe not. I have had 2 heart attacks. I thought I was having a 3rd a couple of wks ago. Not all drs are eager to give out meds or don't understand bp. I am hoping i can work with my new cardio lady to get a good bp med that won't cause me too many problems. I know there are some bp meds i can take w/o problems. I have had hbp for over 20 yrs and took procardia without too many side effects.

I must say i felt better b4 i was given 5 bp meds. A good dr makes all the difference in the world, and getting the right bp med does too. I too am frustrated.

 
Old 10-21-2004, 01:47 AM   #10
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Re: White Coat and no believing Dr

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtu91952
I must say i felt better b4 i was given 5 bp meds.
I don't know if it will help but...... I separate my heart meds. I've found out that, when I take them close to each other, I get more side effects.

For instance, when I take my Coumadin within a couple of hours of my other meds, it will give me cramps and constipation.

It's not easy, but I take my heart meds at 7am, 9am, 10am, 2:30pm, 5pm, 7pm and 10pm. Also, with some of my meds, if I take it at night, I will get worse side effects, so, for me, the time of day that I take a med, can effect how it works in my body.

 
Old 10-21-2004, 02:07 AM   #11
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Re: White Coat and no believing Dr

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillians Axe
It's called being human.
Yeh, but...... many people don't have white coat syndrome. For instance, my blood pressure is always LOWER at every doctor's office that I've gone to, except for one. At that doctor, as soon as I enter the waiting room, my sinuses get stuffy and my heart flips around.

How a patient treats his White Coat Syndrome depends upon how bad it is. If a patient's blood pressure soars at the slightest stress, and frequently goes high because of stress, pressure, etc., then that patient has to determine if his frequent soaring "White Coat" blood pressure requires medication.

Quote:
I feel that being over-medicated is just as bad as having HBP.
I couldn't agree with you more. I've got significant heart disease along with my high blood pressure, heart rhythm problems, and asthma. I've been fighting this heart disease for about 15 years. I've found out that my rhythm problems and my blood pressure are effected by what meds I take, how I take my meds, and what I consume, breathe, or what touches my skin.

Finding out exactly what meds are best for me has taken YEARS, and is still ongoing. I have constantly adjusted my meds over the past 6 years.

Quote:
My G/F is 23, her B/P was 143/75 the last time we went to the drug store, is she on meds???? No.
I wish my diastolic was that low! If I could achieve a BP around 143/75 without meds, I would not take BP meds.

Quote:
My Mom had a reading of 150/100 after driving 30 minutes to the doc. Is she on meds??? No.
150/100? I wonder how often she has a reading like that? That doesn't sound real good to me. Continued high blood pressure can cause all kinds of damage.

Quote:
If it just happens from time to time, it is called being human & it frustrates me that docs. prescribe so easily.
If problems with high blood pressure are infrequent, and are not so high that they are dangerous, I agree with you. But, if someone's "white coat syndrome" causes someone's blood pressure to soar at the slightest stress, like going to the doctor, or being stuck in traffic, etc., then one has to do what is best to protect their body from the dangers of uncontrolled high blood pressure.

Quote:
I'd like to feel like my old energetic self before I went to my 1st doc. 19 months ago. It beats feeling like a zombie.
Why did the docs put you on blood pressure meds? What were your readings? I was actually on less meds. I started taking my blood pressure at home, found out that my blood pressure was a lot higher than it was at the doctors, and I asked my doctor for additional meds. But, I've also stopped taking some meds because they were either ineffective or came with bad side effects. I've taken my blood pressure about 7 times per day for the past 6 years, and by doing that, I find out which meds work, how long do they lower my bp, and which meds don't work.

As with you, I hate the side effects of the meds. I hate having to so drastically change my lifestyle to try and deal with my heart disease. I've got major heart damage along with my blood pressure problems. Just this morning, I had to get up at 3am because I could not breath lying down. This problem just happened recently, so I'm hoping to find a solution.

How well does your doctor work with you? Is it possible to find a blood pressure med that works better for you, with fewer side effects?

What meds do you take, and when do you take them?

 
Old 10-21-2004, 06:30 AM   #12
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Re: White Coat and no believing Dr

I'm 34, 5 '11 151 or so. My B/P has been averaging 116/66 on 5/20 of Lotrel & 100 MGS of Atenolol. It just seems that everyday the side-effects could be differerent.

Today my stomach felt like absolute junk when I woke up (& I take both meds. in the morning). We ate dinner at 9 or so & went to sleep around 11. It seems that the meds. make me more sensitive to certain foods at night, when I wake up in the mornings. In addition, I got that annoying hacking cough last night, which kept my girlfriend up most of the night.

Here I am today.... lack of good sleep, my stomach hurt earlier & I need to function at my job as as Financial Advisor. I know that the lethargy will kick in later. The meds. haven't caused stomach problems in a week, but some days are just better than others. After seeing 3 docs & 1 specialist in 19 months. I was referred to a specialist at a university by a friend. He said that I was over-medicated & suggested that my doc. put me on 50 MGS of Atenolol & wean me off if it caused all of these side-effects.

This has been a nightmare.

 
Old 10-21-2004, 06:54 AM   #13
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Re: White Coat and no believing Dr

I'm 34, 5 '11 151 or so. My B/P has been averaging 116/66 on 5/20 of Lotrel & 100 MGS of Atenolol. It just seems that everyday the side-effects could be differerent.

Today my stomach felt like absolute junk when I woke up (& I take both meds. in the morning). We ate dinner at 9 or so & went to sleep around 11. It seems that the meds. make me more sensitive to certain foods at night, when I wake up in the mornings. In addition, I got that annoying hacking cough last night, which kept my girlfriend up most of the night.

Here I am today.... lack of good sleep, my stomach hurt earlier & I need to function at my job as as Financial Advisor. I know that the lethargy will kick in later. The meds. haven't caused stomach problems in a week, but some days are just better than others. After seeing 3 docs & 1 specialist in 19 months. I was referred to a specialist at a university by a friend. He said that I was over-medicated & suggested that my doc. put me on 50 MGS of Atenolol & wean me off if it caused all of these side-effects.

This has been a nightmare.

 
Old 10-24-2004, 09:27 PM   #14
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Re: White Coat and no believing Dr

People with white coat syndrome don't simply get "stressed out" at the doctors office. They get fearful and worried. It's not the same as waiting for a light to turn green. Take a situation where the person is fearful and worried, then yes -- their BP probably would be high, but that is your body's natural reaction to fear and worry.

 
Old 10-25-2004, 03:30 AM   #15
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Re: White Coat and no believing Dr

Naes, you do have something there. I have the worst case of "white coat." My blood pressure goes through the roof at the doctors and, for that matter, just driving to his office. When I think back, I have always had a fear of visiting the doctor even as a child. I guess it was because he might tell me that I had some horrible illness. I don't know if such a thing is "genetic" or just rubbed off from my Mom, but she also had the same fear. Does anyone else with "white coat" just have a fear of high blood pressure numbers or visiting the doctor in general?

 
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