Proper Oxygen Levels?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by PITATOO, Aug 27, 2005.


    PITATOO Member

    I went to the Dr's yesterday and my pulse ox was 92. Seems very low to me. I don't smoke except for the occasional; very occasional cigar. I don't live in a household of smokers or in a workplace. The Dr. said any lower he would have to put me on oxygen. My lungs are perfect. Could this be a reason for some of the symptoms of fibro. I can lift weights and do weight bearing exercies. But when I try anything aerobic I have a flare and even have a fever? I don't get it but I know it must be related someway somehow. Any thoughts????
  2. tilla

    tilla New Member

    My levels were 89 so I had to use one while asleep. It went even lower, so I am now on oxygen. We do live up 8,000 but when I get back to PHX, I am having a sleep study.

    The oxygen has really helped with pain. I also have problems with aerobic exercise, but this really helps. Have a sleep study done. It could be the answer you are looking for, seems it was mine.

  3. tilla

    tilla New Member

  4. lease79

    lease79 New Member

    Mine usually reads normal - between 97 & 99. But if the dr tries to get me to take some nice deep breaths to check out my chest, I nearly pass out every time.
    I have recently started YOGA & couldn't believe how wonderful (still in pain,) I felt afterwards, just because I could BREATHE!

  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Paul Cheney, M.D.'s Oxygen Treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


    By Carol Sieverling
    Note from Carol Sieverling: This article is intentionally detailed and technical so those who wish to try this treatment can share it with their doctor. It is based on a taped conversation with Dr. Cheney and has been reviewed and edited by him.

    Dr. Paul Cheney recently began prescribing oxygen for patients with alkaline venus blood. Up to an hour of oxygen in the morning can provide half a day of significant improvement and numerous benefits. He has been seeing alkaline blood results in patients for years, but dismissed it as insignificant, based on his medical school training. His growing suspicion that it was a very significant factor was confirmed when a speaker at an international conference on fatigue in London began a presentation by announcing "Ladies and gentlemen, I'm here to tell you that CFS patients are alkalotic."

    Blood alkalosis inhibits the transport of oxygen to tissues and organs, constricts the blood vessels, and lowers overall circulating blood volume.

    The purative cause of the alkalosis is the glutathione deficiency that is pervasive in CFIDS. Low glutathione causes an elevation in citrate, which in turn lowers a substance (2.3 DPG) that controls the release of oxygen from the hemoglobin. Our blood could be full of oxygen, but without enough of this substance it cannot break free of the hemoglobin and get into the cells. This causes oxygen deprivation in the tissues (hypoxia), which makes the body switch over to anaerobic metabolism, and that produces tissue acidosis, which can be painful. The acidosis here is unusual because instead of generating a lot of carbon dioxide, it generates a lot of organic acids that stay inside the cell. The body compensates for tissue acidosis by increasing renal bicarbonate reabsorption, and developing tissue alkalosis.

    This blood alkalosis is unusual in that Cheney usually sees venus blood pH values over 7.4 and urine pH values under 6.0. (Optimum venus pH values are 7.30 to 7.35.) When both blood alkalosis and urine acidosis are seen, it's a metabolic problem - not a psychogenic reaction to a needle stick. A blood pH above 7.4 shows impairment, and above 7.5 there is significant impairment - almost no oxygen transport at all. A urine organic acid test will also reveal this problem: elevated citrate and/or low 2-oxo-glutatic are markers.

    The really terrible thing is the presence of a vicious cycle. The blood alkalosis further lowers the levels of 2.3 DPG (inhibiting the release of oxygen), causing tissue hypoxia, which causes tissue acidosis and pain, which then causes blood alkalosis, which lowers 2.3 DPG even further. And around and around we go.

    The ultimate treatment for this situation is Immunocal or IMUPlus, the undenatured whey protein supplements that help restore glutathione. However, some patients cannot afford this, and it does not work on all patients. An immediate solution to the oxygen transport problem is to use a partial rebreather mask set at 35 to 40% FIO2 (Fraction of Inspired Oxygen), which requires a flow rate of about 10 liters per minute. Try to do an hour a day, broken into one, two or three sessions. You can do more than one hour a day, but do not do more than one hour at a time. Do not breathe heavily - breathe normally. Most CFS patients have headaches, and this can help those headaches. If the prescription is written for headaches, insurance may cover it. One hour of oxygen a day on a partial rebreather can run $75 to $100 a month.

