Have you ever taken your blood pressure at home and noticed that it is noticeably lower than when you’re at your doctor’s office?
A new study says many people experience whitecoat hypertension.
That’s a phenomenon where blood pressure spikes in a clinical setting because of anxiety.
And it could be dangerous.
If your blood pressure is falsely elevated due to the anxiety of being in the doctor’s office, you may be prescribed medicines that you’re not supposed to be on.
Health experts say here are some simple tips patients can do to make sure blood pressure levels are accurate.
First make sure you’re relaxed, not talking, your feet are shoulder-length apart flat on the ground and your arm is level with your heart.
The blood pressure cuff should also fit easily over the patient’s arm and should be placed on bare skin.
Putting the cuff over clothing can add as much as fifty points to the reading.
Also be aware of what can drive your blood pressure upward.
Experts say having a full bladder can raise your level by 10 to 15 points.
Experiencing stress like being late or getting stuck in traffic before your appointment can also raise the level.
If you think you have whitecoat hypertension, experts suggest asking your doctor about wearing a blood pressure monitor for twenty-four hours to help determine if your high blood pressure only happens at the doctor’s office or is a persistent condition that needs to be treated.