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Old 11-18-2004, 08:49 PM   #1
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Red face Horrible bp reading at Dr

I have a phobia about getting my bp taken in Dr office because of a situation a few years ago due to an idiot Dr scaring me, had always had good bp readings all my life until then. Anyway, almost scared myself to death but bought a home bp monitor and plucked up courage and took it, found it generally within safe numbers. Everytime I go to Dr office its 160/80 but last week I went and thought he wasn't going to take it so when he suddenly said he was I felt panicky. Plus first he weighed me and said I had gained 8lbs! That scared me because I had no inkling (my home scale is broken so haven't checked but believe me clothes fit the same but just in case I have eliminated extras in my diet and upping my walking) then he had me sit on the exam table and took my bp and said "wow we do put your bp up don't we" I was really scared to ask what it was but I did and he said 170/90!!!!!! I nearly fainted with shock and couldn't wait to get out of his office (not going back there either) and felt sick inside for days. Anyway, the problem is I am scared to take it at home, stupid isn't it! But thats how I feel. I guess I am telling myself "what if its high at home too". I know I have to do it but how can I get up the courage? I keep telling myself that last time I went thru this all was well when I took it at home (and one time at my gyn office too when a nice nurse took it) and will probably be this time. I am a vegetarian, I juice veggies eat lots of fruit/veggies, low salt etc and walk daily, in my 60's.
anneh

 
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Old 11-19-2004, 07:18 AM   #2
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Re: Horrible bp reading at Dr

Monitor it yourself for 3 months at different times of the day. You may just have white-coat syndrome at the doctor. Don't stress.

 
Old 11-19-2004, 08:07 AM   #3
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Re: Horrible bp reading at Dr

Quote:
Originally Posted by anneh
I have a phobia about getting my bp taken in Dr office because of a situation a few years ago due to an idiot Dr scaring me, had always had good bp readings all my life until then. Anyway, almost scared myself to death but bought a home bp monitor and plucked up courage and took it, found it generally within safe numbers. Everytime I go to Dr office its 160/80 but last week I went and thought he wasn't going to take it so when he suddenly said he was I felt panicky. Plus first he weighed me and said I had gained 8lbs! That scared me because I had no inkling (my home scale is broken so haven't checked but believe me clothes fit the same but just in case I have eliminated extras in my diet and upping my walking) then he had me sit on the exam table and took my bp and said "wow we do put your bp up don't we" I was really scared to ask what it was but I did and he said 170/90!!!!!! I nearly fainted with shock and couldn't wait to get out of his office (not going back there either) and felt sick inside for days. Anyway, the problem is I am scared to take it at home, stupid isn't it! But thats how I feel. I guess I am telling myself "what if its high at home too". I know I have to do it but how can I get up the courage? I keep telling myself that last time I went thru this all was well when I took it at home (and one time at my gyn office too when a nice nurse took it) and will probably be this time. I am a vegetarian, I juice veggies eat lots of fruit/veggies, low salt etc and walk daily, in my 60's.
anneh

 
Old 11-19-2004, 08:15 AM   #4
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Re: Horrible bp reading at Dr

I had a similar experience. I would go to the doctors and the nurse would take my blood pressure and walk away. I asked her what it was and she said 140/92. I saw the doctor and mentioned it to him. I asked him if I had hypertension. He just looked at me and his response was he would be treating everyone for it and that I was fine. I felt more relaxed about it and he took it again and this time it was 126/82.. About six months later I had to see the doctor for bronchitis and the nurse took my pressure and she asked me if I had pressure problems? I asked her what the reading was and she said 140/95.. After that I became panicky every time I went and my pressure would always be high at the doctors office. They finally had me monitor it at home and it would range anywhere from 120/80 to 130/88... My doctor told me he was not concerned and let it go at that. Then a year later I had a physical and this time it was 160/100. He put me on Diovan and now my average reading is 115/75. But for awhile I became obsessed with taking my blood pressure and I would get anxious just wrapping the cuff around my arm and I could already feel my heart pounding and my pressure would be higher. Now I am more relaxed about it and I only take it once at night around 8o ... I was told to only take it once or twice a week now.. Being anxious can raise it alot...

