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  • how to cure white coat syndrome?

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    Old 01-11-2008, 11:56 PM   #1
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    how to cure white coat syndrome?

    As I scan through what everyone is saying, I am still not understanding if anyone has any info on how to beat white coat syndrome. Since it is psychological and has an effect on the physiological, does one need to see a psychologist and be hypnotized? I personally participate in clinical trials to help pay the bills and one time at one facility, I had a BP reading of 150/89 with a heart rate of 111! Needless to say, I was excluded and told by a doctor there that I have high blood pressure. But here is the thing, the person who performed my BP reading wasn't a doctor, nor wore a white coat. So, I think it must be an aversion to the machine. Ever since that one reading, everytime I go back there and hear the cuff inflate my heart races and I get a high reading. The doctor and I talked recently after yet another high reading and I told him my readings at home range in the 115/69-125/79. He told me that if you never were capable of having high blood pressure then your readings would never be that high no matter, how anxious or nervous you got. I respect his opinions and believe him to be a good doctor, but I'm so confused!

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    Old 01-12-2008, 05:13 PM   #2
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    Re: how to cure white coat syndrome?

    There is no cure regrettably. You need to manage the anxiety that is at the root of the WCH. I know because I have been through Hell and back with this over the last few years. I would get BP readings at the doctor's up to 160/95, and then I brought the WCH home and nearly drove myself crazy as I repeatedly took BP measures only to watch my BP climb higher and higher and higher.

    Finally a therapist sat me down, told me she showed my BP log to two doctors and told me "You do not have high blood pressure." The next day, my BP was 118/70 with my doctor!

    I have dealt with my WCH by simply not taking my BP as much anymore, and letting my doctor help with the anxiety. If it is high at my next office visit, I will jump-start lifestyle changes and/or go on meds. What helps a LOT with WCH is to accept that a diagnosis of HBP is NOT the end of the world, that it CAN be treated, and that you WILL lead a normal life without worrying about heart attacks or strokes. It took me a long long time to accept that. So I wish you all the luck with your own situation.


    Old 01-12-2008, 08:10 PM   #3
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    Re: how to cure white coat syndrome?


    Find another job. You will end up spending more than you make on Dr's, meds & more meds, plus major stress. Biofeedback is the best for cuff anxiety. But since you are just starting out on this path, you may be able to decrease your reaction by distancing yourself from the situation. You have a pay check on the line whereas most of us just have our health considerations which is enough in of itself. Most likely the reaction will never go away-always there in your most vulnerable moments.

    You don't want it to influence your home readings. Then it is very difficult to know what course to take.

    Your Dr. needs to go back for a refresher course in HBP. There is something called the "Flight or Fight" response which will automatically raise one's b/p when triggered. To say that a person's blood pressure won't go up no matter what is incorrect. We would all be in deep trouble if that were the case. For example, my husband's b/p has always been in the 120-130/80 at the Dr's office. But when he had a sudden heart attack it went to 230/110.
    That's normal. You want your b/p to go up in certain situations. Fam

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