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Do you Know About White Coat Hypertension?

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White coat syndrome

A prevalent ailment among the urban population, hypertension is mainly categorised into two types: primary hypertension and secondary hypertension. However, there are some rare types of hypertension which exist in a minor percentage of the population. These different types of high blood pressure include malignant hypertension, resistant hypertension, and isolated systolic hypertension among others. One of these is white coat hypertension. What does this type of hypertension really entail? Let’s find out.

White coat hypertension is when the blood pressure at the doctor’s clinic rises slightly as opposed to the blood pressure measured at home. It is also known as white coat syndrome or the white coat effect. This type of hypertension gets its name because of the doctors or nurses who usually wear white coats at the hospital or the clinic. As you know, a normal blood pressure reading is around 120/80 mmHg and anything above the normal value is considered as hypertension or high blood pressure.

When it comes to the white coat syndrome, it could also mean that you usually have normal blood pressure but the values slightly increase at the doctor’s office. It is however not always related to doctor-associated anxiety; it can also be a more serious problem than projected. On the contrary, there is another type of hypertension called masked hypertension which is the complete opposite of white coat hypertension. In this case, the blood pressure reading is normal at the doctor’s clinic and rises slightly in other medical settings and even at home.

Today, we’ll learn about white coat hypertension, its causes and treatment.

Causes Of White Coat Hypertension
Causes of White Coat HypertensionExperience anxiety at the doctor’s clinic or at the hospital is not uncommon, especially if you’re in discomfort or agony. However, this anxiety can cause a spike in your blood pressure readings.

Although white coat hypertension only causes a temporary increase in your blood pressure, it can be the path to a serious type of hypertension. There have been a few studies conducted out of which one study found white coat hypertension to cause an increased risk of stroke, heart failure, heart attack, and other cardiovascular problems among people with this type of hypertension. The other study found death from heart disease to be strongly associated with white coat hypertension.

These studies alone show the importance of a proper diagnosis to determine if the elevated blood pressure reading is a cause for worry or not. Other causes can include other stressors such as work, emergencies, high sodium diet, increased caffeine intake, and even skipping high BP medications.

Now that you’re aware of the causes of white coat hypertension, it is essential for you to understand the most effective ways to overcome it.

Overcoming White Coat Hypertension
Sometimes knowing that your blood pressure values may increase at the doctor’s clinic is what causes anxiety and spikes your blood pressure. Therefore, before you get your blood pressure measured, keep these few tips in mind.

  • Deep Breathe And RelaxDeep Breathe and RelaxAnxiety can cause your heart to beat faster than it usually does. So, when you’re at the clinic, sit down in a relaxed position and ask your doctor or the nurse to wait before measuring your blood pressure.
  • Sit In A Quiet Corner At The ClinicSit in a Quiet Corner at the ClinicOvercrowding and a lot of movement around you can be distracting so move to a quiet corner before you get your blood pressure measured to get a more accurate value.
  • Practice Relaxation TechniquesPractice Relaxation TechniquesIf you are generally an anxious person, find a technique which helps you calm down like deep breathing or meditation. Try the technique right before your blood pressure measurement.

For some people, talking while taking the test works in bringing their blood pressure down and for others, sitting quietly does. So, depending on what works for you, take the test.

All types of hypertension have different causes. A proper diagnosis and understanding of the type of hypertension helps in the right treatment. Remember, the treatment for every type of hypertension differs. So, always keep your doctor up-to-date with your condition and consult them immediately if you notice unusual hypertension effects.

Note of caution: This article is for information purpose only. Always consult your doctor in case of any blood pressure or other health-related problems.

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Comments (20)

Chetan

This blog is beneficial, thanks!

Rudra

How to deal with White Coat Hypertension?

BPincontrol Team

White Coat Hypertension is a symptom where the blood pressure rises while you are in the doctor’s cabin. You should try to relax as your anxiety levels are high during the visit. You could also try meditation as it helps to stay calm; you can even sit in quiet rooms to relax.

Surya

Can White coat hypertension increase my blood pressure levels?

BPincontrol Team

Hello, if you have White Coat Hypertension, then chances are it might increase your blood pressure levels. According to studies, people who have White Coat Hypertension tend to develop high blood pressure later. It is advised to take proper care of your health and visit a doctor when needed for appropriate guidance.

Chetan

I am afraid to go to a doctor for a blood pressure reading, how frequently should I measure my blood pressure?

BPincontrol Team

Hello, if you are afraid to go to a doctor and get your BP checked, then you can measure it at home once every day. However, it is advised to visit a doctor regularly to keep your BP in control. If you do not have any BP issues then for regular checkups you should measure your BP twice a year. We would recommend visiting your doctor for proper guidance.

Madhurima

Is White Coat Hypertension genetic?

BPincontrol Team

Hello, studies have shown that White Coat Hypertension is rooted in a person’s mind and isn’t imaginary. The possible cause for it can be genetic, so if someone in your family has it, you might have it too. For this reason, you can certainly consult a doctor and get proper treatment for it.

Kinjal

Great information. Thanks.

Rashmi

Woah, I had no clue there is something called white coat hypertension. Great read!

Vijaya

What are the various factors that can cause white-coat hypertension?

BPinControl

Apart from anxiety or nervousness, white-coat hypertension can be caused due to a variety of factors; Increased sodium intake, Increased caffeine intake, Work stress, Skipping BP medications, and Emergency/Alarming situations.

Chinmayi

How did white-coat hypertension get its name?

BPinControl

Since this type of hypertension happens mostly in a clinical environment, it has been named after the first thing people notice when they enter inside a medical facility i.e. white coats worn by medical staff. This is easily identifiable and is always associated with something serious or even bad. Hence, the name white-coat hypertension suits perfectly the condition.

Abeer

What is white-coat hypertension?

BPinControl

Apart from primary and secondary hypertension, there are a few rare types of hypertension that exist among a minor percentage of the population. One of these rare types is white-coat hypertension. White-coat hypertension is a condition wherein the patient’s blood pressure reading, while normal at home, drastically increases while present in a doctor’s office. This could be due to anxiety or any other lifestyle factors and can be the path to a serious problem like cardiovascular problems or an increased risk of stroke.

Ravi

Name 4 DIY techniques to overcome white-coat hypertension

BPinControl

White-coat hypertension is mainly caused by over-thinking and overreactions. The fact that knowing that your blood pressure values may increase at the doctor’s clinic, causes anxiety and spikes your blood pressure. Here a few DIY practices to keep your blood pressure in check; 1. Deep breathing exercises: This is the most effective and straightforward way to get your thoughts in line and bring your blood pressure down. 2. Find a quiet corner in the doctor’s clinic: Try and isolate yourself from all the noise and commotion that usually goes in a clinic, by finding yourself a nice quiet spot where you can take up a magazine and wait it out peacefully. 3. Use relaxation techniques: If you’re an anxious person by nature, you can do a little introspection and identify what helps you in keeping your nerves calm. This way, you can find a technique or 2 that can help you stay calm and composed during a doctor’s visit.

Golu

Good read. Never thought hypertension has a type.

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