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(Wikipedia)   Any fellow Farkers dealt with altitude sickness? What helps?   ( en.wikipedia.org) divider line
    More: Strange, Districts of Bhutan, Bhutan, monastery, Paro valley, Taktsang Palphug Monastery, Lhakhang, Paro Taktsang, Taktsang monastery  
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121 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 08 Nov 2017 at 3:20 PM (2 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



49 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2017-11-08 01:53:48 PM  
1) I have.

2) Time.
 
2017-11-08 01:54:43 PM  
Dig a very deep hole.
 
2017-11-08 01:58:58 PM  
Go slow. Mindful deep breathing. Stay out of sun. Water.  No booze.
 
2017-11-08 02:05:41 PM  
If you don't have any coca leaves, there's nothing you can do but wait for it to pass.
 
2017-11-08 02:19:07 PM  
Don't fly.
 
2017-11-08 02:19:22 PM  
Adjust your altitude.
 
2017-11-08 02:20:00 PM  
If you're experiencing it now, drink water and seek medical attention.  You're probably not going to die, but an hour with a saline drip will get you back on your feet.

If you're preparing for it, do lots of cardio.

If you're at altitude:
-Drink water while you're there.
-Don't over-exert yourself.  Take it easy and take breaks.
-Avoid alcohol and caffeine.  Even moderate drinking can leave you messed up the next day.
-Drink water while you're there.
 
2017-11-08 02:28:45 PM  
Move to the coast.
 
2017-11-08 02:29:35 PM  
Lots of water.
Aspirin.
Rest.

I haven't had altitude sickness before but living in Colorado almost everyone knows about it.
 
2017-11-08 02:31:53 PM  
Acclimate. Don't exert yourself.

I get amused every year while out mountain biking and come across sea-level people out trying to ride or hike here.
 
2017-11-08 02:46:43 PM  
I took the cog railroad to the top of Pikes Peak as soon as I hit Colorado Springs.  I was doing alright until I stepped out of the car at the summit and then it hit me.  Whammo, and I'm in the snack area, drinking water and trying to eat a donut.  Sick as a dog, I piled back onto the train for the downward trip.  By the time I reached the half way point I was beginning to feel sort of okay and didn't completely recover until the train pulled into the station.

The thing that mystified me was that a couple of years before I had taken a van to the top of Haleakala on Maui to begin a bike ride down to the base of the mountain.  I never experienced a bit of altitude sickness then, but I sure as hell did at the top of Pikes Peak.  The summit of Haleakala is just a tad over 10K feet high, while Pikes Peak summit is a little over 14K high.  Is it possible that 4K feet is enough to develop a raging case of altitude sickness?

At any rate, like other posters have mentioned, acclimating yourself to high altitudes before you rush up to them helps and time is about the only cure for the malaise.
 
2017-11-08 02:55:35 PM  
Yeah. Analgesics and water.

Chew coca if you're in a place that has it.

Sleep at lower elevation if you're able.
 
2017-11-08 02:56:15 PM  

Prey4reign: Is it possible that 4K feet is enough to develop a raging case of altitude sickness?


Very much so, yes.  Past 12K, symptoms become more common and more severe.  Very common for people to go from C-Springs, up the tram, and get sick within minutes.
 
2017-11-08 03:03:41 PM  
2.bp.blogspot.comView Full Size


(Approximately 10% serious - Isn't canned oxygen actually a thing?)
 
2017-11-08 03:21:14 PM  
More altitude.
 
2017-11-08 03:21:54 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-11-08 03:22:31 PM  
A spacesuit.
 
2017-11-08 03:24:09 PM  
Water, time and acclimation.
 
2017-11-08 03:25:15 PM  

foo monkey: Prey4reign: Is it possible that 4K feet is enough to develop a raging case of altitude sickness?

Very much so, yes.  Past 12K, symptoms become more common and more severe.  Very common for people to go from C-Springs, up the tram, and get sick within minutes.


That last couple thousand feet can be brutal for anyone, but if you're not generally accustomed to life at higher altitudes, it will kick your ass. For a lot of people from low elevations, being active even at 9k is too much.

I remember the first time I rode the Kokopelli trail from Fruita to Moab; if you go to the outfitters in the area they have all kinds of signs warning you about the altitude. I asked one of them what that average was and he told me it was around 4500'.* He then told me they rescue people every season because they come up from sea level for the trail and just can't do the ride, even very fit people. I got a little laugh about it, as 4500' is significantly lower than my basement and there was sooooo much oxygen in the air I could tell the difference.

