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Taking your blood pressure
Have a goal
Take control of your blood
High blood pressure and
white coat syndrome
How to take your blood
Types of cuffs
High Blood Pressure and White Coat Syndrome
Unusually high readings in a doctor’s office indicate “white coat syndrome,” which is the anxiety of having your blood pressure taken in a medical setting. A study published in JAMA showed that 21% of the 292 participants had this condition.95 In this chapter we will explore many techniques to lower the anxiety of high blood pressure. One technique in dealing with “white coat syndrome” is to ask the nurse or physician to take your pressure on the other arm, rest a few minutes, then ask to have it taken again. I find that when my pressure is on an upswing, it spontaneously lowers when I begin taking it more often. I find it is best to take my blood pressure every day, a minimum of four times a day. I take the four readings at one time within ten minutes of each other. Some doctors recommend taking each reading at different times throughout the day. Charting blood pressure averages year after year have shown me that my pressure rises in the early spring and midautumn like clockwork. For example, I saw a quick rise in the second week of November 1997 that lasted a week. The first indication was mid- 140’s over high 90’s. A week later I averaged 121/79 and then it continued to drop. As a result of these observations I noted that just as there are cycles in nature, I have my own seasonal cycles. During a high cycle just know that your blood pressure will soon return to what is normal for you.
A simple chart using daily averages can be made as follows:
The above chart allows you to see patterns in your blood pressure and to learn not to panic during a high cycle.
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