Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
White Coat Syndrome is Driving me Crazy!!!
Old 08-25-2015, 05:23 PM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,513
White Coat Syndrome is Driving me Crazy!!!

I've been tracking my blood pressure for a while now. I had measured it off and on over the years. I noticed it had crept up a bit a year ago, I was getting systolic readings in the high 120s to low 130s, and at the doctors office I would often see high 130s and occasionally low 140s.

So I started measuring more regularly. I had lost a little weight, was getting a bit more exercise, some dietary and supplement changes, and I saw my at home readings steadily improve over the past year. Low 120s, then 110s, and for the past couple of months, often under 110. Now I routinely get readings like 103/70 pulse 73. Occasionally see something like 117/72 pulse 77. It's quite rare for me to read above 120 now.

So I thought I would see correspondingly lower readings at the doctors office. Well, no. The readings are still high there. The divide between readings at the doctors, and the readings at home had simply gotten very wide now.

Today I was actually feeling a little anxious due to a scheduled doctor consult in the afternoon and had been rushing around a bit. So this morning my at home reading was 122/81 pulse 85.

So I try to relax and stay calm. Get into the doctor's, and they get a reading of 142/something pulse 100. What!!! It's so annoying, yet of course I haven't sat quietly at all, my feet were dangling in the chair, but in addition I can feel that my pulse is higher than normal - I can't seem to get my pulse to slow. Last time I was at a doctor's it was 132/70 and pulse 108! I could feel my heart pounding! That morning I had measured 104/71 pulse 80 at home.

I'm not a particularly emotional person, but I don't seem to be able to "talk myself down" when I feel anxiety in the doctor's office.

I recently switched devices. Was using an Omron 712C for many years. Recently got an Omron 785 that will average three readings. I was noticing variability in the systolic readings taken a few minutes apart at home, so I decided to use something that did averaging. The new device pretty much reads the same as the old, actually the readings are slightly better.

My iPhone has a handy health app where I can show my at home blood pressure history.
__________________

__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 08-25-2015, 05:28 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,436
I cannot help you, as my situation is the reverse.

I consistently measured higher BP at home than at the doctor's office. He blamed it on my home machine not being accurate, but I have two machines agreeing.
__________________

__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2015, 05:33 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,513
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
I cannot help you, as my situation is the reverse.

I consistently measured higher BP at home than at the doctor's office. He blamed it on my home machine not being accurate, but I have two machines agreeing.
Well that's interesting. Do you feel quite relaxed when you visit the doctor?

Do you follow all the little rules about posture, time from eating, position of arm, etc. at home?
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2015, 05:41 PM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,375
DH had heart surgery early this summer and he took his home BP machine to the cardiologist's office with him so he could have readings done at exactly the same time. Have you tried that? It wasn't a big deal.
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2015, 05:46 PM   #5
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ls99's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,792
Perhaps thing of the doctor's office as flower shop, or a cafe. Attitude makes a difference.

My BP is the same at the docs office as at home within a few points. I think of of the place as my favorite mechanic's shop. My weight is always 182 to 185, yet when at the Y it is always within 174 to 178. Not sure in the summer the shorts flip flops and a T shirt weigh that much more.
__________________
There must be moderation in everything, including moderation.
ls99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2015, 06:10 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,287
My doc will take my pressure sometime during out discussion of my past few months history etc. and me sitting in a chair, not on the exam table...

It seems that mine goes up after they call my name and me getting back to the doc... so exactly when they measure...

Now, when it is time to draw blood, I go the other way... sometimes 90/60 or even lower...
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2015, 06:13 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
redduck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: yonder
Posts: 2,066
My blood pressure findings are always lower at the doctor's office. A few years ago, I did what BWE's husband did, I brought my two home machines to the doc's office. He was all for comparing his blood pressure equipment with mine. My blood pressure was lower with his equipment. My two machines recorded just about the same numbers at home and in his office.
__________________
Carpe cōleī
redduck is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2015, 06:20 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
DH had heart surgery early this summer and he took his home BP machine to the cardiologist's office with him so he could have readings done at exactly the same time. Have you tried that? It wasn't a big deal.
Since I have two machines agreeing at home, and a long history with one of them, I haven't felt compelled to take that step yet.

Heck I know I'm stressing just from my racing pulse!

I know I have an option to take my device.

At my doctors they don't have a very good BP measuring protocol. They call you in, weigh you, seat you and take the BP right away, sometimes having you answer questions during! At least I am seated in a chair, feet flat on the floor, and back supported.

At home I sit quietly for 5 mins before taking.

One time DH took our original device to the doctors office and it concurred with his readings.
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2015, 06:43 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,436
Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
Well that's interesting. Do you feel quite relaxed when you visit the doctor?

Do you follow all the little rules about posture, time from eating, position of arm, etc. at home?
Yes, and yes. And it was at different doctor offices, not just one.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2015, 07:43 PM   #10
Recycles dryer sheets
Mo Money's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: .
Posts: 269
Audreyh1 -- I have the same issue and the same general discrepancy of BP numbers that you do. My doctors take it in stride.

