Can Anxiety Make Blood Pressure Go Up
While occasional anxiety does not cause long-term high blood pressure, it can cause temporary spikes in blood pressure during those anxiety episodes. If those temporary spikes in blood pressure occur every day or frequently, they can damage blood vessels, the heart, and kidneys in the long run or cause high blood pressure. Talk to a healthcare provider about medication if your anxiety interferes with your daily activities.If you want to learn more about hypertension, check our guide What does hypertension mean?
Meditation Or Deep Breathing
It can really help to calm yourself if youre stressed or anxious during a blood pressure reading at the doctor.
Taking a few deep breaths beforehand can help you relax. Meditation is also a proven stress reliever that helps people handle anxiety and worry before a trip to the doctors office.
The best part is that a short 10- to 15-minute meditation can be done while waiting for the doctor.
The Definition Of Hta
Resistant arterial hypertension is defined by Jacques Amar, coordinator of the arterial hypertension service at Toulouse University Hospital, as hypertension where blood pressure remains above blood pressure targets while the patient is receiving antihypertensive therapy, typically three drugs including a diuretic. Concretely, this means that the blood pressure remains above the recommended objective of 140 and / or 90 mmHg in a sitting position despite the combination of a hypertensive triple therapy and hygieno-dietetic rules.
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How To Get Rid Of White Coat Syndrome
Knowing that your blood pressure might increase at the doctor may be a self-fulfilling prophecy in some way. Basically, when you worry that youll have high blood pressure, this may lead to anxiety and stress, which may boost your blood pressure at that time.
However, most doctors will not make a hypertension diagnosis from just one high reading. This is because prescribing high blood pressure medications from one high reading may lead to serious problems like hypotensionalso called low blood pressure. This may lead you to pass out, or feel dizzy, lightheaded, or weak.
Not to mention that antihypertensive drugs like beta-blockers, diuretics, and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors can lead to a number of other side effects like headaches, nervousness, constipation or diarrhea, losing or gaining weight without trying, and even erection problems in men.
Instead of making a high blood pressure diagnosis from one reading, your doctor may ask you to return several times over a month. This will help the doctor determine whether you have regular hypertension or white coat hypertension.
However, during the course of these doctors visits there is also a chance of white coat syndrome appearing again.Furthermore, your doctor may have you monitor your blood pressure at home, which will more closely reflect your blood pressure from a day-to-day perspective.
Understanding High Blood Pressure
Lets be honest, high blood pressure is a term thats thrown around a lot and we should all be familiar with it. However, in reality, few of us truly understand what it means. So, here is a short synopsis of blood pressure:
Systolic Pressure: According to The American Heart Association, this is the measurement of the blood pressure your blood is exerting against your vessels when your heart is beating.
Diastolic Pressure: This is the blood pressure your heart is exerting against your vessels when your heart is resting between beats.
High Blood Pressure: Healthy blood vessels are flexible and expand and contract with your blood pressure. Vessels can narrow and constrict which makes it more difficult for the heart to pump blood through your vessels. This creates an increase in blood pressurein other words, high blood pressure. See the chart below for normal blood pressure by age, along with minimum and maximum readings.
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Final Thoughts On White Coat Syndrome
What should you take away from this guide to white coat syndrome?
White coat syndrome is a condition in which your blood pressure is high at the doctors office, often due to stress or anxiety but your blood pressure reading is normal in other settings.
That being said, a condition like masked hypertension is about 16 times more common than white coat syndrome, according to research from 2016.
This article also showed you how to get rid of white coat syndrome with a few natural tips on how to prevent high blood pressure. This can be as simple as practicing deep breathing exercises and meditation, working out, or doing yoga before your doctors appointment.
Taking cognitive behavioral therapy, adopting a blood pressure diet, and using automatic electronic measuring devices could also help you avoid white coat syndrome.
Follow these tips during your next check-up or physical at the doctors office. When you do, white coat hypertension will likely not be a problem.
Measuring Your Blood Pressure
Your GP, nurse, or other professional measuring your blood pressure, will ask you to sit comfortably and rest one arm on the table. They will then place a fabric cuff around your upper arm wear a T-shirt or loose clothes so that you can roll up your sleeves easily.
The inflatable cuff is attached to a small machine via a plastic tube. Your GP will inflate the cuff using a small hand-held pump, and as the cuff deflates the machine will read your blood pressure and display the numbers on a screen. This only takes a minute or two.
Sometimes your doctor might use a hand-held gauge, which looks a lot like a clock face, and a stethoscope to measure your blood pressure, rather than a machine. This is called an aneroid sphygmomanometer a sphygmomanometer is a device used to measure your blood pressure. Your GP might check your pulse before measuring your blood pressure, because an irregular pulse can mean the automatic monitors dont give an accurate reading. In which case, they will use a stethoscope instead.