    Oxygen through nasal prongs will not work. Oxygen alone in a mask will not work. It has to be a parietal rebreather mask, which has a bag attached. This allows you to rebreathe your expired carbon dioxide along with the oxygen that is flowing into the mask. Breathing increased levels of both CO2 and O2 at the same time is essential. The CO2 breaks the cycle. It corrects the alkalosis and frees the O2 in your blood to move into your cells. With proper functioning, vessels dilate and you start perfusing your brain and tissues, bringing out the toxins and brining in the nutrients. Raising oxygen levels will also help kill off yeast and other pathogens. Lack of oxygen allows them to multiply.

    It is important to the function of the rebreather that the bag contract and expand with the breathing cycle. It can fully expand when you exhale, but it must collapse when you inhale, though no more than two-thirds . It's not working properly otherwise. If the flow rate is too high (usually above 10 the reservoir bag will remain expanded during the entire breathing cycle and there will be insufficient rebreathing of CO2. If the flow rate is too low, the reservoir bag will collapse fully when breathing in. It must not collapse more than two-thirds. if the bag will not collapse well, check for leakage around a poor fitting face mask. The openings on the mask near the nose can be left open, or fitted with the rubber disks that turn the openings into one-way valves. An open mask has less rebreathing potential. With one-way valves, the CO2 rebreathing potential is increased.

    The speaker at the London fatigue conference sends his patients to breathing experts like Teresa Hale, who wrote Breathing Free. Most patients are walking around over breathing and thus becoming more alkaline. Learning to under breathe properly can help address the alkalinity of the blood and improve oxygenation.

    Two problems can be seen in some patients on a rebreather mask:

    1) Rapidly correcting blood alkalosis or overcorrecting (that is, acidosis) can provoke vasodilatation. If there is significant blood volume contraction some patients may become hypotensive and feel dizzy or faint. Taking oxygen lying down and expanding the blood volume with an isotonic electrolyte drink such as Gookinaid ERG (Electrolyte Replacement with Glucose), found at 800-283-6505 can prevent this. Reducing the time spent on the mask rebreather will also address this problem.

    2) Patients with a history of migraine may provoke a migraine in the moments just after going after going off the rebreather. Again, expanding blood volume and reducing the time on the rebreather can help with this side effect.

    © Carol Sieverling. Source: All rights reserved.

  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Dr. Cheney on an Effective Breathing Technique Alternative to the “Rebreather” Protocol for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    by Carol Sieverling


    Editor’s Note: Dr. Paul Cheney, M.D., discussed a "new" breathing technique with patient Carol Sieverling – he presented it to her as no cost, easier, and more effective at increasing oxygen transport than the "rebreather" protocol. The following is a transcription from a conversation taped with Dr. Cheney by Carol Sieverling, that took place in November 2000.

    First, here are the benefits of increased oxygen:

    1) more energy at the cellular level

    2) suppresses growth of yeast (and other pathogens)

    3) prevents swelling of the brain caused by decreased oxygen

    Dr. Cheney said this was not uncommon in CFIDS and is the connection between Chiari Malformation and CFIDS. Dr. Cheney said that Chiari is a compression phenomenon due to lack of sufficient width/depth at the base of the skull, while CFIDS is a compression phenomenon due to anoxic cerebral edema. Many CFIDS patients are familiar with Dr. Cheney's earlier oxygen protocol using a partial rebreather mask to address tissue acidosis/blood alkalosis and thereby improve oxygen transport from the blood into cells (see for Cheney Treatment Plan Prescriptions).

    Dr. Cheney has realized this rebreather protocol, while beneficial, has limitations. It can be difficult to find the equipment, it is expensive, and the procedure requires much "tweaking." Most significantly, he has come to realize that it does not address the underlying problem of 2,3 DPG levels.

    2,3 DPG is a substance that allows oxygen to be released from the hemoglobin in our blood. Without 2,3 DPG, oxygen can't get off the hemoglobin and into the cells of our body. This oxygen deprivation makes the body switch over to anaerobic metabolism, which produces tissue acidosis, which can be painful. However, the more 2,3 DPG one has, the more oxygen is released from the blood into the tissues and organs and brain. (And oxygen will help kill candida and other pathogens.)

