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A Closer Look At White Coat High Blood Pressure

A. F. Benvenuto Saturday, July 24, 2010 ,
Stress has been identified as one of the factors that cause high blood pressure. Unfortunately, there are several sources of stress. It can be work or relationships related. Environmental conditions and certain situations are also major contributors to stress. Examples are going through job interviews or confronting someone. In some cases, people with normal blood pressure become hypertensive upon entering a physicians office. This occurrence is generally referred to as white coat high blood pressure or simply white coat hypertension. It is interesting to note that patients with this type of hypertension do not have or experience elevated blood pressure whenever at home or in other places except in the physicians office.

It is generally a temporary and treatable condition. And most of the time medications are not necessary since the root cause is psychological. Recovering spontaneously is possible as the patient deals and manages the anxiety induced by clinical visits. Some patients are able to overcome it after three visits to the doctor. Some people however need more time to recover and are usually under observation until the doctor deems it necessary to proceed with other treatment methods. Time is an important consideration when verifying the actual condition of the patient.

Initially, it can be difficult to tell if someone has white coat hypertension since the average blood pressure readings are irregular. Monitoring of blood pressure is therefore a critical step in determining the health condition of the patient. As the person becomes more accustomed to having his/her blood pressure checked in the clinic, the hypertension eventually subsides. For severe cases however, the patient is advised to continue monitoring his/her blood pressure at home for a certain period (usually about one to two weeks). Ambulatory monitoring for twenty four hours may also be recommended by the doctor as there are studies claiming that this type of blood pressure monitoring is more efficient in detecting patients with white coat hypertension.

The nature of this type of hypertension may imply that it does not increase the risk of having other complications related to the heart, kidney and brain. But it is not the case. Mild forms of hypertension develop into severe forms if neglected. Some information sources have reported that individuals with white coat hypertension are most likely to develop persistent hypertension in the future; are prone to stroke; and may experience cardiovascular irregularities. Hypertension after all is generally considered a silent killer. Causes and health effects are continuously being studied at present to increase better understanding of this condition.

In any case, prevention is still the best defense against any type of disease. Information on the causes and factors that may induce hypertension can aid in this life-long battle. Learning stress management techniques and adapting a healthier lifestyle will significantly reduce an individuals risk of having a disease. Staying healthy for the sake of avoiding diseases may be a boring excuse to be fit. Perhaps it would also be helpful to reassess ones outlook or perception of living. Being healthy could also mean being able to accomplish a lot regardless of age.


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