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Is White Coat Hypertension A Concern
You might be thinking, So what if my blood pressure is a little high for a few minutes while Im at the doctors office? Its fine the rest of the time so it cant be that big of a deal
While White Coat Hypertension is largely nothing to worry about, it can be an early-indicator of potential future problems. In other words, if a doctors office visit can stress you out to the point of physical symptoms, its not a far leap to assume that you experience those same symptoms with other day-to-day stressors like work or family .
How To Avoid White Coat Syndrome When Youvisit A Doctors Clinic Your Blood Pressure Is Increased This Is Called As White Coat Syndrome
How to Avoid White Coat Syndrome
When you visit a doctors clinic, your blood pressure is increased, this is called as White coat syndrome. It is not necessary that blood pressure gets high due to checking by a doctor or a nurse, it can be raised by assuming hospital environment in your mind, even if you read this article your blood pressure can be increased if you are havingwhite coat syndrome. But if you follow some steps, you may be able to avoid white coat syndrome.
Overcoming White Coat Syndrome
Knowing that your blood pressure might climb higher in your doctors office may actually become a self-fulfilling prophecy for some. In other words, the worry that youll have a high blood pressure reading may actually cause just enough anxiety to boost your blood pressure.
Before you strap on the blood pressure cuff, keep these tips in mind for a normal reading:
What Is Masked Hypertension
Masked hypertension is the opposite of white coat hypertension. Patients with masked hypertension have normal blood pressure readings at the doctors office but have high blood pressure readings in other settings, such as in their home. Both white coat syndrome and masked hypertension are concerning conditions as both might lead to a wrong diagnosis and medication errors and both paint a strong case for the need of frequent BP monitoring outside the doctors office or hospital.
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What Does A Blood Pressure Reading Look Like
Your blood pressure reading will consist of two numbers a high one and a low one, e.g. 120 and 80. It will be written like this: 120/80mmHg.The higher number is when your heart pumps and forces blood through your arteries. This is your systolic blood pressure, its when the pressure against your artery walls is highest. The lower number is when your heart is relaxed and your blood pressure is at its lowest. This is your diastolic blood pressure.
How One Can Avoid White Coat Syndrome
1-If you are a true patient of high blood pressure, then only thing to avoid it is by taking blood pressure meds, dont assume that you have WCS and you dont need any medicine.
2-From the evening before you go to the doctor, try to avoid drinking water, so there will be less chances for BP to raise.
3-When you are going to your doctor you may listen your car music. Smile. Enjoy life. Drive slowly. Try to relax on the way to the doctor. Do not think that your blood pressure will rise when you will reach doctor. Your thinking can effect blood pressure alot so try to be relaxed.
4-Avoid Excessive physical exertion while entering clinic, and walk slowly.
5-Try to be relaxed at doctors clinic waiting room. Meditate. Smile at the world. Close your eyes. If you have somebody with you, fall asleep while you wait.
6-If you get normal blood pressure reading, your job is done, congratulate yourself and avoid high blood pressure speech. Youve conquered White Coat Syndrome on this visit.
7-If you have this problem, better you Tell your doctor before he takes your BP. This is the most important step.
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What Is White Coat Syndrome Aka White Coat Hypertension
The nurse tightens the blood pressure cuff around your arm and slaps the velcro into place. She pumps air into the cuff and it squeezes around your arm, slowly suffocating it. You silently question why they havent invented a better contraption to measure blood pressure. Soon the discomfort passesuntil the nurse tells you the reading. Your blood pressure is reading at 140/90, clinically considered high systolic blood pressure.
If your reading registers high at the doctor’s officebut blood pressure monitoring in any other setting it is normalyou may be suffering from white coat syndrome, sometimes referred to as white coat hypertension or blood pressure phobia. So, what is white coat syndrome? It is an elevated blood pressure reading without the diagnosis of hypertension. The ICD 10 code for this condition is R03.0. It is also closely related to iatrophobia, the fear of doctors.
White Coat Syndrome Risk Factors
White coat syndrome appears to be more common in both women and older patients. Research shows that among people aged 60 and older, there were more heart problem cases in those with white coat syndrome than in people without this type of high blood pressure.
Some people experience high blood pressure due to other factors like an emergency, work stress, the loss of a loved one or another type of life trauma, or not taking your blood pressure medications for a number of days.Although genetic factors can play a role with hypertension, there is little debate that diet, lifestyle, and environmental factors are underlying causes of high blood pressure.
A diet high in sugar, fat, and salt and low in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids may also increase blood pressure. Caffeine, alcohol, smoking, obesity, inactivity, and pregnancy or taking birth control pills may also increase your risk of hypertension. Exposure to heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury may also be a factor in certain patients.