 
Old 11-19-2004, 08:23 AM   #5
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Re: Horrible bp reading at Dr

I had a physical and this time it was 160/100

If you have white-coat then B/P meds. aren't going to help lower it at the doc. It doesn't for me. I posted an article from a doctor who is a specialist that has been deleted. I don't know why, but I will try to find it again. You are lucky that you are on a med. that doesn't have a lot of side-effects. I am not so fortunate. I am trying to get off of the Atenolol ( the worst drug in the universe imo) & Lotrel in time. I average 116/66 on the meds. & it can go down as low as 108/62. At the doc. it is still 160/90...I will try to find the response in this article. It explains a lot.

 
Old 11-19-2004, 08:56 AM   #6
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Re: Horrible bp reading at Dr

Sounds like your doctor just thinks its white coat anxiety. He sounds like a nice doctor who tries not to be alarmist.

Get yourself a new bathroom scale. Depending on what sort of clothing, shoes, coat, etc you were wearing, that might account for most of the apparent weight gain, especially if your clothes don't fit tigher.

Take your bp reading at home. Sit down, and try to relax 10 min or so before taking it. Sometimes when I am feeling a bit anxious about taking a reading I will try to distract myself by watching something bland on TV, watch my cat play, watch the leaves blowing in the breeze, watch the sunset, etc. Something to take my mind off taking a bp reading. My monitor has digital readouts, I don't have to watch the guage for my numbers.

 
Old 11-19-2004, 10:09 AM   #7
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Re: Horrible bp reading at Dr

Well at least I don't feel as bad now Lillian knowing you also have as high a reading at Dr office. I agree with you, if our bp is white coat hypertension wouldn't it make more sense to be on anti-anxiety meds than on blood pressure meds? Not that I want that either but if I had to pick between the two I would pick the anxiety meds. Well will try and pluck up courage next week, I did find last time I was taking my bp at home that looking at the newspaper crossword puzzle and doing it in my head was the only thing that helped, no amount of praying/reciting/breathing etc helps me relax.
Would like to see the article if you can find it, thanks
anneh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillians Axe
I had a physical and this time it was 160/100

If you have white-coat then B/P meds. aren't going to help lower it at the doc. It doesn't for me. I posted an article from a doctor who is a specialist that has been deleted. I don't know why, but I will try to find it again. You are lucky that you are on a med. that doesn't have a lot of side-effects. I am not so fortunate. I am trying to get off of the Atenolol ( the worst drug in the universe imo) & Lotrel in time. I average 116/66 on the meds. & it can go down as low as 108/62. At the doc. it is still 160/90...I will try to find the response in this article. It explains a lot.

 
Old 11-19-2004, 10:15 AM   #8
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Re: Horrible bp reading at Dr

Q: When you talk about higher blood pressure readings in a doctor's office, are you talking about the phenomenon of "white coat" hypertension?

A: It's not just "white coat hypertension, which refers to people whose blood pressures are high in the doctor's office while otherwise normal outside. It is what we call the "white coat" effect, which can occur in almost anyone, and that is, the blood pressure is going to be highest in the doctor's office. In many people there is a big difference between the doctor's pressures and the pressures at home, although the pressures at home may still be elevated. Increasing evidence suggests that physician-measured pressures are not very reliable guides as to whether a medication is really working.

The mods. delete it when I post the link. I don't know why. Here is a portion.

 
Old 11-19-2004, 10:20 AM   #9
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Re: Horrible bp reading at Dr

Get yourself a new bathroom scale. Depending on what sort of clothing, shoes, coat, etc you were wearing, that might account for most of the apparent weight gain, especially if your clothes don't fit tigher.

Don't worry about it. Mine fluctuates all of the time. I could be 152 on Monday & 149 by Friday. Before the meds. I was 158..... that was 21 months ago. With the meds. I have lost weight. I have also cut out drinking a 6 pack a night which might have helped....

 
Old 11-19-2004, 10:33 AM   #10
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Re: Horrible bp reading at Dr

I must not have white coat because the last time I went to the doctors the nurse took it right after I had climbed stairs and walked down the hall to the room and it was 130/85. The doctor took it again later and this time is was 118/74. Before I started the Diovan it was always high at the doctors office. I have changed my diet and now I try to watch my sodium intake even though I have heard that unless you are "salt sensitive" cutting back on sodium does not make much of a difference in lowering blood pressure. I still not to eat food with a lot of salt. I have a family history of hypertension so I am probably just predisposed to it..