    The very simple breathing technique Cheney is recommending to all his patients can be found on Andrew Weil's tape of eight different breathing methods. This particular method is Weil's favorite - he says it's the most powerful way to treat chronic illness that he knows of. Ayurvedic physicians developed it 3,000 years ago. And 30 years of clinical experience now back it up.

    Here is how it works:

    1) Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds

    2) Hold your breath for 7 seconds

    3) Exhale through tightly pursed lips for 8 seconds, creating "back pressure" (you should be able to hear the air being forced out of your mouth as you do this.)

    Do this 8 times in a total of two and a half minutes. Do this twice a day - a grand total of 5 minutes a day. That's all it takes. (If you feel lightheaded, just do it 6 times or until you begin to feel lightheaded, then build up to 8.) You must be very faithful and consistent for this to work, and it takes weeks for the body to adjust the 2,3 DPG levels. But your oxygen transport will get better and better over time.

    What does this breathing exercise do? This method is based on the same principle at work in the marathon runners from Kenya who frequently win the Boston Marathon. They live and train at a high altitude. They run at 12,000 feet. To compensate for the lack of oxygen at higher altitudes, their bodies make a physiological adjustment, raising 2,3 DPG levels so more oxygen is released. The higher the 2,3 DPG goes, the easier it is to run. Then the Kenyans go to Boston, which is at sea level (with more oxygen in the atmosphere of course), and run their race. But their bodies are still set for high altitude, so they end up with more oxygen being transported into their tissues than other runners. They are superoxygenated, transporting oxygen like crazy.

    Dr. Cheney's goal is to “trick” our bodies into thinking we live at a higher altitude, thus raising our 2,3 DPG levels, thereby transporting more oxygen from our blood into our tissues. How is that done? By not breathing! This method is actually regulated breath holding. As you regularly breath hold, your O2 drops. You induce a state called desaturation. And for those five minutes a day of desaturation, your body panics. It believes it's high up in the mountains and it spends the rest of the day compensating for that (by raising 2,3 DPG), even though you're not actually up in the mountains. The body is so concerned with desaturation that even though you live in Dallas, for example, it will program your body as if you live in Denver (at a higher altitude).

    Besides being cheaper, easier, and more effective, Cheney says this method has another advantage over the rebreather mask: you can't "overregulate." With the rebreather mask you can "counterregulate" - the result is that you can get too much oxygen transfer going on, which will cause your body to lower 2,3 DPG, ultimately lowering oxygen transfer. This is why the rebreather stopped working for many of us after several months.

    With this breathing method, Cheney said that the body will raise 2,3 DPG to the point that it is beneficial, but it won't raise it so high that it "forces a more profound alkalosis" of the blood.

  7. taniar

    taniar New Member

    Does anyone know what the appropriae oxygen level should be?

    Thank you, Tania
  8. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    was 94 at my last doc's visit but I had bronchitis I thought that was why it was a little low..I am begingin to wonder if maybe it does run low because I have people make the remark that my lips are blue.. Will excerise increase your
    oxygen level, by exercise I mean something short and simple? With my cfs I am unable to do much of anything. Not being able to be active could that be a cause of low oxygen?

    There are places you can get you blood pressure checked like the drug stores and wal-mart are there any that you can get your oxygen level checked?


    PITATOO Member

    Thanks for the help. It seems like I have some directions now.
  10. JLH

    JLH New Member

    An oxygen level of 92 is not that bad. I certainly can't see a person being put on oxygen for that level. (But I would cut out those stinky cigars!!! LOL) Is your oxygen level that every time at the docs?

    It is ideal for a person's pulse ox to be 95 or above.

    But to show you how low your oxygen level has to go before Medicare will approve oxygen at home .... Medicare will not approve oxygen unless your level is below 78!

    My oxygen level is in the 90's during the daytime; however, at nighttime, I have obstructive sleep apnea, and my oxygen level falls down to 74.

    So ... I was just barely "bad enough" for Medicare to pay for me oxygen to hook up to my CPAP machine at night!!

    Take care,

    P.S. My sister has COPD and asthma really bad - her daytime oxygen level is 59 -- and she has oxygen to use during the day, even though she doesn't keep it on all day like she is supposed to.

    This is why I can't see a doc ordering oxygen for anyone whose level goes a little lower than 92.