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White Coat Hypertension Vs Hypertension
This section will compare white coat hypertension vs. hypertension.
Regular hypertension is always present, whereas white coat hypertension is a high blood pressure reading in a clinical setting only.
Experiencing white coat hypertension doesnt mean you have regular hypertension at the same time, some people with hypertension dont always have high blood pressure while at the doctor.
This is what is known as masked hypertension. It happens when your blood pressure reading is normal in the doctors office but higher in other settings.
Research published in the journal Circulation in 2016 actually shows that masked hypertension is 16 times more common than white coat hypertension. Consequently, many hypertension patients may be at risk of slipping through the cracks because their readings are too low while at the doctor.In a nutshell, hypertension is difficult to diagnose. That is why, to rule out white coat syndrome or to determine masked hypertension, your doctor may suggest ambulatory blood pressure monitoring, which continuously measures blood pressure.
This can help determine whether you have high blood pressure on a regular basis, or just in the doctors office.
Tips To Avoid White Coat Hypertension
Even though its still not fully understood, there are some techniques that you can use for white coat hypertension treatment.
You can practice stress reduction on a regular basis. If you are an anxious or nervous individual, this technique can help you relax in stressful situations. It can actually help you distinguish between whether you have naturally high blood pressure, or white coat hypertension.
As you may know, your salt intake can cause your blood pressure to rise. Cutting back on high-cholesterol foods may help in lowering blood pressure as well.
Hypnosis can be a relaxing and beneficial treatment that can be done at times other than when the doctor is taking your blood pressure. It allows you to take control of your blood pressure and deeply relax. If you combine hypnosis with the other two techniques, you can take complete control of your blood pressure and relax more every day, potentially helping you to overcome white coat hypertension.
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Tips To Reduce White Coat Syndrome Even If Youdont Have Problem Of High Blood Pressure Stress Can Make It To Surge Usually When The Doctor In White Coatmeasures It This Is Called White Coat Syndrome
Tips To Reduce White Coat Syndrome
Apart from having high blood pressure permanently, which means that you are permanently hypertensive, there is some sort of temporary hypertension that also exists. Even if you dont have problem of high blood pressure, stress can make it to surge, usually when the doctor in white coat measures it. This is called white coat syndrome. This sudden rise in the blood pressure can be minimized by taking some measures before the testing of the blood pressure by reducing the stress level. Some of the ways to do this are:
Dig Out The Root Cause
Unchecked and prolonged white coat hypertension can lead to sustained hypertension, which in turn, can cause several diseases and disorders. In order to ensure your wellness and health, you can take professional help from a hypnotherapist. Let a hypnotherapist use cognitive behavioral therapy to dig out whatever might be causing this fear of medical settings in you.
at Blossom Hypnosis uses subconscious mind healing techniques to help her clients overcome the phobia of public speaking and learn how to express themselves better. She also offers Skype sessions to
October 30, 2019
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How To Treat White Coat Hypertension
Although there is no known cure for white coat hypertension, frequent measuring of blood pressure levels at home or place of work and comparing those results with the doctors results can easily alert the medical professional of the potential presence of white coat syndrome. Such home BP monitoring should be always done with a medically validated device such QardioArm which makes it easy and convenient to take an accurate measurement anytime, anywhere and store the BP history in the app, ready for the next in-office doctor visit or email it beforehand if necessary.
The companion Qardio App allows you to set reminders to take your blood pressure regularly, and stores your readings in easy to read charts and graphs. Learn more about smart blood pressure monitoring with QardioArm.
Post contributed by Natalie Cassidy.
Do Meditation And Breathing Exercise
Meditation will help you calm down before going into the doctors office. As a result, your blood pressure will remain normal.
Counting backward might relax your mind. You can also try breathing from the nose and exhaling from the mouth then inhale from the mouth and exhale through the nose.
To shift your focus from your fear, you can also close your eyes and count the things you can hear.
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We Want To Do Something About It
Thrive Family Medicine was founded because we were frustrated, too. We believe in high-quality medical care in a friendly, welcoming atmosphere where our patients feel valued. You knowlike how every doctors office is supposed to be.
But we want to take the idea of humanizing healthcare even further. So our goal is to provide transparency, authenticity and a whole-life approach to healthcare including attention to diet, exercise, mental health and more.
If we sound like the kind of practice youd like to check out, wed love to hear from you. Isnt it time to schedule an appointment with doctors who care? Like, actually care?
Find Out And Address What Is Making You Anxious
Getting to know about your fear is the first step to lowering your anxiety.
Once you find out your fear, know the possible solutions to get rid of it. For example: If you are afraid of needles, try finding out actually how much a needle hurts and is it worth getting anxious for this?
Face your fear as much as you can so that it doesnt make you anxious anymore.
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