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Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 2592
Experience:  Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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My problem is low oxygen saturation (72 to 86 without O2)

Customer Question

My problem is low oxygen saturation (72 to 86 without O2) since April. I had an episode of couldn't catch my breath. The Pulmonologist I see has given me all sorts of tests and chest x-rays and a blood gas, all of which have come back negative. No asthma, No COPD, no blood clots anywhere. I need answers and maybe another pulmonologist as he's cancelled several times and still doesn't have an idea. I've been checked by a cardiologist as well and have no issues there. Oh, and it seems that since there was no answer, maybe it's my weight. Yes, I am obese, however, when my episode happened I wasn't at my heaviest. I had alaready lost 20 pounds and I was I was doing what I have always done for the past 20 some years, walking with a full backpack from the office to the garage to my car.
JA: Is this a time sensitive issue? What type of specimen are they testing?
Customer: Blood gases as far as I know. The other tests were for asthma with I think Methacolin and some kind of injection to see the valves in the lungs is all I've been told
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: He knows all my history as far as high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, pernicious anemia. Even my primary knows whats going with the pulmonologyst
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. David replied 10 months ago.

Hello, this is Dr. David. I am reviewing your question now and will be with you momentarily.

Expert:  Dr. David replied 10 months ago.

finger pulse ox testing is still an estimation of your blood oxygen levels. blood gas testing of your arterial blood through an arterial blood draw is still a better way to know for sure what the oxygen levels are in your blood.

have you smoked cigarettes before?

you do need a pulmonary function test and a chest CT scan

what did your blood gas say was your blood oxygen saturation level?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No, I don't smoke. I never have. I've already had pulmonary function tests, negative. I've had a CT scan, negative. I don't know the answer the the carbon in the blood (blood gas test) but everything has been negative I've had I think they are called ABQs or something like that. everything comes back negative.
Expert:  Dr. David replied 10 months ago.

ABG is arterial blood gas. that is a better test of blood oxygen levels than a finger pulse oximeter

do you have excessive anxiety symptoms? severe anxiety can cause you to feel short of breath and feel like you can't catch your breath.

panic attacks can cause shortness of breath as well.