You may have been told you have “pre-hypertension,” hypertension, or are currently taking medication to treat high blood pressure. It is therefore useful to check your blood pressure at home and create a record of your readings that you can share with your doctor. This is important because many people develop “white coat hypertension” when they visit their doctor. White coat hypertension is thought to be related to the increased anxiety people experience coming to see their doctor. This is a very common phenomenon, and occurs in as many as 20% of people. This false blood pressure increase can be confusing, as it then becomes unclear as to whether a patient has hypertension or not. Bringing a self recorded log will help your doctor make the best decision as to whether or not to adjust your blood pressure medication to achieve optimal control.
Another good reason to record your blood pressure over a few days or weeks is because hypertension is a 24 hour condition and can be affected by many different things like exercise, emotions, medications and diet. A single elevated reading, like the one at your doctor’s office can be misleading and difficult to interpret.
Share this with a patient or friend