White coat syndrome is a condition wherein the individual demonstrates elevated blood pressure in a clinical setting, and not in other settings. This phenomenon occurs due to anxiety and apprehension some people feel during a visit to the clinic.
The term normal is relatively subjective and a host of changes are seen in every individual; thus, a reference measurement is necessary. Night time and self measured blood pressure readings are not subjected to stress and clinical values are subjected to apprehension and dread, day time ambulatory blood pressure is used as a reference, since, it takes in to account daily stress as well.
Most individuals having persistently high readings (like, 140/90mmHg and above) have hypertension; but there are those who will have white coat syndrome. Individuals having white coat hypertension have elevated B.P. (140/90mmHg and above), but, only when the blood pressure is measured in a clinic. They demonstrate normal B.P. outside the clinic environment. A tiny percentage may have white coat syndrome that goes unrecognized, which means they are erroneously diagnosed as hypertensive, and are given needless treatment.
What Causes White Coat Syndrome?
White coat syndrome or white coat hypertension is nearly always caused due to anxiety, worry, and dread; when your body activates the 'fight - flight' response. Some people may be aware of the fact that they are anxious and nervous, even as, others may think that they are relaxed when, they may not actually be. White coat syndrome can affect anyone, young or old, male or female.
White Coat Syndrome Symptoms
White coat hypertension or white oat syndrome is usually asymptomatic, i.e. it does not have any clinical features or signs.
White coat syndrome has no symptoms; you will not feel ill if you have white coat hypertension.
Treatment of White Coat Syndrome
To diagnose white coat syndrome, you have to measure your blood pressure outside the clinic set up. There are 2 methods to do this: one is taking the reading at home, the other is to have your Ambulatory Blood Pressure Measurement taken. Ambulatory Blood Pressure Measurement gives you 24 hour monitoring. A portable and small monitor takes regular readings of your B.P. over day and night. An average of the daytime readings is made. If the average is 135/85mmHg or less, then you do not have hypertension
Doctors state that if you have white coat hypertension you are at less risk of developing heart diseases than one who has persistently elevated levels of blood pressure. Nevertheless, he is at greater risk than one who has normal blood pressure at all times.
Hence, it is essential to make certain that you have your blood pressure assessed on a regular basis. This ensures that if the B.P. escalates, you can take on-time action to bring it down to normal.
Quite a few people who have white coat syndrome go on to develop hypertension in the future. Therefore, if you have other risk factors, like, a family history, elevated serum cholesterol, you consume a fatty diet or smoke, your physician will start treatment.
• Follow a healthy lifestyle. Your diet should be low in fat and salt, and loaded with vegetables and fruits.
• Maintain an ideal body weight.
• Stick to a fitness regime.
• Give up smoking and refrain from drinking alcohol.
• Buy a B.P. monitor to use at home; monitor your blood pressure levels from time to time.
• Stress management is exceedingly important. Relaxation is a must. Follow a de-stress technique. It could be Yoga, pilates, a hobby, gardening, walking, etc. de-stressing helps rejuvenate you and boosts your body's working capacity. Relaxation techniques put off palpitations and prevent the B.P. from spiraling.
• Psychotherapy and hypnotherapy are also beneficial.
• Meditation is a powerful tool for the effective management of white coat syndrome.
• Food prescriptions have also proved to be decidedly advantageous. Certain foods are known to be 'heart-happy' foods. They care for the heart and the vascular system. Incorporate them in to your daily menu. Garlic, walnuts, limes, alfalfa, and flax seeds are the most noteworthy food prescriptions. They help maintain normal blood pressure levels, keep the blood cholesterol in control and perk up cardiac functioning too.