I am joining the navy in a month but the thing is, you can't have really high blood pressure on you preliminary exam. My blood pressure is normally really low, in fact my doctor once joked that I should be sleeping because it was so low. However, whenever the doctors at M.E.P.S try to take my blood pressure it skyrockets, going way over the limit they have set. Is there any way to help with this, like some relaxation exercises or something like that which i cam do beforehand? any help would be appreciated, I need to find a way to control it before i leave in just a month.
Is there any way to help with this, like some relaxation exercises or something like that which i cam do beforehand? any help would be appreciated, I need to find a way to control it before i leave in just a month.
How about some regular exercises? Work up a sweat about an hour before your visist. Of course, your blood pressure may elevate a little while you are exercising. But, after about one hour, there usually is a remarkable drop. This also will help relax you for your appointment.
Do you have a blood pressure monitor at home, so you can check how your particular body responds to certain things and how long it takes to come up after doing certain things? I've found that for me, my systolic pressure has dropped as much as 40 points after taking a warm tub bath, and it took hours to come back up. (In fact, it never did get back up to the same point that day.)
Breathing exercises can be helpful, and that is something you could do close to the time of the exam. There are CDs out to guide you in blood pressure breathing exercises. I found one place on the web that had a sample of the tape on the web and you could try it from that. Again, for many people it can take hours after the breathing exercises to come back up. And doing those exercises (without a tape, of course) just as someone is about to take your pressure might help keep it from spiking as high.
You definitely have a case of white coat and I,too, suffer severe white coat.
I am sorry to say that I have tried everything and nothing seems to work for me. I sit in the waiting room breathing my relaxations exercises (sometimes I feel like an idiot with everyone watching me) and when I finally get in and get that damned cuff on, the BP is awful. I am lucky that my doctor believes in white coat and just takes the log that I give him from home.
Your problem is that you are so worried about not passing the preliminary exam and it is easier said than done to stop thinking about that. Try to keep a log of measurements from home and see if the doctor will accept it.
I wish you the best of luck in your military service.
Doctors have been known to prescribe a beta blocker to actors and comedians to stop stage fright. They only take the beta blocker once in a blue moon, not on a regular basis. This could also be dangerous, I think, but you could see your family physician and ask about taking just one beta blocker for your "stage fright". He can tell you exactly when to take it, with regard to your official medical exam time. This shouldn't stop you from enlisting, or would be a shame if it did. The best of luck to you
That is very interesting. The Beta Blocker, whether it was Toprol or the Atenolol that I have been on for the past 8 months or so, doesn't really help me with the anxiety portion. The Xanax that I am on helps me more with the anxiety & at times it can also help me with the white-coat at the doc. I guess that everyone reacts differently.
Normally, a non-selective beta-blocker is used for stage-fright. Toprol and atenolol are cardio-selective beta-blockers and don't do much for anxiety. The drug that is most commonly used for this is called Inderal (propanolol). It also has a relatively short half-life, so it doesn't linger in the system too long afterwards.
"Stage fright" causes some people's heart to "race". This in turn increases anxiety in most, just feeling this response (to anxiety). This can lead to a cascade of emotion and a blundering public delivery (panic attack). A beta blocker of any class, will slow the beat of the heart, whether we are scared, anxious or exercising. Beta blockers are not prescribed for anxiety, xanax is. You are used to being on stage. Some of us, that have had to speak publically, know this feeling, yet there are some that do not fear speaking in public. I feel panicky, just thinking about it, lol.
I think xanax would be much better for stage fright, myself, but I was trying to be specific in helping this young man, Becca, lower his BP due to the "white coat syndrome". He doesn't have stage fright, he has temporary high BP, and a beta blocker will definitely cure this. I used the only example that I have read about, where doctors prescribe beta blockers on a short term, temporary basis, and that is for "stage fright".
Good points Jack. I have been on stage for years now. When I go on stage I just get an adrenalin rush. I feel relaxed. I take my meds. in the morning, take my last xanax around 4 (so I'm not dopey) & play around 11-12:30 at night. I have never had that beta-blocker before. I have only had Toprol, which was switched to Atenolol. B/P today was 109/64. I swear that the xanax helps my B/P & stage fright more than any beta blocker. I should be a spokesman for Xanax. It has made this experience much easier for me.
I'm used to the stage. I just don't get jitters anymore in front of a crowd. Put me in a doctor's office & it is a different story.
I ran into this problem in the police academy. The worse is being in a line of people watching you get your pressure taken. There is no solution. No drugs. My pressure was fine at the time (1996) and my doc refused to prescribe anything. The best thing to do is to tell them up front--if it is a doc he will understand. My GP said if you take someones BP with white coat for a 30 minute period you will get pretty close to a accurate reading because the person will get bored and start to relax. I know no doc wants to do that, but its just a point...
