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White Coat Syndrome after pre eclampsia

(12 Posts)
welshcake Tue 07-Dec-10 21:13:10

Hi - calling other pre eclampsia survivors! I had severe p/e with my daughter who was born just over 5 weeks early in August 2009. I now think as a result I have White Coat syndrome and this has got worse since I found out I'm pregnant again. At home my BP is never over 120/80 but so far twice at the doctor's it has been over 140/90. I get so worked up about having it taken - heart racing, hands sweating, basically a mini anxiety attack.

I really don't think I have high BP outside this situation. A few months ago my personal trainer took it after a 45 minute strenous work out and it was only 102/ 68 then! I'm just worried that medical staff aren't going to take me seriously and I'm going to be put on medication I don't need to be on - or worse my baby will be born early (though I know it's still early days being only 5 weeks!)

Has any one else experienced this problem and/ or have any advice on how I can deal with this?

StickThemWithThePointyEnd Tue 07-Dec-10 22:33:24

hey, sorry, I don't really have any advice on the anxiety, nothing clever, anyway, but I know that PE can only be 100% diagnosed by taking bloods, so all other symptoms could mean anything. if anyone shouts pre-eclampsia, have them do a blood test before things go any further.

ReshapeWhileDamp Tue 07-Dec-10 23:26:01

I wouldn't be at all surprised if you didn't have White Coat Hypertension after all that! I had PIH last time (they thought it was shaping up into PreE) and towards the end, I got so worked up about anyone doing my BP. I've always been told that while stress can jack it up a certain amount, it's only so much and if you really had PIH or PreE, it'd be clear. I think it's the systolic (top) rate that reflects stress, and the bottom rate is the one they're most keenly watching in pregnancy.

Like Ivy says, PreE can only be said to be occuring if you have blood tests that show something is happening with your organs. Could you ask a community MW if she can do your BP at home because of your fears and stresses? BTW, a GP's BP monitor will generally give a higher reading because they tend to be the digital sort and aren't calibrated to pregnancy. Mine is always higher at the GP's.

Concordia Tue 07-Dec-10 23:27:46

i have pe twice. when i get my blood pressure measured by the phlebomotist it is always lower (althoguh i am terrified of injections)

Mamathulu Tue 07-Dec-10 23:31:42

Although I've never had PE fully diagnosed, all my pg's have had suspected PE all the way through.

I find though, that my BP reading's REALLY fluctuate according to which cuff they use - if they use a normal cuff, it comes out high, if they use a large cuff it comes out spot on 120/80 (+/- 2) every time!

If your wee and bloods are ok though, you should be fine?

stickersarecurrency Tue 07-Dec-10 23:36:53

I had it the other way round - I've always had highish BP at the GP but it's been fine when they've given me a 24hr monitor. My first pregnancy was fine but in my second I had a few high readings. It's the diastolic which is most significant. I was very dismissive and convinced it was just White Coat but when I hit 170/110 with proteinuria and high urates it was fairly obvious it was PE.

They won't do anything unnecessary but will monitor you closely. PE is about more than your BP alone, and it's not something to be taken lightly, so try to relax and let the HCPs do the worrying

AlpinePony Wed 08-Dec-10 05:59:53

Got to agree with Mamathulu that the cuff seems to make a difference and who's taking it. The one they rig up to the machine always seems to give me a higher reading than the old fashioned one. Strapped up to that fucking machine surrounded by docs it went up to 185/125 with me sobbing and getting more hysterical with each and every reading.

I think all I can do next time is say "every time you look at me or I hear this damned machine beep it goes up"! I was lucky enough to have a couple of nurses who realised this - although the "try and relax" thing is a little trying! hmm

stickersarecurrency Wed 08-Dec-10 09:46:47

AlpinePony, the OP is worried about unnecessary treatment, and I have tried to explain that this is very unlikely to happen because it takes more than elevated BP to diagnose PE. So high readings alone (especially if it's the systolic figure that's rocketing) will not necessarily mean she'll have to undergo treatment. Hence "try to relax".

AlpinePony Wed 08-Dec-10 10:43:19

I wasn't having a dig at you! It was the medics who said to me "try to relax" - which is about as "helpful" as if you suffer from fertility problems someone saying "relax and it'll happen". Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! grin

But as sticker says, unless the readings you're getting taken at the doctors (in addition to other indicators) start to show that the BP is out of the "normal" range for you, then there's not really much to worry about. For me, my readings went from 110/60 to that 185/125 - that's a very definite indicator that something's wrong.

welshcake Wed 08-Dec-10 12:10:17

Thanks all. Those machines are evil and it doesn't matter how much I try to relax, I feel myself getting worked up. I'm sure that was part of the problem last time and why I wasn't discharged for 2 weeks after she was born. It's really frustrating. I wish they would just strap something onto you and give you 24 hour monitoring. It just seems there isn't enough allowance made for anxiety about these things. I mean it stands to reason you're going to be stressed. And the more you try to not be stressed the more anxious you get so it's a vicious circle. Oh well, thanks for tips guys. I'm just going to keep monitoring at home - highest reading this morning (after a hot bath and tidying / vacuuming the house and running round after my 16 month old) was 107/ 76. I know - at the moment at least - it's pyschological rather than physical - and I'm well aware of how serious p/e can be so I'd never take risks, just don't want to be misdiagnosed with high blood pressure this early on and have to take drugs I really don't need to be one.

stickersarecurrency Wed 08-Dec-10 12:41:26

welshcake Fri 10-Dec-10 17:01:07

Anyone else had experience of this?

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