Phobias are easily manifested due to a number of fears that a person develops over the years, and if not treated correctly, they can develop into a medical syndrome that may often need treatment. One of these syndromes is the White Coat Syndrome, a medical condition that affects a person’s blood pressure drastically. Read below to understand more about it and how to avoid it:
What is White Coat Syndrome?
In a nutshell, many people fear doctors and being around medical healthcare professionals or they’re getting a check-up at a clinic can cause their blood pressure to spike. Generally, a healthy blood pressure reading would be 120/80 mm hg, and any number above that is considered high according to age and weight. Around 15% of actual high blood pressure patients suffer from it, and they notice that at home, their blood pressure is much lower than when they’re at the doctor’s office.
One of the challenging things about diagnosing this syndrome is that your physician needs to be sure whether it’s actual high blood pressure or white coat hypertension. They might ask you for another reading in a couple of weeks, or even recommend that someone else does the reading at home when you’re not in a medical setting.
Treatment and How to Avoid it
As with many phobias and syndromes, there are many ways to avoid it or prevent it from happening. Treating white coat syndrome can be managed if you recognize your anxiety and follow a few simple tricks that will ease your worry. It’s absolutely necessary to treat this syndrome because if not treated, you’re at risk of having long-term hypertension and high blood pressure. This, of course, may lead to cardiovascular disease and developing a heart condition.
Some of the practices you can do are:
- Frequent Check-ups
For starters, you need to watch your blood pressure like a hawk to avoid any serious damage to your heart. You can measure your blood pressure at home and compare it to that at the clinic in order to make sure that it’s not too high regularly.
- Calm Yourself
You need to find a relaxation technique that you’re comfortable with so you can remember to calm yourself down when you’re at the doctor’s office. You can practice breathing exercises, do a quick meditation session, or even counting down things using your senses. These will ultimately relax you.
- Move Around
Walking around and breathing will also help in distracting your mind and body with what’s happening to you. It will get the blood flowing, and you won’t be as intimidated as before. You can also move to a quiet area away from the hustle and bustle of a clinic so you will be calmer.
Do you know how we talk to children before they get a shot to distract them? Consider having a close confidant with you at the doctor’s office, someone who will talk to you as the doctor or nurse measures your blood pressure. You can even strike a conversation with your physician as a means of distraction.
There isn’t really a cure for high blood pressure or white coat hypertension, but there are many ways to manage it. Consider frequent check-ups with your physician and practice the methods mentioned above to have a calm and relaxed doctor’s appointment. Over time, it’s best to have watched your blood pressure to avoid any serious complications.