White Coat Hypertension and Online Healthcare Delivery
According to recent data, the incidence of hypertension rose by 10 percent in the U.S. from 2005 to 2009 (CDC, 2010). Some studies show that white coat hypertension can respond to dietary changes, reduction of stress, and decrease of sodium intake. Also, patients are encouraged to frequently monitor their blood pressure when episodic elevations are noted.
If you have “white coat hypertension” or “white coat syndrome,” your blood pressure goes up when you have it measured at the doctor’s office. Many healthcare professionals believe that this condition signals that you are at increased risk for developing hypertension as a long-term problem. This is also true for people who have blood pressure spikes at other times. If you have white coat hypertension, consider frequent monitoring of your blood pressure (Sheps, 2013).
Also called “isolated office hypertension” white coat syndrome is defined as blood pressure that is elevated at least 140/90 mm Hg at the doctor’s office, but a reading that is “normal” when measured other places. Blood pressure is considered normal when it is less than 135/85 mm Hg. Approximately 30 percent of patients report white coat hypertension, according to researcher Dr. Dunaief (2013).
Those with White Coat Hypertension are at Risk for Sustained Hypertension
In a 2005 Ohasama study, researchers found that study participants who had white coat hypertension were 3 times more likely to develop sustained high blood pressure compared to those who had normal blood pressure during office visits. In the trial, almost 800 people with the mean age of 56 were evaluated over an eight year period. This gave the researchers a better sense of how this syndrome could develop into sustained hypertension.
The PAMELA study (2009) showed that people with white coat hypertension were 2.5 times more likely to developed elevated persistent hypertension that those who had normal blood pressure during doctor visits. In this study, researchers followed over 1,400 people who were from 25 to 74 years of age over a 10 year period (Dunaief, 2013).
Prevent Hypertension with Beet Juice
In a small, randomized controlled study, researchers found that beet juice reduced blood pressure significantly. The participants were given 8 ounces of beet juice or a placebo drink (colored water). When the groups were compared, those who drank the beet juice had an 11 mm Hg decrease in blood pressure, whereas those who drank the water saw only a 0.7 decrease.
The investigators theorize that this effect was due to high nitrate levels in the beet juice that are converted to nitrite in the body. Nitrite is a potent vasodilator, enlarging the blood vessels and lowering blood pressure. Because some leafy green vegetables contain nitrate, they could offer a similar effect.
Lower Blood Pressure by Eating Bananas
In a recent study, scientist found that increasing potassium levels through food sources could greatly reduce blood pressure. The study participants eat foods daily that contained around 4,000 mg of potassium. These included leafy green vegetables, bananas, raisins, and almonds. The researchers advise that you must eat 10 bananas to get the adequate amounts of potassium, so it is best to eat a variety of potassium-rich foods.
Mayo Clinic Study: Smart Phones Effective for Telemedicine
According to a study by the Mayo Clinic, smart phone technology is useful for stoke patients. One doctor reported that telemedicine can now “fit in our pockets.” In telestroke care, the use of telemedicine allows for patients at rural hospitals to be seen in real time by neurologists. The doctor can evaluate the patient and also view scans of the patient’s brain for hemorrhage or blocked arteries. This allows patients to receive fast care without traveling miles to see the specialist. Lead researcher Dr. Demaerschalk conveyed that smart phones are everywhere, and there is no reason why health information cannot be transmitted securely and simultaneously using this capability.
Patients Approve of Online Treatment
If you or someone you love has hypertension, consider using the services of an online doctor. If you misplace or run out of your medication, the virtual healthcare provider can give you a prescription. All you need to do is send a request, and the doctor “sees” you across the air waves.
According to a recent study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, patients who have access to doctor notes are more likely to understand their health issues, take their prescribed medicines, and feel a sense of control over their care. The study found that 90 percent of patients reported that they actually read the doctors’ advice, around 70 percent said the information helped them improve prescription adherence, and 35 percent reported that they discussed these notes with others, such as friends and family members.
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