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Old 08-11-2009, 02:05 AM   #1
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nedc HB User
Blood pressure and severe white coat syndrome

I am a 46 years old male in generally good health, active (cycle 50 miles a week), slightly over weight, normal alcohol intake and reasonable healthy diet. I feel fine. However, I have a severe anxiety when going to the doctor especially having my blood pressure taken.

15 years ago had my blood pressure taken and it was found to be through the roof (due to anxiety), told to go back in a week.The following week I conicidentally had tonsillitis and blood pressure was bang on normal (120/80) no anxiety cos I was more bothered about the sore throat.

Haven't had my blood pressure taken for 15 years until earlier this year had a lot of stress at work and went to the doctor who took my pressure and was 160/132 (machine in doctors surgery). This scared me somewhat and I borrowed my sisters wrist pressure monitor. Blood pressure on that was 150/90 and this was confirmed by a nurse friend using a sphygmomanometer who got a reading of 155/93 at the same time). Went to visit the practice nurse who got a reading of 154/80 again whilst anxious using a sphygmomanometer not a machine.

I have been monitoring my BP at home using the home monitor and it has been around 125/83 for weeks/months until yesterday I had to go back to the doctor for a check up. In the run up to going to the doctors (a couple of days before) it was up to 148/94 as I was felling anxious about going to the docs.

At the doctors it was something like 170/120 using a machine but again I was stressed sweating, rapid heartbeat etc. I told the doctor I had been monitoring it and she said it is probably white coat syndrome and told me not to worry but to monitor it at home. This morning it is still high 149/98 but suspect over the next few days it will stabilise again. Even whilst typing this I feel stressed about it!!!

So do I have anything to worry about here? Do I just have a severe phobia reaction which is sending the readings sky high? The readings at home seem to settle after a few days and the sphygmomanometer readings seem to be more reasonable.

Last edited by nedc; 08-11-2009 at 02:06 AM.

 
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:45 PM   #2
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Re: Blood pressure and severe white coat syndrome

First things first, I'm obviously no doctor so I'm not going to give my opinion if you should worry. However, I will state the fact you are seeing your doctor is positive. I say this even though sometimes my doctor frustrates me because he always seems to downplay my concerns regarding my PVCs. But he does seem to take my blood pressure much more seriously.

Anyway, I'm 39 and in good shape but I, like you, have White Coat Syndrome. I simply cannot have my blood pressure taken in the doctor's office. In fact, I can't have anyone around when I do this. For some unknown reason, taking my blood pressure has become a trigger of anxiety for me. I only wish I knew why.

I've had readings at the doctor as high at 170/110 and they get concerned. Yet at the same time, I'll bring in my home readings and they're much better. More along the lines of 135/80 give or take. The fact I also have PCVs had led me to finally begin taking medication. My perscription seems to do a better job on the PCVs than the blood pressure. I'm probably going to have to tinker with the dosage at my next visit.

As I said, you should continue to work with your doctor especially if the majority of your readings are greater than around 140/90. At least this is what I have been told by my doctor. I believe this is pre-hypertensive and and could lead to issues down the road. Also, make sure you compare readings with your home monitor while at the doctors office to ensure the accuracy. My home monitor was within a few points and my doctor seemed fine with that.

I hope this helps. Just know you are not alone with this issue.

 
Old 08-12-2009, 02:20 AM   #3
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nedc HB User
Re: Blood pressure and severe white coat syndrome

And two days after the going to the doctor I take my BP this morning and from 170/120 in the docs office we've gone to 128/83!!!

 
Old 08-13-2009, 07:42 AM   #4
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Re: Blood pressure and severe white coat syndrome

Outstanding! I would continue to take multiple readings throughout the day if you can. I actually wore a 24 hour cuff which was a bit annoying. However, it really helped to show how my blood pressure was fluctuating.

 
Old 09-20-2009, 06:29 PM   #5
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Re: Blood pressure and severe white coat syndrome

I feel your pain, I also have pretty bad anxiety. It used to be medicated but I don't treat it anymore, and my life is pretty full and rewarding, I learned to deal with it. But not when it comes to blood pressure, it makes me so nervous! I'm only 21, active, a little on the skinny side, pretty healthy diet, but my blood pressure is pretty high. I went to the doctors, they took my blood pressure it was around 160/90. the nurse made me laugh a bit and relax, took it again it was around 140/80. I took it at CVS a week later out of curiousity, got nervous when my arm was in the sling, and it was bumped up to 160/90 again. that freaked me out, I worked myself up about it, nearly having a panic attack, took it at that state of mind it was 180/82. I dunno, the first one was so dangourusly high, but then the second went down. pretty weird, that was last night I haven't taken it again, I'm gonna relax and forget about it, and try it again in a few days. Glad to hear yours is doing better though

Last edited by Whitewater; 09-20-2009 at 06:30 PM.

 
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