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Congested Heart Failure?

My oxygen drops to 84 at night while still awake, but 94 during the day. A CT scan shows small Pleural effusion in my lungs. CT scan also showed small Pleural effusion four years ago. Echocardiogram was done and my heart looks healthy. I do have some slight chest pains at night on and off. For the last 9 months I sleep up to 10-12 hours a day. Prior I would sleep about 7 hours. The lung doctor thinks it is congestive heart failure and says a echocardiogram may look normal and you can still have congested heart failure. But, my regular doctor thinks because my echocardiogram was good and my blood work is good that congestive heart failure is not the problem. She thinks the pleural effusion was from me forgetting to take my thyroid medication and because my thyroid tested low. But my thyroid was normal four years ago and a CT showed Pleural effusion then too and it still leaves the question why I have a drop in oxygen while laying down still awake. The lung doctor says sleep apnea happens only when your asleep and my overnight test shows it drops while awake. Any reason for concern for heart disease?

  1. Hi. Thank you for sharing your personal experience with us. It certainly can be frustrating when you are experiencing a symptom (such as a drop in oxygen) and your doctors are unable to agree on the cause. I see that you note here that you see two different doctors. Is one of these doctors a cardiologist? Cardiologists are the heart experts and I would think would be the most knowledgeable on these topics. If not, perhaps a referral to a cardiologist is in order? What do you think? John. community moderator

    1. Pleural effusion can definitely happen as a result of heart failure and thyroid disease is a risk factor for developing it. To ease your mind, I would definitely recommend getting a referral to a cardiologist for a complete workup. Also, make sure you contain to take you thyroid medication as prescribed until your doctor tells you to stop. Since thyroid disease can affect your heart, you want to make sure you manage that as best as possible.

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