inaccurate BP readings and pulse rate correlation
ever since i was a young kid i would always get more worried about going to the doctor or contracting sicknesses or having problems than most people. i would get really anxious and it would affect me negatively and sometimes get me sick. i'm 23 and i still have not grown out of this (i'm a male).
recently i was in a wreck and had some torn cartilage in my chest, but before i knew that, i didn't know what it was. i went to a doctor, had an xray, ekg, etc and everything was normal EXCEPT my blood pressure. it was high (i don't remember exactly). i was very, very nervous going to the doctor initially because i thought the wreck could have really hurt me, so my pulse was pounding (over 90).
anyway, of course the doctor indicated concern about my BP and told me to go to walmart and do the tests up there a few times over the next few weeks and see if it goes down. so right away i was worried about it, and everytime i went to get my BP tested i would get nervous and the BP was high, sometimes very high. pulse rate was always very high.
one night i sat around walmart for a few minutes and did the test several times and i got calmer after each time i did it. my pulse stayed around 85-90, but my BP got to 116/78 and the highest was like 136/86, but mostly it stayed around 120/80. pulse rate was always high. i just assumed i was normal then and forgot about it till recently.
i went into the dentist's office recently and they took my BP. i was very nervous going to the dentist, as i had not been in 6 years! i was certain i would have cavities, and i was soaking wet from the rain so i was very cold, shivering, and my heart was pounding. as soon as the BP machine came out, i got anxious and nervous, knowing my previous problems with having my BP taken (white coat syndrome). all this factored into a 140/100 BP with a 92 pulse rate. the hygenist took BP again after the cleaning (no cavities!) and i got really nervous the 2nd time and i had 155/100; 90+ pulse.
of course the hygenist got concerned, and so i got more worried about this and decided to post about it to see what anyone here thinks. i have checked my pulse several times over the last few days and it has never read over 72 beats per minute, which leads me to believe i was getting VERY nervous when my BP was tested before. it dropped over 20 bpm, and everytime i did it i got 72 exactly. i don't know if there is a direct correlation in pulse rate and BP, but is it possible that my BP is actually very normal and i just have severe white coat syndrome?
i am afraid of going to a doctor since i will get nervous, my BP will show high and then i'll get on some medicine that may be totally unnecessary. and i think no matter what, if i'm in a doc's office, i will be nervous about it.
i have thought about buying one of those small BP machines and just using it occassionally around my house (where i know i am comfortable and relaxed, sort of like the time i got normal readings while at walmart) and see what the results are. i would like some sort of peace though about this, as i really think my BP is usually normal, just the "white coat" thing hits me hard.
what do you guys think? i have read white coat can affect the first number by 20-50 and the 2nd number by 10-30. if pulse rate affects BP numbers always, then it's safe to say my BP is normally much lower, as i've never had a BP reading with under 90 no the pulse rate, although while relaxed, i consistently get a pulse rate of actually 72 bpm. thoughts?
Last edited by wowzers; 12-21-2006 at 08:45 PM.