O2 Sats?

I am starting to get some help for my pernicious exhaustion and general feeling of being unwell all the time, no matter how much I rest or what my BG’s are doing.

Today I had a bunch of blood work done (some of it will take a few days to get back) but the doctor gave me a resting and walking pulse oximeter reading.

After sitting for some time in her office (twenty minutes?) my resting 02 Sat was 96%, but when I walked slowly around her office with the thing on my finger it went down to 92% and my pulse went up to 109 bmp pretty quickly and I felt a little light-headed – I was walking VERY slowly.

So what do these results mean?

I’m not sure. She was a bit cagey because she wants to get the results to the rest of my tests. I could be anemic. It could be something wrong with my lungs. I might need a lung x-ray next week, or other tests. It could be a combination of things…but it’s been getting worse instead of better over the past two months, and walking more is doing nothing to increase my endurance (I’m wearing a good-quality pedometer, so I know this is true) and getting lots of sleep is doing nothing to improve my general exhaustion.

So now I wait and try to not worry and hope for the best.

OK. I can do that.

Any ideas on the O2 sats?

UPDATE: My blood work appears to rule out anemia – my cholesterol is slightly elevated but everything else looks normal so far. My hematocrit always hovers one point above the bottom of the range – but it’s been there for years – not sure why. Oh, well. More doctor appointments next week.

You could have hyperparathyroidism like me. I am dreadfully tired all the time, exhaustion is something I have learned to live with over the past year. Am waiting for an operation to remove one of the parathyroid glands. It shows as high calcium levels in the blood.

I’m going to guess pulmonary hypertension, based on your symptoms. Although the parathyroid thing is also a possibility, it manifests as kidney stones, abdominal pain, osteoporosis/osteopenia/bone breaks, and psychological changes.

Gosh, who knows? I guess I’ll just have to wait for more tests. I don’t like knowing that my oxygen is low. It makes me feel a bit anxious about getting my breath, which I’m sure doesn’t help. Gah.

I read about the parathyroid thing. That sounds awful. I’m so sorry you have to deal with that Pastelpainter. I hope your operation will make you feel MUCH better.

O2 Saturation is a measure of oxygenation in your blood. “Normal” people are usually between 97-99%. If you are below 90%, that is of concern. Your body usually regulates this level, if you go low, you breath faster and bring the levels up. If you have real trouble, you can’t catch your breath and your O2 Sats fall. O2 Sat levels of 92 or 96% are less than normal, but don’t necessarily reflect a problem. Lower O2 Sat can be caused by anemia, but also by a whole bunch of other things.

Exhaustion and fatigue could come from a lot of sources. I hope you get some help soon.