*though there is the section over the LaSalle's where the elevation is over 9k, that's still in my normal biking territory, but I imagine it could really fark with some people if they're not well prepared or adpapted for it.

I'd also note that it doesn't take more than a couple days to acclimate, so long as you're not doing any real strenuous activities.
 
2017-11-08 03:28:13 PM  
Prey4reign:
The thing that mystified me was that a couple of years before I had taken a van to the top of Haleakala on Maui to begin a bike ride down to the base of the mountain.  I never experienced a bit of altitude sickness then, but I sure as hell did at the top of Pikes Peak.  The summit of Haleakala is just a tad over 10K feet high, while Pikes Peak summit is a little over 14K high.  Is it possible that 4K feet is enough to develop a raging case of altitude sickness?

4K feet does make a difference - I used to work on Haleakala and it didnʻt bother me, but when I visited Mauna Kea, which is about 14K, I could definitely feel the difference. Mostly mental, I would forget where I put things, etc.
 
2017-11-08 03:33:13 PM  
People are gonna scoff but if you're preparing for a trip that'll involve a change in altitude, get one of those altitude training masks.

No you don't have to work out or go running or any of that crap. Just adjust it for a higher altitude than you live at, put it on, and sit down to watch TV. I'd recommend around 10k feet and an hour a day for 2-3 days leading up to departure.

I did this to prepare for a trip to Chile a few years ago and it worked like magic. When I got there, we climbed at 12k feet and hiked a ton around 10-11k feet and I was fine, unlike a similar tri to Colorado where at the same altitude with no prep, I got migraine'd into oblivion).
 
2017-11-08 03:37:09 PM  

Prey4reign: The summit of Haleakala is just a tad over 10K feet high, while Pikes Peak summit is a little over 14K high.  Is it possible that 4K feet is enough to develop a raging case of altitude sickness?


12,500 feet is where you can expect trouble to start. Here's the FAA's 14 CFR 91.211 - Supplemental oxygen.
 
2017-11-08 03:37:50 PM  

foo monkey: Prey4reign: Is it possible that 4K feet is enough to develop a raging case of altitude sickness?

Very much so, yes.  Past 12K, symptoms become more common and more severe.  Very common for people to go from C-Springs, up the tram, and get sick within minutes.


Sometimes even altitudes you're moderately used to can do it, probably if you're fighting something else or stressed.  I hike for miles and scramble at 12k on difficult routes a few times a month, yet recently got it on an easy 11k mountain walk.
 
2017-11-08 03:39:57 PM  
Subby here, late to the party.

I'm going to Paro, Bhutan in April at an altitude of 7000', with parts of the trip involving a climb to over 10,000'. This after 3 days in Dehli, which has the worst freakin' air in the world. Was there once before and was digging out black boogers for days.

My question is this: Do fellow Farkers have ways of dealing with high altitudes? I'm acting as step-and-fetch, baggage handler and general big scary guy / factotum for a 70+ year old retiree who's paying for my trip in return for said services, so I need to be physically able to compensate for her lack. Having never been above 6000' except in pressurized airplanes, I ask.

/ already working the treadmill.
 
2017-11-08 03:42:29 PM  
I suspect that depending upon your fitness level, it can kick in at lower altitudes.  My dad(not active) can't go to altitudes he used to be able to go to.  I'm only talking about 8000' or so.

There is no personal study behind what I'm saying, but it makes sense that a body that's been attuned to getting some exercise might be able to deal with higher altitudes easier.

From what you all describe it sounds a lot like what happens to me if I let myself get really out of shape and then exercise hard.
 
2017-11-08 03:48:23 PM  

Explodo: I suspect that depending upon your fitness level, it can kick in at lower altitudes.  My dad(not active) can't go to altitudes he used to be able to go to.  I'm only talking about 8000' or so.

There is no personal study behind what I'm saying, but it makes sense that a body that's been attuned to getting some exercise might be able to deal with higher altitudes easier.

From what you all describe it sounds a lot like what happens to me if I let myself get really out of shape and then exercise hard.


Yes, fit people require less oxygen by size, their muscles and heart are more efficient, so even though there's less oxygen available, they use it better and require less.
 
2017-11-08 03:52:07 PM  
It's not how high you go, it's how high you *stay*.

