You must have heard about hypertension but have you ever come across the term, White Coat Hypertension!
Did you know hypertension and white coat hypertension are related to each other.
(HTN or HT), also known as high blood pressure (HBP), is a long-term medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated.
Whereas, white coat hypertension is a condition that occurs when a person’s blood pressure is being recorded in a medical setting and the results are consistently 140/90 mmHg or above. Whereas, blood pressure seems to be normal when taken at home. White coat hypertension is also referred to as severe white coat syndrome.
At times it becomes difficult to know whether you have white coat hypertension or actual hypertension .
To understand this better, you need to be more aware of this condition. What causes it? What are the root causes? What triggers such levels of high BP and what are the precautions you can take to be more proactive and be on top of your situation.
What causes severe white coat syndrome?
Blood pressure is something that fluctuates and is not fixed- it changes with what you do and what’s happening around you.
White coat effects will often happen because you are nervous about having your blood pressure tested by a doctor or nurse. It’s natural to be tense in these situations. Although it’s something that we never notice but we are more relaxed when we’re in surroundings that are familiar to us.
The white coat effect can influence some people’s blood pressure more than others. If you are very anxious your systolic blood pressure can rise by as much as 30 mmHg. This can make it more difficult for your doctor to get an accurate measurement.
The Effects Of White Coat Hypertension
The term “white coat” is the coat traditionally worn by doctors. This effect refers to your raised high blood pressure when it is taken by a doctor under specific medical conditions. Usually, the blood pressure readings taken at home can be 10 mmHg lower if not taken by the doctor or taken at home. For some patients, this can make a big difference.
White coat effect is the patient’s anxiety about visiting the doctor or the hospital. It can result in a misdiagnosis of hypertension and this can lead to severe hypertension and therapeutic measures.
It was initially thought that white coat hypertension is just a temporary stress that happens to be at the doctor or in medical conditions. And was not considered as a big problem
Did you know the risk of death was almost double to what it was for patients with hypertension?
This is the reason it is also called masked hypertension. If you stress out and your blood pressure increases, there are a lot of things in life that can stress you out and raise your blood pressure.
White coat hypertension is usually used for the ones who are not receiving any medications for hypertension. But it’s important to distinguish an actual hypertensive patient from a white coat effect patient.
Techniques to help white coat hypertension
So how can you avoid severe white coat syndrome? Here are a few tips:
1. Work On Your Breathing
Breathing has been found to be the best remedy for anxiety. This simple and effective technique can be practiced to lower your anxiety that in turn helps normalize your blood pressure. You just simply need to breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds.
Follow these steps:
- Sit in a straight up position comfortably.
- Keep your tongue on the upper surface of your gums.
- Inhale through your nose and count for four then hold your breath for the count for seven.
- Exhale through your mouth for eight counts.
- Try to repeat this cycle for four times.
2. Start Drinking Beet Juice
Beet juice contains nitrate. It helps dilates the blood vessels and maintain the blood flow.
3. Start Brisk Walking Daily
Walking can decrease your blood pressure by calming the body from stress. It is effective for managing hypertension. Moreover, the extra oxygen you take in while walking can help you increase oxygen intake that decreases the stress on the heart.
4. Drink More Water
Water has an amazing calming effect. It cools down your nerves and flushes out sodium that increases blood pressure. Rather than drinking water in small portions all day, try to drink large portions for a faster effect on blood pressure.
5. Intake Potassium Rich Food
Banana is rich in potassium and is known to control blood flow and heartbeat. Potassium takes four to six weeks to have an impact on blood pressure. But it depends on how fast your body metabolizes the potassium-rich foods.
6. Avoid Unhealthy Habits
Avoid smoking at least one hour before the appointment because smoke reduces oxygen intake and makes the heart work harder. Avoid meals that contain sodium like fatty meals, at least two days before the physical checkup.
White coat hypertension syndrome is often neglected and perhaps not even considered to be a serious condition at times. However, let me assure you that if ignored there can be serious complications and it is crucial to adopt a healthy lifestyle that will not only help to keep white coat hypertension syndrome under control but also give you a better look on life itself.
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