 
Old 11-19-2004, 10:35 AM   #11
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Re: Horrible bp reading at Dr

Thanks for those encouraging words, I will follow that good advice. Btw the Dr said I should go on meds, he has no understanding of anxiety at all. One time he took bp and announced "well thats really high lets do the other arm" and then acted surprised that it was higher! I have decided he is an idiot, he is a regular dr but also alternative so had hoped for more help.
anneh
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgraylorn
Sounds like your doctor just thinks its white coat anxiety. He sounds like a nice doctor who tries not to be alarmist.

Get yourself a new bathroom scale. Depending on what sort of clothing, shoes, coat, etc you were wearing, that might account for most of the apparent weight gain, especially if your clothes don't fit tigher.

Take your bp reading at home. Sit down, and try to relax 10 min or so before taking it. Sometimes when I am feeling a bit anxious about taking a reading I will try to distract myself by watching something bland on TV, watch my cat play, watch the leaves blowing in the breeze, watch the sunset, etc. Something to take my mind off taking a bp reading. My monitor has digital readouts, I don't have to watch the guage for my numbers.

 
Old 11-19-2004, 12:11 PM   #12
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Re: Horrible bp reading at Dr

Blood pressure does vary between arms. In older people this difference might be somewhat large depending on hardening of the arteries, etc. Then again, your other arm reading might have been higher from the anxiety of him saying "that was high, lets test the other arm."

Given a choice, I would rather take bp meds provided there were no side effects and the one I was taking was not addictive. Most anxiety drugs are highly addictive and people tend to have a lot of unpleasant problems getting off of them. Often your body gets used to the amount you are taking, so periodically you have to increase the dosage to get the same effect. I don't think this happens as often with bp meds.

 
Old 11-19-2004, 12:16 PM   #13
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Re: Horrible bp reading at Dr

A lot of GP's don't understand B/P, white-coat & especially anxiety. If you have white-coat & anxiety, it will be higher, sometimes much higher than normal at the doc. It isn't a true measure of what your B/P normally is. If you want a true measure take a log of a few months worth of readings at different times of the day. For the anxiety, I would go to a specialist in that area. I have been to 2 psychiatrists & both have been the worst. The 1st one wanted to see my liver results from my blood test, needless to say my liver function was perfect. She wouldn't prescribe xanax even though I had been on it for months & it helped me everyday. She prescribed neurotonin & something else. My pulse shot up to the 90's & my pupils got small & I felt like I had a bad flu. I never went to her again. The 2nd psychiatrist said that he doesn't prescribe xanax. I told him that it helps me function normal everyday with no side-effects. He said that since my Dad was a recovering alcoholic that I have it in my genes & he doesn't prescribe Xanax. He said to read some book about children of alcoholic parents & to come back when I was off of the Xanax. Xanax is not heroin. It helps with anxiety. Paxil & other SSRI's make me feel like I have a 5 day stomach flu. There must be someone competent out there. There has to be when it comes to anxiety.

Rule #1 If someone is on Xanax, they need a slow wean, not some other B.S. medication

Rule #2 If a med. works for someone, why taper them off of it without prescribing more?

Rule #3 Does any doc. understand white-coat or how to properly treat anxiety.

Rule #4 Does any doc. understand how to properly diagnose HBP or how to take BP?

I have yet to find an answer to any of those questions. I have taken things into my own hands.

 
Old 11-19-2004, 02:30 PM   #14
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Re: Horrible bp reading at Dr

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgraylorn
Blood pressure does vary between arms. In older people this difference might be somewhat large depending on hardening of the arteries, etc. Then again, your other arm reading might have been higher from the anxiety of him saying "that was high, lets test the other arm."

Given a choice, I would rather take bp meds provided there were no side effects and the one I was taking was not addictive. Most anxiety drugs are highly addictive and people tend to have a lot of unpleasant problems getting off of them. Often your body gets used to the amount you are taking, so periodically you have to increase the dosage to get the same effect. I don't think this happens as often with bp meds.
People make a big deal about getting off atenolol. Try to wean off paxil. Now thats an experence and it doesn't even help with anxiety. Drugs like xanax are habit forming and you have to keep uping the dose to get any effect.
No thanks, I'll stick with my BP meds.
Cass

 
Old 11-21-2004, 01:16 PM   #15
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Re: Horrible bp reading at Dr

I haven't had to up the dose at all. It works wonders for me. B/P was 108/60 yesterday. Done checking for 2 weeks at least.

 
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