White coat syndrome

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My blood pressure is always higher at the doctors does anyone else suffer this and have you found any way to calm yourself before having blood pressure taken. I always take my own readings to the doctors but always feel like they think I'm making them up!

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  • Posted

    It's called White Coat Synrome and I expect lots of doctors take this into account when they do a blood pressure reading. I've been surprised when I've taken along a list of good, low pressure readings and sometimes at the doctor's the reading was higher than usual and yet they seem pleased with the result . I never get stressed at having my pressure taken, it's probably more to do with rushing around or stress from other things. They use the battery operated blood pressure meters and one time one wasn't working properly because the batteries were running low so the nurse tried another one and it gave an entirely different reading

    I took along a list of readings to the doctor once because I had been put on blood pressure pills to keep it low rather than because it was high (I have diabetes) and was getting quite low readings and the doctor went through the list and said "that's too low' that's too low, that's OK, that's too low" so told me to stop taking them for a while to see how I got on. I had been getting palpitations when on th tablets and that stopped when I wasn't on the pills but after a couple of months the figures crept up and I was put on a different BP tablet and altough I don't test very often it does seem to be a better figure rather than being too low.

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  • Posted

    Yes, mine does exactly the same and I worked as a radiographer so know all about it!. I too take my readings to the surgery for them to see, but while mine are low at home they always go up in the surgery or hospital. I either use my Resperate machine or just breathe out very slowly and completely relax.This is a very good tip I feel that the readings fluctuate so widely it would be better to wear a 24 hour monitor to get the true picture. When my husband fainted recently my BP was up in the clouds, but the medication I am taking now lowers my BP so much that I am feeling very faint and out of it around 11 o'clock every day. At least that is what I think is happening, but my doctor just wants me to keep on with it as it gives the least horrible side effects and we are running out of options! Good luck with yours.

    Jenny

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  • Posted

    When I was first diagnosed after a 24 hr monitor I resisted taking medication for about 2 months to see if lifestyle changes [eliminating salt and added sugar, exercising - all the usual stuff] would make any difference, When after that I went to the surgery I determined not to rush there and allowed plenty of time, even sitting in the car beforehand listening to Beethoven - and the BP went up even higher !! So much for Beethoven ! The dr is a friend of my daughter so when she said I really needed to take the medicine I did so. She also was happy for me to use my own monitor ant take the readings in. They were fine but in the surgery they still went through the roof. White coat syndrome could result in being over medicated I would think.
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  • Posted

    What medication do you take Jenny?
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  • Posted

    I take 32mgs candersartan and 0.2 moxonodine at night.

    Jenny

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  • Posted

    Jenny

    When my husband fainted recently my BP was up in the clouds

    Snap! My hubby passed out on the bathroom floor in the early hours one morning with paramedics carting him off to A&E where complete heart block was diagnosed and pacemaker fitted. A couple of weeks later I had a couple of uncharacteristic nasty dizzy turns, took my BP and it was in the 200s/100+.

    After the first medication didn't result in much of an improvement, in spite of a dose increase, I saw a renal consultant with a special interest in hypertension, who asked me to keep a diary of my readings at home for the next 2 weeks as he didn't want to over-medicate me unnecessarily. I was advised to take it 3 times in succession and recording the average of the last two readings each time. He told me to do this in complete silence with no background music etc.

    Two weeks later he was pleased to see that my home recorded average readings, although not normal, had reduced somewhat and were much lower than at the hospital, averaging between 155-170/67-83. He then took it and again it read in the 200s. Obviously, White Coat Syndrome, with the systolic BP reading at least 30 points higher at the hospital and surgery than at home.

    I have the reassurance of knowing that my home BP machine is recording accurately as after my experience with my hubby it had registered figures in the 200s. Always a good idea to check that home monitors are workng correctly by taking them to the surgery on at least one occasion to see if they correlate with the surgery readings.

    The consultant has now added another medication, I will have blood tests tomorrow and have to contact him with the results. If blood tests are normal then he has advised me to double the dose of the new medication, liaising with my GP beforehand for a BP test - that should be fun as it's bound to be in the 200s again!

