White Coat Hypertension
Many times my patients will have elevated blood pressures when I check it, but swear that when they check it themselves it’s entirely normal. This could be because our blood pressure cuffs are different, but more likely it’s because of a very common condition called “white coat hypertension.” This is the situation where, completely outside of the patient’s control, their blood pressure will rise in the presence of a healthcare professional.
White coat hypertension isn’t dangerous by itself, since it usually represents only a temporary increase in blood pressure. Think about it like going to the gym – if you were to check anyone’s blood pressure after they’ve been on a treadmill, their blood pressure will be high. But when they rest, it comes back down. This is perfectly normal and white coat hypertension is no different.
So, what should you do if you suspect white coat hypertension? First, speak to your clinical team. At Heyday Health, we work with patients to check their blood pressure at home, ideally in the morning in a calm and well-rested state. While white coat hypertension isn’t worrisome by itself, many patients go on to develop regular hypertension, so it’s important to get regular check-ups and maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.
That’s the why of Heyday Health. To know each of our patients deeply, to give them a team they trust, and to always put care first.