With my cardiologist, who (whom?) I see for BP issues, I do the following: I take my Omron HEM-629 with me, measure my BP in the car, right before I leave for his office, and take a photo of the normal BP (120/80) Omron results. Then I stroll in the doctor's office with my Omron. My BP skyrockets when the doctor measures it, and I show him the photo. He chuckles. Then I use my Omron right in front of him. Again and again, it's either the same as, or virtually the same as, his BP meter's results. His white coat raises my BP.

It's just the tension of going to the doctor, and knowing that your BP is going to be measured, IMHO.
__________________
“We always may be what we might have been.” -- Adelaide Anne Procter
Mo Money is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2015, 08:13 PM   #11
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,036
We recently had the opposite problem . Our at home machine was registering higher that at the Physician's office . I ordered a manual BP cuff & stethoscope from Amazon now both readings match . It is very easy to learn to use a manual cuff & they are very accurate .
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2015, 08:39 PM   #12
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mo Money View Post
Audreyh1 -- I have the same issue and the same general discrepancy of BP numbers that you do. My doctors take it in stride.

With my cardiologist, who (whom?) I see for BP issues, I do the following: I take my Omron HEM-629 with me, measure my BP in the car, right before I leave for his office, and take a photo of the normal BP (120/80) Omron results. Then I stroll in the doctor's office with my Omron. My BP skyrockets when the doctor measures it, and I show him the photo. He chuckles. Then I use my Omron right in front of him. Again and again, it's either the same as, or virtually the same as, his BP meter's results. His white coat raises my BP.

It's just the tension of going to the doctor, and knowing that your BP is going to be measured, IMHO.
My pulse races even worse and BP rises if I'm in for any kind of procedure.

It's visceral. I can't seem to help feeling like a human guinea pig in an alien abduction horror movie.

My doctor hasn't said anything. It's only one of the senior nurses who give me the evil eye if my BP reading is over 140.
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2015, 09:55 PM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,036
Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
It's only one of the senior nurses who give me the evil eye if my BP reading is over 140.

Ignore the evil eye most senior nurses recognize white coat syndrome and listen to what the patient says their BP home readings are .
__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2015, 10:08 PM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
Ignore the evil eye most senior nurses recognize white coat syndrome and listen to what the patient says their BP home readings are .
She does back off when I tell her what I measured at home that morning. And now I can even show her my readings on the iPhone - almost two month's worth.
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2015, 10:17 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Kerrville,Tx
Posts: 2,724
I take reading with the home device for 30 days before a visit to the physician and provide a list of the readings to the doctor. This is just doing manually what will happen in a few years with smart phones and bluetooth bloodpressure cuffs. (only the smart phone will send the info in real time to the doctor). They are inventing bluetooth profiles for blood pressure devices. So just take about 30 reading over the month or so before, and take the list to the doctor.
__________________
meierlde is offline   Reply With Quote
White Coat Syndrome is Driving me Crazy!!!
Old 08-25-2015, 10:19 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
redduck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: yonder
Posts: 2,066
White Coat Syndrome is Driving me Crazy!!!

You might ask the doctor to take off the white coat.
__________________
Carpe cōleī
redduck is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2015, 10:25 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,513
Quote:
Originally Posted by redduck View Post
You might ask the doctor to take off the white coat.
LOL - wish it were that simple. I think for me it's the "summoned by nurse" syndrome.
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2015, 10:27 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,513
Quote:
Originally Posted by meierlde View Post
I take reading with the home device for 30 days before a visit to the physician and provide a list of the readings to the doctor. This is just doing manually what will happen in a few years with smart phones and bluetooth bloodpressure cuffs. (only the smart phone will send the info in real time to the doctor). They are inventing bluetooth profiles for blood pressure devices. So just take about 30 reading over the month or so before, and take the list to the doctor.
I've been entering my readings in the Apple Health app. It makes a pretty graph, and you can look at the individual readings too.

I take my blood pressure three days a week.
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2015, 10:50 PM   #19
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 5,594
I feel your pain. I've always had white coat syndrome. The weight loss and increased activity probably does bring down your numbers. It's working on mine. I used to be 120/80 at home and 5-10 higher at the DR's office. Now I'm getting numbers like 96/58 at home on the same machine. I know if I go in now it will spike up to a more normal number in the office.

I do believe careful tracking and having your results there is the best way to go.
__________________
MRG is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2015, 11:23 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 7,409
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
Ignore the evil eye most senior nurses recognize white coat syndrome and listen to what the patient says their BP home readings are .
And then the young nurse came in with the new kit for home fecal sampling , told a good joke, and while I was chuckling retook my BP which this time read close what my home readings were in contrast to my usual elevated doctor's office reading.

One time only - I usually bring my home readings when I visit the doctor.

heh heh heh -
__________________

__________________
unclemick is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I'm driving myself crazy !!!! Live And Learn FIRE and Money 56 06-20-2013 10:05 AM
Am I crazy, or is this 'Financial Advisor' crazy? Coderguy Young Dreamers 26 06-08-2011 08:02 PM
We're driving our docs crazy... mickeyd Health and Early Retirement 23 06-27-2009 08:41 AM
White Coat Syndrome? UncleHoney Health and Early Retirement 17 12-15-2008 06:54 PM
Blood Pressure & White Coat Syndrome cube_rat Other topics 11 06-27-2006 01:01 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:49 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.