The Friday gathering – White coat syndrome?

By glblguy


Last week ago I went to the hand surgeon for a follow up on my broken finger. As part of the visit they check my weight, temperature and blood pressure. My blood pressure was little high, 142 over 105. The lower number was their concern. For those that may not be familiar, 120 over 80 is ideal.

This isn’t the first time this has happened, each time time I visit the doctor my blood pressure is a little high. Doctors call this white coat syndrome. To be honest, visiting the doctor doesn’t bother me in the least bit. I don’t feel nervous or anxious, but for some reason my blood pressure seems to be high.

This same situation happened a few years back, so I purchased a blood pressure meter for use at home so I could keep an eye on my blood pressure when not at the doctors office. I pulled it out once again and began testing my blood pressure. Perfectly normal at home as I expected. While not the ideal 120 over 80, my average at this point is 139 over 86. Not bad considering I really don’t exercise like I should and I’m almost 40.

What I have seen and will be interested to see over the next couple of weeks is that my blood pressure on the weekends is much lower than during the week.  Over this past weekend, by blood pressure averaged 127 over 83, but during the week, the average was 146 over 88. Hmmmm, what’s different??? Work.

The only difference is that during the week I work my full-time job, and on the weekends I don’t. Logical conclusion is stress. One weekend certainly isn’t even close to any type of scientific proof, so I’ll be interested to see if the trend continues. I’ll keep you posted.

Important Stuff

Lots of important stuff to mention this week:

  1. March MadnessFree Money Finance is running the March Madness personal finance “tournament” where articles from personal finance bloggers compete against each other. I submitted my article: Do you appreciate what you have? I’d appreciate it if you head over to Round 1, Game 3 and vote for my article by commenting with “Appreciate”.
  2. Nuru Personal Finance Cards Giveaway – I recently reviewed a set of personal finance cards from Nuru and am giving them away. So head over and add a comment to be entered. You have until February 1st.
  3. 0% Percent Balance Transfer Credit Card Deals –  Thanks to your positive feedback on the idea, I’ve added a Zero Percent Balance Transfers Credit Cards page to Gather Little by Little. If you are currently paying interest on credit card debt, I would strongly recommend you transfer your balance to one of these cards. I did recently and have been very happy with the decision.
  4. Ask the M-Network – Just a reminder that the Ask the M-Network feature is still available. Have a personal finance question you’ve been wanting to ask? Contact me and I’ll post it where you can get not only my input, but input from all of the other M-Network bloggers.

The Gathering

Here are my favorite personal finance articles this week from the M-Network and other blogs on my blogroll:

Photo by: Waldo Jaquith

10 Responses (including trackbacks) to “The Friday gathering – White coat syndrome?”

  1. Green Panda Says:

    Thanks for the mention. Your post reminded me to schedule my regular check up appointment. I’m not nervous around doctors, but long waits annoy me. I hope your blood pressure stays lower glblguy!

  2. CHristianpf Says:

    I was going to go over and vote by it looks like the game is over – Good hustle ;) looks like you won hands down ;)

  3. Queen of the Road Says:

    You might be somewhat comforted to know that my husband and I are both physicians and he’s always had “White Coat Syndrome,” (and no, not just around me!).

  4. Funny about Money Says:

    When your BP goes up at the office, is that “white collar syndrome”?

    Nice round-up of interesting posts…thanks!

  5. GrannyAnnie Says:

    Hey GLBL, hope all is well with you. Listen, your blood pressure being in the mid 80’s on the bottom isn’t bad all by itself, but over time this is not as good as keeping the lower number in the 60’s or 70’s. Since you are not yet middle aged, this could become a problem. You know the power of compound interest? It is sort of like that with your blood pressure. Small amounts, and small increases, over time, compound into larger trouble. You are WAAAYYYY too important to a lot of people to have untreated hypertension! Even if it is only just a little… Love ya!

  6. glblguy Says:

    Alright there Granny Annie, no fair making me almost have to grab the tissues this morning!!! Seriously, thank you so much for your comment. I am planning to see the doctor, but wanted to get a good 2 weeks or so of ratings so I can bring them with me.

    Thanks again, you made my morning :-)

  7. Matt SF Says:

    I occasionally have this happen and I’m told it’s directly related to pre-appointment anxiety. When we feel anxiety, our heart rate naturally goes up, so it makes sense that BP would spike as well.

    It doesn’t happen for every appointment but the last time this happened, my heart rate in the doc’s office was in the high 80s. Back at home three house later it was in the low 70s.

    Hope that helps.

  8. Kristen Says:

    It is amazing what stress can do to your blood pressure. A couple of years ago (at the ripe old age of 29), I started getting high blood pressure readings every time I went to the doctor. It wasn’t off the charts high, but it was too high for my age and for the fact that I had never had high readings before.

    It turned out to be all job stress. The high readings started shortly after I took a new job. Since I changed jobs about 16 months ago, I haven’t had one high reading.