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Pulmonary embolism,burping,coumadin,INR,increased oxygen saturation,reflux

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 1579 Questions
Hi, is the feeling of needing to burp a sign of a pulmonary embolism? I have had this feeling for a week now and it is to the point that I am afraid to eat. It gets better if I don't eat. I have no pain in my chest or stomach. The reason I ask is because I have a history of pe in july 2009 and am on coumadin for life. My INR has been stable. The past week I have noticed my oxygen saturation bounce from 92-98% even at rest. It usually does this only on exertion so it has me concerned. I saw a PA at my doctors office and she thought it was reflux but I didn't know about the O2 sats at that point so did not ask her about it. thank you
Posted Sun, 22 Apr 2012 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 12 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

From your symptoms it looks like acid reflux and gastric ulcers to me. It is not a sign of pulmonary embolism which presents with shortness of breath, tachypnea (rapid breathing), chest pain of a "pleuritic" nature (worsened by breathing), cough and hemoptysis (coughing up blood.

Try the following lifestyle measures:

1. Try raising the head of your bed about four inches with blocks.
2. It also might help to avoid eating or drinking for two hours before you lie down.
3. To help control the stomach acid, one should not drink alcohol or drinks with caffeine in them, or eat chocolate or spicy or greasy foods.
4. Also take some antacid. But if the symptoms are severe, then you may need drugs like proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole after consulting your doctor.

If the symptoms persist then you may need an upper GI endoscopy to rule out any gastric ulcers which are caused by the bacterium H. Pylori. Upper GI endoscopy is the commonest investigation and detection of H.Pylori is made by urea breath test, measurement of antibody levels in blood and detection of urease activity in a biopsy specimen by rapid urease test.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

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