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Doctor insights on: How To Avoid High Altitude Sickness

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Dr. Sandra Eleczko
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High Altitude (Definition)

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


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How can high altitudes affect breathing, and how long does it take to acclimate to higher altitudes?

How can high altitudes affect breathing, and how long does it take to acclimate to higher altitudes?

Low oxygen: It can cause swelling in the lungs because of too little oxygen. Ideally, it takes a couple of weeks for acclimation. ...Read more

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How to avoid high blood pressure?

How to avoid high blood pressure?

Multiple options : There are many things you can do to decrease your risk of getting high blood pressure. Weight loss, exercising or active lifestyle, following a low sodium diet, and avoiding nsaids all help. And like most people a little bit of luck helps too. Good luck. ...Read more

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How can I avoid travel sickness?

Get travel health: info well in advance of your trip. See: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list ...Read more

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Can you advise me on going to high altitudes after scuba diving?

Can you advise me on going to high altitudes after scuba diving?

Scuba: For commercial flights FAA recommends at least 24-48 hours between routine SCUBA and flying. If you suffered decompression sickness (DCS) after diving you should consult a military flight surgeon, FAA Aerospace Medical Examiner (AME) or hyperbaric medicine specialist for clearance before you fly. ...Read more

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What are some ways to prevent (mountain) altitude sickness?

What are some ways to prevent (mountain) altitude sickness?

Be Cautious: Climb slowly: let your body acclimate climb high, sleep low—sleeping at lower altitude then you have spent the day hiking lets body adjust hydrate if ill with headache, nausea, irritable, feeling hung over—go back down. Altitude can be fatal. Consider Diamox (acetazolamide) to prevent altitude sickness—talk to travel/ wilderness provider. It does not make you bullet proof ; still respect signs of sickness. ...Read more

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How to avoid pressure sores?

How to avoid pressure sores?

Minimize pressure: Offload pressure points every 2-3 hours. Frequent position changes helps a lot. ...Read more

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How quickly can your hemoglobin rise in high altitude?

How quickly can your hemoglobin rise in high altitude?

Hemoglobin at altitu: Weeks to months depending on the altitude. The immediate response to altitudes over 10, 000 feet is an increase in the depth and rate of breathing to help maintain the level of oxygen in the blood. As the length of exposure persists, the kidneys will start producing a hormone to increase the rate of production of red blood cells to pick up and carry more of the available oxygen at that altitude. ...Read more

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Do you think I can travel to high altitude with chronically low blood pressure?

Do you think I can travel to high altitude with chronically low blood pressure?

Yes: Not a problem. The partial pressure of oxygen is lower at higher altitude causing diminished oxygen saturation in your blood. That's a problem for people with chronic lung disease. Your blood pressure is not a factor. ...Read more

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How do people manage to live at high altitudes?

How do people manage to live at high altitudes?

Adapt and overcome.: The human body is pretty flexible and adaptable if changes are not too drastic or demanding. Anyone can live at high altitude if they acclimate slowly. La rinconada in peru has 30, 000 inhabitants at 16, 728 ft above sea level. Their bodies produce extra red blood cells to compensate for the reduced pressure of oxygen. ...Read more

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How do you treat altitude sickness?

How do you treat altitude sickness?

Depends on degree: This depends on the degree of illness. But I do agree with my colleague that descent -- safely -- is the first thing to do. Additional needs might be oxygen, hydration, the diuretic diamox (acetazolamide). If the person is confused, short of breath, and not moving well, this is severe and you're going to need help getting him/her down the mountain. Better to watch for early signs than let it get this far. ...Read more

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How to avoid motion sickness in the future?

How to avoid motion sickness in the future?

Sometimes difficult: Motion sickness is usually the result of a genetically overactive vestibular inner ear. The only possible treatment is to take medication that unfortunately sedates the brain. Meclizine, is the drug of choice but scopalamine patches may sometimes work. These ideas should be tried if you are going on a boat or a vehicle that may br turning quickly. Good luck. ...Read more

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Could a lowlander adjust to permanently living at high altitude?

Could a lowlander adjust to permanently living at high altitude?

Certainly, Examples:: 1.Your bone marrow will makes more oxygen carrying red cells at altitude 2.The body produces more of a particular enzyme which increases release of oxygen from hemoglobin to the body tissues 3.Your kidneys adjust the acid base state of your body by changing amount bicarbonate (sodium bicarbonate) excreted. 4. Pulmonary capillary pressure increases, forcing parts of the lung to work that are dormant at sea level. ...Read more

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How can I avoid dehydration in pregnancy?

How can I avoid dehydration in pregnancy?

water intake: Drink enough water so that urine stays white and you make about 2 liters of urine. ...Read more

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How to avoid bronchitis in fall?

How to avoid bronchitis in fall?

Wash hands...: Assuming you are asking about acute bronchitis, this is an infection of the airways so the best defense is very frequent hand washing to avoid they transfer of bacteria or virus from your hands to your airways. Avoidance of others who are ill is also a good strategy as these infections are air bourne. To prevent chronic bronchitis, avoid smoking and if you currently smoke, quit. ...Read more

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Please suggest what foods are safe to eat when trying to avoid high potassium levels?

Please suggest what foods are safe to eat when trying to avoid high potassium levels?

Nephrologist: Potassium balance is tightly regulated by the kidneys, so any potassium disorder implies some derangement in potassium handling. If you have high potassium problems, you must consult nephrologist. Please see this website for info on low potassium diet. http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/potassium.cfm. ...Read more

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How do you handle high altitudes? Can you still party?

How do you handle high altitudes? Can you still party?

Prepare first,go slo: It is important to acclimate to elevation by lessening activity at the start. . Since oxygen levels are lower at elevation, we tend to hyperventilate to maintain oxygen levels. Use of acetazolamide a diuretic can be started prior to going to elevation to cause mild hyperventilation making acclimization easier. Hydration and avoidance of excess alcolhol prior to acclimating is helpful. ...Read more

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How does the body acclimate itself to high altitude?

How does the body acclimate itself to high altitude?

Many changes: 1. You breath faster to compensate for the thinned density of oxygen. 2 body makes more oxygen carrying red cells at altitude 3. Kidneys put out more bicarbonate (sodium bicarbonate) to keep your acid base state adjusted. Your rapid breathing blows off carbon dioxide and your kidneys adjust for this change but it takes a few days to body to alter. There are medicines to speed this acclimatization. ...Read more

Dr. Benjamin Constance
86 doctors shared insights

Altitude Illness (Definition)

A condition that occurs when you can't get enough oxygen from the air at high altitudes, which can cause dizziness, headaches, ...Read more