 I looked up one of the monasteries mentioned in the tag, and it's around 3100m (10,000ft).  But I'm assuming you're not going to sleep there.  The valleys there are at around 2500m (<8,000ft).  Makes a significant difference.   Altitude sickness takes time to kick in.    If you can increase your sleeping altitude gradually (rule of thumb: 300m a night, starting around 1500m - higher if you normally sleep that high),  you'll be fine.  If you're sleeping low enough for your level of acclimation, you should be OK riding or hiking significantly past 3000m as long as you descend within a few hours.  You'll feel short of breath but if you take it easy you'll be fine.

As others mentioned, beware of the sun.  Hat and sunscreen at all times.  No joke!

You can try Diamox (start it a few days in advance) but don't expect miracles, and do expect to pee like a race horse.
 
2017-11-08 03:58:54 PM  

Explodo: I suspect that depending upon your fitness level, it can kick in at lower altitudes.  My dad(not active) can't go to altitudes he used to be able to go to.  I'm only talking about 8000' or so.

There is no personal study behind what I'm saying, but it makes sense that a body that's been attuned to getting some exercise might be able to deal with higher altitudes easier.

From what you all describe it sounds a lot like what happens to me if I let myself get really out of shape and then exercise hard.


You'll probably be okay. Drink water, have some crackers handy, don't forget to eat. Take it slow, you'll notice that you're a bit breathless and your heart may beat faster but if you stop and stand still for a bit you'll be fine. You might feel tired and maybe a bit nauseous. Watch for headache, blurred vision, and perhaps some confusion. Or if your symptoms seem more severe than "I'm at 10K feet I'm feeling a bit tired and breathless" and more like "fark my head is killing me and I can't even move." You'll want to get to a lower altitude and see a doctor then.

Watch out for the 70 year old too. I'm getting up there and age does tend to whack you and 70 is getting to be considered old. It's not the new 50.

I routinely go from sea level to 7 to 10K and am fine. About 1 visit in 100 I feel a bit ickier than usual and I just take my hike slower.
 
2017-11-08 04:00:46 PM  

ValisIV: Explodo: I suspect that depending upon your fitness level, it can kick in at lower altitudes.  My dad(not active) can't go to altitudes he used to be able to go to.  I'm only talking about 8000' or so.

There is no personal study behind what I'm saying, but it makes sense that a body that's been attuned to getting some exercise might be able to deal with higher altitudes easier.

From what you all describe it sounds a lot like what happens to me if I let myself get really out of shape and then exercise hard.

Yes, fit people require less oxygen by size, their muscles and heart are more efficient, so even though there's less oxygen available, they use it better and require less.


This is one of those common-sense conclusions that rarely works out in practice.  All things being equal, I'd rather be in decent running shape than a couch potato (come to think of it, that's also true if you remove altitude from consideration), but studies consistently fail to find a link between exercise and altitude sickness / lack thereof.     One plausible theory is that people in really good shape mess up the results because they're accustomed to pushing themselves hard, and they fail to back off when they should.
 
2017-11-08 04:05:32 PM  
Thanks for all the advice, water is a given on any trip!
 
2017-11-08 04:13:28 PM  

maxheck: Thanks for all the advice, water is a given on any trip!


I'm approaching 50 years, but otherwise fit. I shall fly the Fark flag from The Tiger's Nest.
 
2017-11-08 04:16:34 PM  

maxheck: Subby here, late to the party.

I'm going to Paro, Bhutan in April at an altitude of 7000', with parts of the trip involving a climb to over 10,000'. This after 3 days in Dehli, which has the worst freakin' air in the world. Was there once before and was digging out black boogers for days.

My question is this: Do fellow Farkers have ways of dealing with high altitudes? I'm acting as step-and-fetch, baggage handler and general big scary guy / factotum for a 70+ year old retiree who's paying for my trip in return for said services, so I need to be physically able to compensate for her lack. Having never been above 6000' except in pressurized airplanes, I ask.

/ already working the treadmill.


7,000ft, immediately after Delhi (close to sea level), is a pretty awkward sleeping elevation.  It's low enough that some people can shrug it off, but there's no way of predicting whether you're one of those people.  Following my rule of thumb above, you really ought to plan on taking things really easy for a couple of days before you do any heavy lifting.  I imagine you're staying at a hotel with baggage handlers, don't hesitate to let them do their jobs.
 
2017-11-08 04:21:08 PM  

maxheck: This after 3 days in Dehli, which has the worst freakin' air in the world. Was there once before and was digging out black boogers for days.


You'll be too busy shiatting yourself from the dysentery to worry about altitude.
 
2017-11-08 04:28:43 PM  
Give it a few days.
 
2017-11-08 04:30:30 PM  
maxheck

Subby here, late to the party.

