Visiting a doctor or hospital can be an anxiety-inducing experience. For this reason, some people find that their blood pressure is normal at home but rises slightly when they are at the doctor. This is known as white coat syndrome, or the white coat effect.
High blood pressure in general is a cause of concern, due to the negative affects it has on the overall cardiovascular health. However, if you find your blood pressure shooting abnormally when you visit a healthcare center, it can pose an even greater harm to your heart.
Here is everything you need to know about white-coat hypertension, and its effect on heart health.
What is White-Coat Hypertension?
White coat hypertension is high blood pressure that occurs at your doctor’s office or in a medical setting, but not in other settings. On the other hand, regular hypertension is high blood pressure that occurs routinely in different scenarios, not just a medical one.
It is normal for blood pressure to fluctuate constantly throughout the day. However, people with white-coat hypertension may experience more frequent and higher spikes. It may indicate that their blood pressure shoots abnormally in high-stress situations, which can cause destruction to cardiovascular function and overall health.
If you find that your BP rises in medical situations, or other stressful situations, it is important to discuss the possibility of white-coat syndrome with a specialist cardiologist in Dubai.
The Effect of White-Coat Hypertension on Heart Health
When compared with people whose blood pressure was normal in all settings, people with untreated white-coat hypertension had a 36% higher risk of heart attack, stroke, and other heart-related events. In addition, they were also twice as likely to die from heart disease.
Moreover, research suggests that the condition nearly progresses to sustained high blood pressure.
How to Diagnose White-Coat Hypertension?
The best way to diagnose white-coat syndrome is by monitoring your blood pressure. A specialist cardiologist in Dubai may recommend that you visit the heart hospital after a few weeks and months, and to test your blood pressure then.
At the same time, it is recommended to keep a blood pressure monitoring device at home, and to keep a record of your BP at various times during the day.
Another option is an ambulatory blood pressure monitor. This device is strapped to you and worn for 24 to 48 hours. It tracks your blood pressure every 20 to 30 minutes during the window of monitoring. This way, your heart specialist in Dubai will be able to determine the blood pressure readings during various activities.
It is possible that your BP is elevated while driving, working, or performing other stressful activities.
If your blood pressure is always higher in medical settings, and normal at home, then a cardiologist may determine that there is a need for treatment of white-coat syndrome.
How to Treat White-Coat Hypertension?
If you find yourself feeling extra anxious or stressed out when you visit a healthcare center, it is worth mentioning this to a specialist cardiologist in Dubai. It is also important to monitor your blood pressure at home, as well as in the hospital setting, in order to determine whether there is a real difference in blood pressure.
Your heart specialist in Dubai may find that white-coat hypertension is indicative of a deeper problem. For example, you may experience abnormal spikes in blood pressure in nerve-racking or stressful situations.
Courses of treatment for white-coat hypertension does not necessarily involve taking blood pressure medication. Your cardiologist in Dubai may suggest the following treatment plans for controlling white-coat syndrome:
- Relax and wait a few minutes before having the nurse measure your blood pressure
- Adopt stress management techniques
- Find a spot in the hospital to wait that is not crowded
- Find the underlying cause of stress
- Practice healthy lifestyle habits such as exercise, good diet, proper sleep, etc.
- Monitor all the situation that cause a spike in blood pressure
Depending on the severity of the white-coat syndrome, and findings from testing and monitoring your blood pressure, a heart specialist may recommend a personalized treatment plan.
Visit the Best Heart Hospital in Dubai?
For the best cardiovascular treatment and healthcare, visit the German Heart Centre. We are the best heart hospital in Dubai, thanks to our experienced and qualified team of heart specialists and healthcare professionals.
We believe in a holistic and dedicated approach to healthcare. Hence, our team of medical specialists will provide you with the best testing, diagnosis, and treatment. Book an appointment today!