Military medical guidelines used to be very inflexable and unforgiving. They may have eased up somewhat now, I don't know.
I do know for a fact, that a beta blocker taken at the right time before the exam, will decrease his BP. Beta blockers reduce the force of the contraction of the heart, thereby lowering the BP. It's like adjusting the stroke of a pump. If this young man took a beta blocker before the medical exam, and it didn't lower his BP, then he may really have a problem.
*holds up hands in surrender* lol thank you all for the advice. I'll ask my doctor about the beta blockers the next time i go in to see him. if nothing else i'll ask him to prescribe something for the anxiety. oh and jack....im a girl. hence the name becca *winks* no offense taken though. again thanks for all the advice.
I agree 100% with dback...there is NO solution.
I have had my BP well under control for months at a time and I have gone into the doctors office after taking a double dose of thiazide and losartan (my "normal meds") the day before and also added 40 mg. nadolol 80 mg. propranolol + 10 mg. Norvasc AND 10 mg. Valium. On the examining table I STILL get readings like 165/115.
When I'd CRAWL home muttering to myself all the way, I'd get consistent readings like 90/52 with my heart beating OCCASIONALLY for the next 24 hours (with a three day slump from the nadolol.)
There is NO way to beat this condition (white coat hypertension.)
Next time I'll try the drug OD PLUS 100 push ups and 1/2 hour on a stationary bile at 125 BPM...and go to the office in a CABULANCE!
So sorry to mistake your gender . I guess that the military thingy through me off (very old fashioned of me). You women do a terrific job for all of us in our Armed Forces, and I am so proud of all of you. I was an old Army doggie myself...
If I am correct, you are around 50 years old??? If I am wrong, then please forgive me . Anyways, your body does not function as a young persons, such as Beccas (I truly wish it did). Also you have probably had hypertension for a while, and have taken many medicines for it (from reading your post below).
It is very puzzling and most bizarre to me, to consider why anyone with the "white coat syndrome", would go to such lengths to lower their BP, just while at a doctors office. You must have also had a death wish, when you combined all of these medicines. You are very lucky that your heart didn't stop.
I think that most doctors are aware of the syndrome, and would much rather believe your readings taken at home, than to see you attempt to kill yourself to prove some point. I still am not clear as to what point you were trying to prove. Obviously, you wanted your BP to be very low or normal when the nurse or doctor checked it, but your experiment went wrong when you took all the extra medicines. What would it have proved if your BP had been lower than 165/115, say 120/70? To me it would have proved that you needed to take a dangerous amount of hypertensive medications, along with a tranquilizer, to overcome your syndrome.
I have read that most doctors have you sit around for about 20 minutes or so and take your BP again. Did you tell this doctor about all the meds you had taken? I can't believe that he would let you leave with only one check of your BP and it being 165/115. Some susceptable people, have had strokes with BP this high.
Do you think Becca's circulatory system/heart is as strange as yours, and she shouldn't try a beta blocker, maybe before a visit to her personal doctor's office, to determine if it beat the white coat there? This is very importamt to her. I don't understand why you discourage Becca from at least trying a beta blocker.
I am not trying to discourage Becca from trying a beta blocker to beat "white coat" but is sounds like you might be.
I have experimented on myself and as a result know for certain that my white coat is far stronger than any drug I could take. When my adrenaline is pumping, medications are a joke; like trying on a few extra sweaters on to stop a bullet.
Of course I didn't tell my doctor what drugs I had taken and since we've been around this merry go round several times since, he is no longer allowed to take my BP. As far as
I can't believe that he would let you leave with only one check of your BP
goes, since I am paying the bills and am not "custody" of any kind, when I am ready to go, I GO.
What it boils down to is that he doesn't belive "white coat exists." I KNOW it does and that I have my BP under perfect control...there is NO resolution to this.
I don't hold my GP responsible for my medical care; I would be a fool to do so. All he is is a prescription pad and a necessary entre to a specialist...if I could write my own script and refer myself to the right specialist, I would dispense with a GP entirely. (My disdain for GP's doesn't apply to any specialist I see...some of them have been good and I am sure there are some GP's that know what they are doing- I haven't found one yet in my insurance plan.)
P.S. He wanted to add Norvasc to the Norvasc I'd already taken, unbeknownst to him. If I added a drug every time that he found "uncontrolled hypertension" in his office, I'd paradoxically actually be ON all the drugs I took to see if "white coat" could be beaten...it CAN'T.