I'm going to Paro, Bhutan in April at an altitude of 7000', with parts of the trip involving a climb to over 10,000'. This after 3 days in Dehli, which has the worst freakin' air in the world. Was there once before and was digging out black boogers for days.

My question is this: Do fellow Farkers have ways of dealing with high altitudes? I'm acting as step-and-fetch, baggage handler and general big scary guy / factotum for a 70+ year old retiree who's paying for my trip in return for said services, so I need to be physically able to compensate for her lack. Having never been above 6000' except in pressurized airplanes, I ask.

/ already working the treadmill.


There is no substitute for altitude. If you can take a spring trip to Colorado or California do as much as you can to get above 3000m especially sleeping high. If you acclimate well you should retain it for your trip. My experience with biking and climbing up to 6000m was that I remained acclimated for at least a month post trip. Doing some acclimating stateside where your not adapting to food, water, etc. at the same time seems like a good way to stack the odds in your favor ( likely more convenient as well to bail quickly to lower elevations should you need to). Heck, in Colorado you could acclimate for your trip in a hot tub in Telluride.....
      Getting is shape also is a good idea but in my experience has little to do with acclimating. I've seen world class athletes lose their sh*t at 3800m and witnessed a friend from Sweden with zero time at altitude waltz over a 4800m pass. If you haven't already, learn to recognize the symptoms of HAPE, which although not as prevalent at the elevations you mention, can still happen.
 
2017-11-08 04:47:12 PM  

holyflurkingschnitt: Go slow. Mindful deep breathing. Stay out of sun. Water.  No booze.


Youe;e no fun! :

l will walk ttree times around.
 
2017-11-08 04:57:17 PM  

foo monkey: maxheck: This after 3 days in Dehli, which has the worst freakin' air in the world. Was there once before and was digging out black boogers for days.

You'll be too busy shiatting yourself from the dysentery to worry about altitude.

That would be Saigon.

 
2017-11-08 04:58:21 PM  

question_dj: Yeah. Analgesics and water.


I read that as aphrodisiacs and water, which would probably be bad advice.
 
2017-11-08 05:00:45 PM  
I've spent most of my life at sea level. I get sick when I go to Denver every year. I've started hydrating like crazy three days prior to the trip, and I take it easy the first three days I'm there. Didn't get sick on the last trip.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
 
2017-11-08 05:21:57 PM  

Shostie: Adjust your altitude.


FortyHams: Dig a very deep hole.


Deep Contact: Don't fly.


I'm thinking along these lines.  Altitude doesn't bother me.  It's perceived height.  Anything over a foot off the ground on a ladder bothers me.  Airplanes don't.  Altitude and low pressure don't.  go figger ...
 
2017-11-08 06:51:23 PM  
Quit smoking before you travel to high elevations.
 
2017-11-08 07:01:28 PM  
Another thing to consider is the dry air - maybe bring some of that nasal spray.
 
2017-11-08 07:09:41 PM  
 
2017-11-08 09:51:32 PM  
Diomox 500mg for 2 days prior and during your time at the destination. This will make you groggy, pee a ton, and make your hands and feet tingle, and just generally make you feel lousy enough that you won't notice the altitude sickness. Drink plenty of water and avoid sodas and beer. Other than that have a great time.
 
2017-11-09 12:02:20 AM  
Sleep as much as you can when you arrive. If you try to exert yourself, you'll get the mother of all headaches. (I've been to Quito half a dozen times, and the day after landing felt semi-normal.)
 
2017-11-09 12:43:05 AM  
Sea level. Works every time.

/your welcome.
 
2017-11-09 01:49:40 AM  
Drink lots of water and give yourself time to acclimate.  Avoid booze or if you did drink realize that you'll get a lot more drunk much faster than at sea level.
 
2017-11-09 07:58:07 AM  

maxheck: I'm approaching 50 years, but otherwise fit


If you sneak up on it, you can catch it faster

:P
 
2017-11-09 08:20:14 AM  

Explodo: I suspect that depending upon your fitness level, it can kick in at lower altitudes.  My dad(not active) can't go to altitudes he used to be able to go to.  I'm only talking about 8000' or so.

There is no personal study behind what I'm saying, but it makes sense that a body that's been attuned to getting some exercise might be able to deal with higher altitudes easier.

From what you all describe it sounds a lot like what happens to me if I let myself get really out of shape and then exercise hard.


It's probably more about age than fitness.  The body, on a cellular level, isn't as elastic when it's older than younger and it adapts to changes more slowly.  Sure eating right and exercise do help slow down that aging process, but it's still there.
 
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