White Coat Hypertension: Definitions, Background, and How To Avoid It – When you go see a doctor, surely you will consult your problem? Why is my stomach hurt, why my head is dizzy, and so forth. Well, however, it turns out that there are some people who if they meet doctors instead feel overanxious to affect blood pressure in his body. Have you ever experienced or seen people with this kind of condition?
Hypertension or high blood pressure is the rise of blood pressure with a systolic value above 120 mmHg and diastolic above 80 mmHg. Usually, high blood pressure occurs continuously.
What is white coat syndrome?
There is a state of blood pressure to be higher under certain conditions. White coat hypertension (white coat effect) is an abnormality of a person experiencing high blood pressure when meeting with medical personnel, such as doctors.
As the name implies, white coat hypertension is usually found in people who meet with medical personnel who use distinctive white coats like those commonly worn in various health care venues. In general, one’s blood pressure will remain steady. However, in people who are experiencing white coat hypertension, his blood pressure will surge high when meeting with health personnel.
The white coat hypertension was first discovered by Riva-Rocci in 1896. In research in the year 1983, there were intra-arterial blood pressure measurements in some patients in the hospital for 24 hours.
Although the case of white coat hypertension is usually not real blood pressure and occurs temporarily, this condition can be harmful. This condition can make people get an unnecessary treatment. In addition, it can make the doctor mistake if the treatment that has been given was unsuccessful, judging by the results of the measurement every time he visited.
Background on White Coat hypertension
Researchers found that the presence of doctors in the screening room led to increased blood pressure and heart rate frequency in patients. It is noted that the patient’s blood pressure has a peak value of 2 – 4 minutes for the doctor came, and remains high as long as the doctor is in the room.
On the other hand, a study was conducted to find out the background of white coat hypertension. The study was conducted using microneurography to measure the flow of sympathetic nerves through muscles and skin, to assess muscle reflexes and emotional responses in the skin’s nerves.
The result of the study mentions, there is the activation of nerves in the skin and the sympathetic nerve barrier to nerves in the muscles in patients who get blood pressure screening by a physician or simply meet a doctor in the room.
Researchers suspect, anxiety or stress is the underlying occurrence of white coat hypertension. In other words, patients with white-coat hypertension tend to experience anxiety compared to patients with normal or stable blood pressure.
Related to that, researchers expressed that patients with white coat hypertension did not feel any excessive reaction to all emotional stimuli. They only react to the emotional stimulus associated with the doctor or the doctor’s room.
After the findings are obtained, subsequent studies are conducted. Researchers get the findings that patients experiencing white coat hypertension have a great anxiety when they are in the Doctor’s room. This can happen because they have a negative experience with the doctor or other medical team.
Out of all the above research results, a new allegation arises that the white coat hypertension can be the origin of real hypertension. A study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology states, a person who is experiencing white coat hypertension is more likely to experience problems with blood vessels.
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How to avoid white coat hypertension?
If you often experience the effect of a white coat when measuring blood pressure, it is important to try and manage anxiety before visiting a physician. You can take a break before you start measuring blood pressure. Take a deep breath and relieve anxiety and fear.
Do not measure your blood pressure while you are in a hurry or panic.
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In severe anxiety disorder, it can be impossible to overcome the effect of white coat.