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High Blood Pressure: White Coat Syndrome or Just Big Biceps?

I’ve always registered ‘higher’ blood pressure when I visited the (standard)doctors office but my naturalist doctor has assured me that after viewing my blood-panels etc. that my blood pressure isn’t an issue(he insists that the systolic number just be under 100)… I test at home, on my wrist, and I’m consistently 120/75(ish) but the rare occasion I test at doctors or use one of the ‘supermarket’ BP machines, I’ll read as high as 160/100…I’m 5’9" 195lbs and have big biceps… When standard ‘upper arm machines’ test me, it feels like my bicep is being strangled to death, super uncomfortable. I’m also generally nervous (White Coat Syndrome) in the doctors office.

Does anyone on here go thru this as well and what are your suggestions? I have to take a full physical for a life-insurance policy and not sure what I can do to prepare. I guess I’m just wondering also, how accurate are the wrist machines? I seem to get consistent readings vs. the Doctors offices that are all over the place.

Thanks in advance and hopefully this is enough info to get

The day of the physical: don’t lift, and don’t take any caffeine/coffee. That should at least help.

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Buy a arm cuff BP machine. Check at home several times.

If its higher at docs office its because of white coat. Ask to sit in darkness for a few minutes, close eyes, meditate basically.

Ask to take it twice.

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Yep mine registers high at the docs office too, however the Mrs bought a machine for home, usually do it 2 or 3 times and its lower with each crack at it.
The Mrs had to have an operation a little while back, she was soon nervous about it, when they did the initial check when she rocked up at the hospital, it sent off alarms, they told her that so much can affect your blood pressure, and the only way to get a proper resting measure is to be really calm, sitting for a while etc. So the ones in the shop are out straight away as your Standing, and have been walking.
Docs seem to give conflicting info too, one doc told me not to worry about the top number, as long as the bottom one is in range etc., Whereas other doc’s are freaked either way.

I think TC might’ve written about this in a T Nation blurb. Maybe @Chris_Colucci can help you with his googlefu to find it?

There’s supposed to be a larger sized cuff used for “bigger” people. Because if the cuff is tight the measurement will be off on the high side.

I don’t want to steal his thunder, but here you go.


Makes a little sense, thanks for the article mate.
I’m the same as the poster above, the bloody thing pumps up so freaking tight, unless they do it the old school way by hand.

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