I'm dealing with hypoxia lately. It sucks. And, unfortunately, I keep having to field questions like, "Is it because you take so much B12?" or "Is it because you switched from cyanocobalamin to methylcobalamin?".
I can only answer, "I don't think so", but, really, how am I supposed to know? I do suspect that it isn't a consequence of B12 deficiency, but I don't know (yet) what is causing it.
I've been going through various testing. The hypoxia was discovered after I was sent to see a cardiologist. Thankfully I have no heart problems. My lungs seem to be functioning all right as well. Since there are only three systems in body that are involved with getting oxygen to the tissues, and problems with two of them have now been ruled out, by process of elimination that means it has to be a blood problem.
I'm not anemic though, so that complicates the picture. There was a peripheral blood smear done that showed hypochromia, so that supports some type of hemoglobin problem. I have an appointment with a hematologist on May 5th. (I had to specifically ask for a referral because the cardiologist looked for a blood problem himself but was stumped by my results.)
I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high. I've seen two hematologists in the past and both of them blew me off because I wasn't anemic. One of them told me I couldn't possibly be having the symptoms I was describing with my test result numbers. So I know from experience how focused on numbers hematologists can become.
On the other hand, I really really need someone to get to the bottom of my problem and help me fix it. And I am hoping that the multiple demonstrations of hypoxia when moving around along with the blood smear will be enough to finally reach a diagnosis. Wish me luck. I'll let you know if I find out anything.
Btw, my oxygen levels are normal when I am sitting still. The problem was only discovered because the cardiologist asked me to walk up and down some stairs with a pulse oximeter on. He told me that my oxygen percent shouldn't fall below 94% but mine fell as low as 85%. On a later occasion it fell as low as 83% (then the oximeter started beeping in alarm so I stopped rather than find out how much lower it would go if I continued).
I don't actually know what level below 94% is a level that requires treatment, or what kind of treatment would be helpful. Does anyone know this? I've been assuming that I need to have the source of the problem figured out first, before any kind of treatment would be offered. But I've been having problems since February, and it's not getting any better on its own.
I don't know what I'll do if the next hematologist tells me that I can't be having symptoms because I'm not anemic...