I have been stressing over my b/p for some months now. I went to the doctor in July and it was 156/100. I know that is high. After a lecture from the doctor I went and bought a blood pressure monitor and everytime I have taken my b/p it has been below normal. I went back to the doctor yesterday with my readings but again it was high at the office. It was 120/100. The doctor prescribe me a antianxiety medication because I have been under a lot of stress lately. I have an apppointment in one week and if it is high in the office again I will be put on a low dose of a b/p medication. I have taken it twice already today and they have been 107/71 and 113/70. Both really good readings. I don't mind taking a medication if indeed I have high blood pressure and not just white coat. I have taken my pressures at pharmacies and they were always high that is why I bought a home monitor. I hope someone can give me a little insight. Thanks!
Why a lecture???? You have white-coat. You get nervous at the doctor. What is the big deal. Mine is 156/86 at the doctor & 116/66 on average outside of the doctor. Today it was 130/80 in the morning. Very high for me, but B/P varies through the day. I would rather be on a small dose of one med. or no meds. than high doses of 2 that cause terrible side-effects. I take an anxeity med as well. It helps more than the B/P med. imo. Relax. I'm only 34, thin & have pretty good habits. Do you really have High Blood Prssure???? Or is it just anxiety?
Thanks for the reassurance!! I think it is just anxiety. The lecture I think was just a scare tactic. I am not over weight, excercise an hour a day, and try to eat healthy. I think because my father has high blood pressure I received the lecture. I was actually told to lose 15 pounds, diet, and excercise more or I will be lucky to see 40. The doctor I saw yesterday was a second opinion because a lot of my anxiety stems from thinking that I am going to die at an early age. I just can not understand why the doctor yesterday is ready to put me on a med when all my home pressures are normal.
Remember, YOU are the one in control of your body. You are hiring the doctor as a consultant to you, the manager of your own health. You listen to his explanations and to his advice, then decide whether to accept it, modify it, or reject it. BP spikes as high as you got at the doctor's office do lead me to believe that you might have a BP problem, but if the doctor's office is the ONLY time you get readings that high, I'd still question it, even if it was three times.
Question: Is there a chance that when your pressure is taken at the doctor's office that you tend to hold your breath? I've noticed that when I do that at home, my pressure is considerably higher than if I make certain I am breathing normally or taking deep breaths while the pressure is taken. You might want to experiment at home and see how you are affected by it. If it does affect it a lot, just breathing more deeply at the doctor's office might bring it closer to a normal reading.
Also, did your doctor take a second reading after you had talked to him for a while? After sitting there a bit, often a person will relax a bit and the reading comes down.
Boy, for a doctor to threaten an early demise to a patient who is clearly anxious, in and of itself is enough to raise their blood pressure bigtime!
Your home readings are beautiful.
What monitor are you using? Arm-cuff I hope, as wrist monitors are unreliable.
Just want to add that often, when a blood pressure measurement by the standard auscultatory technique gives a normal systolic pressure (in your case 120) with an elevated diastolic pressure (100), the relatively narrow pulse pressure raises concern about the accuracy of the blood pressure measurement.
Was your arm resting on a table... OR supported (limp and relaxed) by the doctor while taking the measurement? Holding your arm up and stiffening/tensing it in any way can skew readings. A LOT of doctors haven't a clue how to take BP properly.
And UFF-DA's questions are good ones....about holding your breath and whether a second reading was taken after allowing you to calm down...
You should also know that contrary to earlier beliefs that the diastolic blood pressure is the more important factor in future cardiovascular risk, it is now believed that an elevated systolic may be a more important contributor to overall risk, although an elevated diastolic should not be ignored of course and needs careful monitoring, and quite possibly treatment eventually.
Continue to monitor your BP at home, record the readings, and don't forget to take them with you when you see ther doc next visit.
You might also want to take your monitor with you to make sure it's giving accurate readings. If you get a similar "high" reading on your own monitor in the doc's office (YOU should take the measurement in his office, not the doc, just to make sure he sees you are taking it properly) then you'll know you guys are on the same page.
I have a Omron automatic blood pressure monitor. It was $80 and the pharmacist said it was clinically acurate. The only time my blood pressure was taken after the discussion with the doctor was this past Wednesday. It actually went up to 134/102 but she was going to have blood drawn and that freaks me out a lot. I really have a phobia of doctors. I always think there is going to be something seriously wrong. It has a lot to do with my childhood. Thanks to all of the replies it is really helpful.
I so understand your fear of illness. I spent my entire childhood and young adulthood (starting at 10 with divorce of parents!) converting all my anxiety into one great big hypochondriacal nightmare. I was reading DeGowan and DeGowan textbooks and other medical literature as a teenager! I would take every twinge, every "odd" sensation and in a NANOSECOND make the cognitive leap into catastrophic illness.
I was unreassurable. My poor folks would try to reassure me and calm me.. they would take me to the doctor so he or she could calm me down. And I'd be okay for a while, until the next sensation. (Notice I say "sensation" and not "symptom". Important differential!)
To deal with hypochondria I suggest some good therapy and frankly just living longer sure helps!
Get a new doctor. B/P that high at the doctor is not uncommon & is more than likely White Coat. For him to say that you would be lucky to reach 40 is ridiculous. Get a new doctor. No one deserves to be treated that way.
The same thing happens to me and I'm on bp meds! I can go to the docs but only now instead of it raising to 150/95, while I'm on meds it can raise to 130/85...hey I'll take it! When I'm at home though...it's super low, sometimes as low as 97/68! So now I have to go to the docs and talk to him about it.
White coat syndrome is an excellent possiblity. I agree with the other poster...take your readings in the next time you go. Also...if you are overweight, sometimes the difference between a normal size cuff and a large cuff can be a big difference. On a normal cuff I'm low and on a large cuff I'm higher...go figure.