I've been dealing with HBP since my early 20's (i'm now almost 35). It seems as though just looking at a bp monitor causes my bp to soar. This has even started happening at home. I notice that if i concentrate on my breathing and relaxation that my bp runs in the normal range. However if I dont concentrate on relaxing my bp runs high. Does anyone else experience this type of anxiety when getting their bp checked, either at home or at the dr's office? If so, what techniques do you use to help yourself relax? Also, how much does anxiety effect blood pressure?
We should always take bloodpressure after sitting for 10 minutes, relaxed resting on back of chair, no talking, no moving, no crossed legs. Wait a few minute before taking BP again. Taking it 3 times is the correct thing to do. Toss out the first number and average the second and third.
BP varies from second to second, this is normal.
Usually the first reading will be higher than the others. This is normal.
I have the same problem. Fluctuating BP readings, depending on my anxiety level. Even at home, if I get "psyched out" about the readings, they come out high. My doc put me on a atenolol 50mg which at least improved the physical symptoms of anxiety. Now my pulse stays around 60 and my BP around 120/80.
I have very high BP when I am at a doctors office. It's called white coat syndrome.At home when I monitor my BP it's always low.I also suffer from anxiety and I take meds for that.
I am currently on BP medication, but it doesn't help when I'm at the doctors.
I am trying to get my anxiety under control now, and the doctors claim that will eliminate my white coat syndrome.
I guess this more common that you would think,as I've spoken to a lot of people who have the same problem.
thanks for all the replies..i'm familiar with the white coat syndrome..however my dr doesnt believe in it--why, i have no idea..and since he doesnt believe me when i tell him my bp readings are normal everywhere but in his office, i stress everytime i have to see him, which in turn makes it worse..a vicious cycle if you will--i stress, he doesnt believe, i stress more, bp soars, yadda yadda yadda..i've taken my bp cuff in for him to see but he still isnt buying the white coat thing..how do i get it through his head that i stress to points unknown when i'm in his office?..and more importantly what can i do to help myself unwine while in his office?.. http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/blob_fire.gif
I have a question.....
I have great BP control on Diovan 160mg. I have never monitored it at home. So far,it is never higher than 130/85 at doc's office. So far!
BUT,if one gets elevated readings due to "white coat syndrome" in doc's office, shouldn't it count as something to be concerned about?
What about all the OTHER times during the day that we get stressed/anxious/concerned/worried/hurried?
Bottom line query: If, at REST we get consistently great readings, is this an accurate profile of our REAL BP?
What about "nasty boss syndrome", "work deadline syndrome", "kids driving you nuts syndrome", "death in the family syndrome", "moving to a new house, or apt. syndrome", "doing your taxes syndrome", "stuck in traffic , late for appt., etc etc.... You get the idea. "Life" syndrome! So shouldn't "white coat" readings be a good guide as to how your body responds to stress in general, rather than be dismissed?
Just wondering...what do you think?
[This message has been edited by zuzu8 (edited 04-23-2003).]
I'm not sure but what I think Zuzu is saying is if your BP goes up just going to a Doc'c office what's not stopping it from going up for every day life's terms. That being said you would need BP meds to make sure you keep yours steady.
I know for me when I would go to the doctor's and the scale natzi would get me every time and that alone could raise my BP. I finally got the doc to tell her to leave me the heck alone. Not too mention driving to the doc's office was a tad stressful. I fought BP meds tooth and nail until I finally found the right one for me. I'm doing great thankfully on my Diovan HCT..just my 2 cents, Lisa
i like the other syndromes you described. ..i find the other time that my bp spikes is at the dr's office..my life other than those few moments is pretty much stress free..i do every now and then fret over something but nothing at all like i do at the dr's office...funny how your mind screws with you.. http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/alien.gif..as far as i know, other than not particularly liking my dr and his staff (their demeanor/attitude/etc, not their professionalism), theres no real reason for why i get so nervous..i need to find an outlet to distract me while i'm at the dr's..any ideas? :dance....stay well--diana
FLAMAEST: Thanks for posting my instructions for taking BP according to PROCOTOL. The more people that know this the better they will be.
