Doctor insights on:
High Altitude Sickness Prevention
As one ascends through the atmosphere, every breath contains fewer molecules of oxygen. One must work harder to obtain oxygen, by breathing faster and deeper. The % of oxygen in the atmosphere at sea level is 21%. As altitude increases, the % remains the same but the number of oxygen molecules per breath is reduced. At 12, 000 feet 40% fewer oxygen molecules per breath. Your ...Read more
How do I go from sea-level to sky high? I live at sea-level and am going to be hiking in colorado. What can I do to avoid altitude sickness?
Why do I keep getting altitude sickness @ high altitudes. I'm in good physical shape and have a heart rate of an athlete.?
Fitness is unrelated: Unfortunately, altitude sickness effects people quite variably, with some people highly susceptible. Vulnerability to altitude sickness is not affected by level of physical conditioning. Medications can be very helpful, including Nifedipine and dexamethasone, but these have to be chosen carefully depending on any other health issues that you may have. Gradual ascent is the only certain prevention. ...Read more
My travel clinic prescribed Acetazolamide for altitude sickness for an upcoming trip to Machu Pichu. I have elevated liver enzymes. Thoughts?
Renal excretion: Acetazolamide, commonly prescribed for prevention or amelioration of mountain sickness, is not metabolized and is completely eliminated by the kidneys so elevated liver enzymes should not pose a contraindication. However, the reason for the elevated liver enzymes should be evaluated for in those with liver failure, azetazolamide can increase hyperammonemia. ...Read more
Go slow: If possible, acclimate slowly (ie: go up only 1000-2000 feet each day once you get above 4000 feet and rest lots). Drink LOTS of water, eat foods high in iron and carbohydrates, avoid alcohol and other sedatives, and ask your doctor if a prescription for acetazolamide might be right for you. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
I need something for preventive altitude sickness. I have acetak. What dosage should I take? 250 mg twice a day starting a day before my hike?
Wait!: That dose is for treatment of altitude sickness not prevention unless you weigh >220 pounds, wildern 125 mg twice a day starting 24 hours before planned altitude is usual dose. But what altitude are you going to ; what rate ascent? Do you know warning signs, side effects medicines, other ways to avoid altitude sickness? See a travel or wilderness specialist if you can first. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Altitude sickness: Acute altitude sickness may be associated with any combination of the following symptoms: fatigue, headache, dizziness, insomnia, shortness of breath during exertion, nausea, decreased appetite, swelling of extremities. Altitude sickness develops when the rate of ascent into higher altitudes outpaces the body's ability to adjust to those altitudes. ...Read more
Tips for climbing: Climb the mountain gradually, stop for a day or two for every 2, 000 feet above 8, 000 feet . Sleep at a lower altitude when possible. Recognize early symptoms. If you plan on quickly climbing to a high altitude, ask your doctor about a medication called acetazolamide (diamox). ...Read more
Altitude sickness—also known as acute mountain sickness (ams), altitude illness, hypobaropathy, "the altitude bends", or soroche—is a pathological effect of high altitude on humans, caused by acute exposure to low partial pressure of oxygen at high altitude. It commonly occurs above 2, 400 ...Read more
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