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How do you prepare for altitude sickness?


How do you prepare for altitude sickness?

Answer ( 1 )

  1. Altitude sickness describes several symptoms that happen to your body when you’re exposed to a higher elevation within a short period of time.

    Altitude sickness is common when people are traveling and either climbing or being transported to a higher elevation quickly. The higher you climb, the lower the air pressure and oxygen levels get. Our bodies can handle the shift, but they need time to gradually adjust.

    Here are some things you can do to prevent yourself from getting altitude sickness:

    2. Eat carbs

    It’s not often we’re told to eat extra carbohydrates. But when you’re at a higher altitude, you need more calories. So pack plenty of healthy snacks, including lots of whole grains.

    3. Avoid alcohol

    Alcohol, cigarettes, and medications like sleeping pills can make altitude sickness symptoms worse. Avoid drinking, smoking, or taking sleeping pills during your trip to higher altitude. If you want to have a drink, wait at least 48 hours to give your body time to adjust before adding alcohol into the mix.

    4. Drink water

    Staying hydrated is also important in preventing altitude sickness. Drink water regularly during your climb.

    1. Climb slowly

    Your body needs about two to three days of slowly going higher in order to adjust to the changes. Avoid flying or driving directly to high altitudes. Instead, go up higher each day, stop to rest, and continue the next day. If you have to fly or drive, pick a lower altitude to stay at for 24 hours before going all the way up.

    When traveling on foot, plan your trip up with stopping points at lower elevations before reaching your final destination. Try to travel no more than 1,000 feet each day, and plan a rest day for each 3,000 feet you go higher.

    5. Take it easy

    Climb at a pace that’s comfortable for you. Don’t try to go too fast or engage in exercise that’s too strenuous.

    6. Sleep lower

    Altitude sickness usually gets worse at night when you’re sleeping. It’s a good idea to do a higher climb during the day and then return to a lower altitude to sleep, especially if you plan on climbing more than 1,000 feet in one day.

    7. Medication

    Usually medication isn’t given ahead of time unless flying or driving to high altitude is unavoidable. There’s some evidence that taking acetazolamide (the former brand name of Diamox) two days before a trip and during your trip can help prevent altitude sickness.

    Acetazolamide is a medication typically used to treat glaucoma. But because of the way it works, it can also help prevent altitude sickness. You’ll need a prescription from your doctor to get it.

    It’s also important to know that you can still get altitude sickness even when taking acetazolamide. Once you start having symptoms, the medication won’t reduce them. Getting yourself to lower altitude again is the only effective treatment.

    Symptoms of altitude sickness

    Symptoms can range from mild to a medical emergency. Before traveling to a higher altitude, make sure to know these symptoms. This will help you catch altitude sickness before it becomes dangerous.

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