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SATS: How low is too low?

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Old 11-24-2011, 08:15 AM   #1
Mamas in Pain
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SATS: How low is too low?

With frequent raynauds episodes I am left wondering how low our sats have to be before they are too low?
My daughter has a cardiac problem so I already have a pulse oximeter in my house.
I am testing frequently and my lowest readings are 50-54%.

I appreciate any help and advice.

If we physically can not warm ourselves up, how are our sats score going to improve?
I'm going to ask my GP tomorrow for circulation boosters because the weather is getting much colder I am having at least 4 episodes in one day.

Thank you

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Old 11-29-2011, 10:57 AM   #2
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Re: SATS: How low is too low?

In my experience with Raynaud's, sats are not looked at, since Raynaud's causes the temporary cyanosis (the blue or purple phase) that drops the sats. No oxygen due to the vasospasms is part of the problem that is Raynaud's, therefore the sats just aren't that useful in that setting. Of course, I'm just a patient. You don't say what's being affected by your Raynaud's, but there are some things that you can do to help prevent attacks. Dressing in layers to help maintain body warmth can be helpful. Relieving stress can be very helpful as that in and of itself can bring on attacks. Those little chemical handwarmers are great for your hands and feet. I myself am a firm believer in wool socks. I bring mittens to the grocery store to use in the coolers and frozen food sections and even wear gloves to the office if the air conditioning is a bit much in the middle of summer. I try never to touch cold things with my bare hands and am very careful about anything that can inhibit circulation, such as tight ribbing around socks and gloves. In severe cases, there are medications that can be prescribed as well, both systemic and topical. I am currently on one of the calcium channel blockers for Raynaud's myself. Bottom line is avoiding attacks if you can obviously helps the most and using your pulse oximeter just doesn't really give you anything useful, given the nature of Raynaud's. I certainly can sympathize with you as I am going into the cold dreary damp time of year, just before the snows of winter really let fly.

Old 12-01-2011, 04:25 PM   #3
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Re: SATS: How low is too low?

What are those chemical handwarmers you mention? I might look for them. For several years my fingers have been getting worse, used to be just occasional white on right index finger, now is several fingers at a time on both or either hands. I even got out of the warm shower this week, and had several fingers be white down to the second joints. I wear gloves most of the time, even in the summer.

Old 12-02-2011, 05:25 AM   #4
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Re: SATS: How low is too low?

I'm not sure what they are called. Hot hands or some variation thereof, I should imagine. They sell them at my local gas station, plus I believe the big box discount stores sell various brands by the box. I think camping stores have them as well. All they are is a mini version of those disposable heating pads for your back or whatever that are available at your local drug store. I'm not sure where you find them in Great Britain, but I know that they are available there as well. There are also battery powered versions, and reusable microwave versions. I go through the whole white, blue and red thing in both my hands and feet, and have found them to be quite helpful.

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Old 01-07-2012, 11:45 AM   #5
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Re: SATS: How low is too low?

It is very difficult to get an accurate O2 sat reading with a finger pulse ox when you have Raynaud's (as you already know). I have had Raynaud's for years caused by defective heart valves that were, in turn, caused by Rheumatic Fever as a child. My pulmonologist has to use a pulse ox that fits on the earlobe to get a reading. Your O2 sat should be 90% at least. I don't believe the low 50's readings you are getting now could be accurate....Please talk with your doctor about use of different pulse ox. Take care.

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