Why aren’t the oxygen levels of ME sufferers routinely checked?
The simple answer is that routinely measuring oxygen levels in ME/CFS isn’t going to help with either diagnosis or management – unless there is some indication that the person may also have an underlying respiratory disease.
What can be helpful in relation to both diagnosis and management of ME/CFS is having a two-day cardiopulmonary exercise test – which measures dynamic oxygen uptake and use. But Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing (CPET) testing is not easy to organise – as it is a hospital-based investigation.
- IACFS/ME Conference – Professor Todd Davenport study on exercise testing and ventilatory measurements in ME/CFS | October 2021
- There have been several clinical trials that have used CPET to try and understand Post-Exertional Malaise. Dr Betsy Keller in America is currently working on a multi-centre trial that will aim to replicate and improve on the existing results. The study is expected to complete in Autumn 2022.
- You can read about previous research that has used CPET in ME/CFS to determine PEM by downloading and searching the free ME Association Index of Published Research.
Information provided by The ME Association should not be construed as medical advice. Don't assume any new or worsened symptoms are simply the result of having ME/CFS or Long Covid. We recommend that any information you deem relevant is discussed with your NHS GP as soon as possible. It is important that you seek personalised medical advice from the GP who is in charge of your care and who knows you well.