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So I got some of my lab work ups back and there are a few things I'm outside of "normal" range on. Some of the stuff that was just out of range I am not super worried about, and turns out I'm low in Vitamin D which I could have guessed (I almost never go outside). However, one of the numbers seemed alarming and I wanted to check in here to see if maybe it's common for overweight people and I'm currently stressing over nothing? As a side note, my doctor's office did call yesterday to discuss labs but left a voice message cause I couldn't answer at the time. I have not yet been able to reach them, so this is just an attempt to help me maybe ease my anxiety over it in the meantime.

Anyway, my CO2 levels were low on the BMP. Normal range is apparently 22-32 mEq/L and I'm at 19 mEq/L. I googled it (mistake, I know) and I guess this can be associated with Kidney Disease. My concern comes in cause with my CBC, the Red Blood Cell Count, Hemoglobin, and Hematocrit were all slightly juuuust above high normal range, and those being high could also be a sign of Kidney Disease.

Has anyone else had similar numbers and all? The blood pressure medication I'm on can damage kidneys, but they did have to run labs yearly to make sure that wasn't happening, and with those I haven't had a problem before (last one was about 6 months ago).

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So just as an update, in case anyone else runs into this issue. I still haven't been able to get hold of the doctor who ordered my labs (incidentally, I have an appointment with a different PCP on Wednesday this week to establish care with them instead). But, my nurse practitioner from MUSC did call regarding the labs they were faxed because a few were missing, and she let me know that I wasn't that low and it was nothing to be concerned about.

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My surgeon has said that it is common for co2 levels to be low before and after surgery. It can be a major concern post op because of co2 poisoning. He therefore recommends to have patients get a sleep apnea test and if necessary get a cpap for post op. Doesnt sound like your situation needed it but I just wanted to let you know that was a discussion with my surgeon.

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Posted (edited)

My CO2 levels have been around 19 for as far back as I have records, and my doctor has never brought it up as a concern. I would think that CO2 poisoning would be HIGH CO2 levels, not LOW CO2 levels, so I don't think that's likely to indicate sleep apnea, but I work in oncology, so it's not something I have familiarity with.

In fact I just found this:

"People who suffer from the nighttime breathing disorder known as sleep apnea may develop high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood during the daytime -- a condition known as hypercapnia," - (Reuters article)

So, a CO2 level of 19 is not caused by sleep apnea.

Edited by lizonaplane
clarity

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Also, just in general, unless your doctor says it's a concern, don't worry about a lab value that's just slightly above/below normal. I work in oncology research so I look at blood test results all day long and it would be highly unusual for a patient to have everything perfect normal in their blood work (obviously not talking about tests related to their cancer). People aren't machines, we have normal variation. The doctors will say it's just "not clinically significant", and we move on.

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I agree with previous poster- high CO2 is much more worrisome for apnea or obesity hypoventilation syndrome because you retain CO2. As long as your creatinine, BUN and gfr are good don’t worry about your kidneys

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Stay hydrated pre-op anyway and make sure you get in your electrolytes 🙂

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Just one more thing sorry! If your hgb, hct and rbcs are high it might mean that you are a little dehydrated because fluids will dilute your blood a little and hydration helps your kidneys too so it’s a win win.

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