I have several patients that come into my office because they are concerned about white coat syndrome high blood pressure and want to learn how to keep it at a normal level. White coat syndrome means that when they are in the doctor’s office their blood pressure is measured higher than normal (110/70 mmHg), however when they are in other setting their blood pressure is normal. It is true that blood pressure changes from moment to moment so it is possible to have blood pressure spike for some reason and five minutes or two hours later it can completely normal. We also know that events like exercise, anxiety, and meditation can influence blood pressure. For those people who have white coat syndrome it is believed that the spike is due to anxiety in that is produced by being in the doctor’s office.
With my patients I use white coat syndrome to gauge how they manage anxiety in stressful situations. The fact that many of them do not “feel” stress when they go into the doctor’s office but their blood pressure spikes while they are there is metaphor. The situation gives them feedback that they may have other situations in their life that might be causing them stress as well. White coat syndrome has become a wonderful tool to help me talk about stress management techniques to my patients. If you are suffering with white coat syndrome I encourage you to look at it as a wake up call to start managing your stress so you can get a handle on it before it becomes detrimental to your health later in your life.
Dr. Dae's website: www.healthydaes.org
Dr. Dae's book: Daelicious! Recipes for Vibrant Living can be purchased @ www.amazon.com or www.healthydaes.org
Dr. Dae's Bio:
Daemon "Dr. Dae" (pronounced Dr. Day) Jones is a Naturopathic Physician who completed her training at the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine. She is certified as a General Practitioner by the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE). Dr. Dae provides tailored treatment to meet the unique needs of every individual she sees in her practice.