“White coat syndrome” is the phrase used to describe temporary elevations in blood pressure experienced by some folks only when they visit their doctor. As soon as they see the white coat, their blood pressure goes up, whereas otherwise their blood pressure is usually in a perfectly normal range. This is a pretty dramatic demonstration of how anxiety and stress affect the body, mind, and emotions.
During your visit to your doctor you may not get high blood pressure, but maybe there are other ways in which anxiety interferes with your communication during your visit. Some people forget what they want to talk to the doctor about. Others become so hyper-focused on one issue that they lose sight of all other related issues. And then again, others get so caught up in small talk that, before you know it, they’re on their way out the door without their questions answered.
Understand that you have options.in the case of chronic fatigue syndrome it's extremely important that you dialogue with your doctor about what's working and what isn't working. Taking control of your own health means observing yourself, monitoring your own symptoms, and making decisions about the treatments that are best for you. Your doctor is an important and valuable resource in your health care, but you are your own primary health care provider through the lifestyle decisions you make each day. It is important that you learn to see your doctor as a partner in your desire to protect and improve your health, rather than the person most responsible for your health.
Prepare for Your Visit
These days the typical doctor visit is short—averaging 5 to 15 minutes. Provided your visit is not due to an emergency, create a detailed list outlining your condition or symptoms.
- If the symptoms are recurring, note what happens just before or after symptoms occur, and make note of any patterns or possible associations (for example, “My nose runs after I drink cold milk,” “My stomach hurts after I drink coffee,” etc.).
- Tune into how your body feels before you eat a meal and after you eat a meal.
- Tune into how your body feels before you exercise and after you exercise.
- Make a list ofall your observations and any questions you have.
- Bring a list of all the vitamins and medications you’re taking.
- Create a list of any family health history that may be important.
- Make note of any stressful circumstances that you’ve been experiencing, and include timelines for how long you spend experiencing the stress.
- Let your doctor know you have a list of (#) questions; this way, your doctor can make sure to leave time to get to all your questions.
- Make note of the responses that your doctor gives you. This way you won't forget what he or she said.