    SEBSTAR - I don't know that there is any way to calm yourself before having BP taken at the surgery - one consultant told me there was nothing I could do about it as it was a physiological thing. However, I have just bought some Bach's Rescue Remedy which I will use before my visit to the surgery on Friday to see if that has any effect - it's supposed to have a calming effect.

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  • Posted

    Good luck and let me know if it works

    Jenny

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  • Posted

    Just have to try and calm down, love is the answer to all matters of the heart
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  • Posted

    How did you get on with the bachs rescue remedy Mrs o?
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  • Posted

    I forgot to use it!!!!!!! Will get my little grey cells into gear for next time.
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  • Posted

    I take my own readings to the doc - and I used to think they thought I was making them up. It sounds nuts, but I actually took some cam-corder footage of me taking the readings to take along and show the doctor I was genuine. But yes, my readings are always way up in the surgery - sometimes around 190/85 - but revert to around 144/75 at home - which apparently is perfectly ok for my age - 64. I sit in the waiting room and feel my pulse racing. It's very hard to relax once you know you're about to have a reading taken - and you get into a bit of a vicious circle of anxiety. Yes - breathing out slowly is a help and don't drink any coffee before you go either. Oh and make sure you do go - to the toilet I mean, as water retention will raise the figures. I also found that I would get one reading and then take it again immediately after and a get a different reading - up or down - it's all a bit nutty!
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  • Posted

    The dr really doesn't have a problem with me taking my own readings in but I notice they always add both the ones I've done and the ridiculously high ones in the surgery to the notes. She even said they were ridiculously high. However she also said before I started on medication last May that if I was her mother she would be jumping up and down insisting I took the meds.

    I asked for [and got] a password to get my notes online so can see everything they've written. No problem.

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  • Posted

    As far as I know the doctor does not add the two sets of reading together for me, but she doesn't write my notes until I leave the room.

    That's interesting about access to your notes, thanks Jane. I didn't know you could do that.

    Who do you ask for the password?

    My BP has at last dropped with 14mgs candesartan combined with diuretics. Now just about 117/65, but I am very giddy!! The doctor says as long as it doesn't drop below 100.... I should be so lucky!

    Jenny

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  • Posted

    Glad your BP has dropped; actually giddiness can be a problem and somewhere I read not the best for OAPs as it could lead to falls !! Can't win can you !

    Our surgery does appts and repeat prescriptions online and there was another link to 'Access your medical notes online' which I couldn't access via the existing password. So the receptionist told me to make an appt with the main dr. - one I never see - and he gave me the password. It was illuminating.

    I discovered that a yr ago when they found hypertension I also had a suspect A1c which nobody had mentioned! They re-did it after I saw this and found it was exactly the same so now I've been told I've got prediabetes which isn't good but at least I know what the score is. I did all the life style changes last year so now have nowhere to go. Dr says the numbers will rise further and I'll need Metformin before long, that's not good to hear.

    The best thing though is I once had a row with one of the other drs [about 5 years ago] as he had said I was an ex smoker, it said so on the notes therefore must be right. He nearly threw me out of the practice when I objected. I knew that was all wrong as I smoked as a teenager [we all thought it very smart in those days] and never since I was pregnant with my elder daughter - she was 45 at the time!!

    This was on the notes because I had asthma diagnosed around that time and the nurse who sorted me out will have asked me various questions which I'd have answered truthfully never realising how things can come back to haunt you years down the line. I pointed out the error to the dr I'm now with and he has deleted it off my notes. It was ridiculous; it said 'Ex smoker - no of cigs smoked - 0.' This was repeated every yr since diagnosis in 1996 and the dr said it was obviously a mistake in the first place.

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  • Posted

    I think we all tried just as I tried to like Babycham!! I used to have a tin of Du Maurier tipped cigarettes in my handbag, but if I smoked more than five in all that would be overestimating. Now I tell them I have never smoked or drank so am Goody Two Sh

    Jenny

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