Anxiety does reak havoc with blood pressure but you can help elevate it to some extent. When called to go to exam room, RISE SLOWLY from chair, walk slowly, do not be concerned if nurse is a mile ahead of you. Be sure and arrive at doctor's office early to give yourself time to settle down from driving. Create an attitude within yourself that nothing is going to bother you. Think of your body as a car going in for a tuneup, disassociate your mind from your body. Takes practice but it can be done.
Most important is to "breathe" deep and slow exhale to help reduce anxiety. Hyperventilation is one cause of anxiety. When a person hyperventilates it causes an imbalance of oxygen and carbon dioxide. You must have a balance in order for the red carpusles to release oxygen to the vital organs (heart, lungs, brain). Oxygen deprivation to vital organs will cause body to panic causing adrenalin to spurt and raising blood pressure. Took me 10 years to find out what my problem was with spiking systolic hypertension. Finally found a hypertension research specialist who knew about "hidden hyperventilation". Other doctors did not recognize that was what I was doing. I thought I was breathing normal and so did my family. Not so, I was hyperventilating but not fighting for my breath. It was a horrible 10 years and almost bit the dust but now I am doing great with BP controlled and able to live a normal life.
If you allow anxiety to get the best of you, you will no doubt hyperventilate and cause even higher BP reading when checked. Stay calm, cool and collected.
I would like to state that RESTING BP is what doctors base meds on. It is true that every move you make will cause variance in BP. Physical activity will increase BP but should not elevate it out of reason. Normal blood pressure will not go too high or remain high, it will have normal fluctuations. Those with hyperension may spike during activity. In one way the first BP taken in doctor's office could be considered activity BP and then after sitting for a while and BP taken again would be resting BP.
Keep record of your BP and always take the record with you to the doctor so he can see what it is running at home. I also took BP at peak of activity in order to know how high the spikes were going. You need to know this also. Wear BP cuff while walking, etc. then stop and take BP immediately. This will give you close enough reading to know what the activity is doing to BP. BP machines will not work while you are moving about.
Hope this is of a little help.
[This message has been edited by Marie55 (edited 04-28-2003).]
I wrote before about my blood pressure soaring at the doctors office, although it is low at home when I take a reading. It's definately an anxiety related problem( I take meds for anxiety/panic).
My last visit to the doctor for my 3 month check-up my BP was 190/100.I could feel myself getting more anxious by the minute. I tried deep breathin ect. but to no avail as that was my reading.
My doctor wants to put me on a 24hr. blood pressure monitor, which takes my BP every hr. for 24 hrs., just to see how it goes when I'm not at a doctors office.Has anyone ever had this done?
I take Diovan and verapamil and Inderal for BP and migraine, as well as Lexapro for anxiety.
I had thought about asking my dr about the 24 hr BP monitor just to show him that I'm fine outside of his office.although i've taken my BP monitor in to his office to compare readings which were comparable.i can actually feel the anxiety/tension/panic rising the moment i arrive at the drs office..and when my appt is over, I then feel myself returning to normal..i've told the dr that I can actually feel my body responding to the panic, but like I said, he's not falling for it..what does it take to make a dr actually listen to their patients..after all, we know our bodies alot better than they do..i wish i could just get a "screw it" attitude implanted in my brain for the days i'm at a dr's office. how does everyone else relax while at the dr's?
I've honestly gone in to the office after taking all my old drugs all morning: thiazides, beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, ARB's and 10 mg. friggen VALIUM (all at once)....I STILL blow the cuff off my arm, "hmmm 180 over 116...perhaps we should double your medications."
If I took the same arsenal and stayed home my BP would drop to 20/10 and it would take CPR and a QUART of intravenous norepinephrine to get me conscious!
ps...I ALSO tried 3 Manhattans...he skunked my and decided to test my LIPIDS...LOL, the triglycerides came in at 700!!!!!!(I never told him why but he probably noticed that my breath was softening the varnish on his desk.)
Re: the 24-hr BP monitor.
When I was first diagnosed about a year ago,and starting off on the "QUEST" for the right meds, I asked my doc what he thought about a constant 24-hr monitoring , since I was borderline.
He said he never heard of a device that does that.
Shouldn't he know about this? He's a GP at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.
It somewhat concerns me IF this is a common device and he knows nothing about it and he's treating my hypertension!