Being a Canadian, we have the benefit of free annual health check. My doctor had said my blook pressure being a little high.
“But this might be caused by you being a little nerveous.” She quickly followed.
So she did nothing for 4 years in a row.
The “White coat hypertension”, or “White coat syndrome”, is a common phenomenon in which patients exhibit high blood pressure in front a doctor, but not at home. I decided to check my own blood pressure at home.
I bought an Omron blood pressure monitor, on and off, checked my blood pressure when I’m relaxed. After a few month, surprise, surprise, I had high blood pressure, and have probably been suffering from it for quite some time. I had been a victim of the Presumption of “White coat syndrome”.
High blood pressure (HBP) should not be taken lightly and brushed aside. HBP can damage the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other parts of your body. Heart attack is the No. 1 killer of both men and women in the United States. Each year, some 1.1 million people in the US have heart attacks, and almost half of them die.
Because of the “White coat hypertension”, you cannot blame your doctor for mis-diagnosing your blood pressure condition. Blood pressure can only be accurately monitored in your home when you’re totally relax. There are also time and conditions that you should and shouldn’t do the measurement. I’ll talk about how I choose my blood pressure monitor in the next post.