Altitude Sickness, also known as Acute Mountain sickness(AMS) is a non-deadly condition that occurs when traveling from lower Altitudes to a higher altitude generally above 8000 feet. It is essential to learn altitude sickness is what causes it, how to avoid it and how to prevent it.
Facts about Altitude Sickness
- Altitude sickness is generally caused the decrease in oxygen molecules per breath when you go from lower altitude to above 8000 feet.
- Altitude affects everyone differently and greatly depends on a persons age, weight, blood pressure and fitness level.
- Most common cause of Altitude Sickness is a minor headache.
- Altitude Sickness is commonly mistaken or may worsen with dehydration.
- Altitude Sickness will often cause a decrease in appetite, and occasionally weakness.
- Altitude Sickness is more common in people who reside below 3,000 feet.
A proper diagnosis of altitude sickness will include one of the following symptoms alongside a headache:
Lack of appetite, nausea, or vomiting, Exhaustion, feeling sleepy, dizziness or weakness, pins and needles, shortness of breath, swelling of the hands, feet, and face, Insomnia or Restlessness, Causes of Altitude Sickness
Altitude Sickness occurs when you rapidly increase in elevation. Generally, it happens in an individual that resides below 3000 feet.
Altitude Sickness does not occur when flying. Though you can have complications when flying, however, it is not altitude sickness.
Altitude Sickness is caused by the decrease in oxygen molecules within the body. The air below 19000 feet has the same amount of oxygen. Your body doesn’t absorb it the same when traveling at elevated altitudes.
Altitude Sickness Prevention
Descend – The most overlooked and obvious answer is to descend to a lower altitude. By going below 8000 feet, your body starts absorbing more oxygen molecules, and you will quickly begin to feel better.
If you experience severe complications such as HAPE(High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) or HACE(High Altitude Cerebral Edema) you should descend between 2000- 3000 feet, this is enough to allow you body recover.
Pure Oxygen – In specific instances, you may want to seek medical attention for pure Oxygen. Pure oxygen is readily available by a medical professional in many skis towns in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah.
Painkillers – Acetamenaphons and Anti-inflammatories such as Tylonal and Ibuprofen can be used to help with headaches. This just masks the symptoms, and better options are available.
Acetazolamide and Diamox – These options are pharmaceutical grade narcotics and were originally design for Epilepsy and other causes of seizures. The possible side effect list is significantly more extensive than the side effect list of Altitude Sickness.
Possible Side effects of Acetazolamide and Diamox are:
Death, Irregular heartbeat, Trouble breathing, Skin rash, hives, itching, Painful urination, Bloody stools, Bloody urine, Yellowing of skin or eyes, Unusual bleeding or bruising, Pain in joints or lower back, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, Dizziness, drowsiness, lightheadedness, Frequent urination, Appetite loss or a metallic taste in mouth, Numbness or tingling in hands, feet, or mouth and possible vision loss.
“From my experience and the reason Oxygen Max exists. I was not willing to take these pharmaceuticals drugs and knew a Natural alternative was an option. After years of research, I created Oxygen Max for myself.”
Natural Altitude Sickness remedies
Used throughout the Himalayas by sherpas while tackling hikes and climbs such as Mt Everest and K2. Cordyceps Sinensis research shows that it actives NRf2 which in a nutshell, increases oxygen molecule effectiveness int the body.
A blind study with Ginkgo Biloba provides evidence supporting the use of Ginkgo Biloba for Altitude Sickness prevention. Arterial Oxygen was increased after 24 hours of use.
This likely won’t help anyone, as this alternative is Ilegal in the United States most other countries. However, research show coca leaves is an excellent natural remedy for altitude sickness.
Shameless plug, we know. Oxygen Max was initially designed to prevent Altitude Sickness. Though it isn’t the only supplement on the market that was designed for this purpose. It is the first, the only one that uses Cordyceps(Cordyceps is expensive) and it is the only commercially sold naturally supplement being research by a major university for its effectiveness in battling altitude sickness.
How to Avoid Altitude Sickness
The best way to avoid altitude sickness all together is to not go above 8000 feet.
Acclimate – Another approach is to acclimate to the altitude. To do this correctly, you do need a significant amount of time depending on how high you want to go. Travel to 3000 feet for 24 hours. Then you would actively(walk, Hike, Run, Bike) increase your altitude by 5000 feet and then decrease by 3000 feet. Do this daily until you acclimate to the altitude goal you set whether its 8,000 feet or 29,029 feet(Mt Everest).
Staying hydrated days in advance could help prevent common altitude symptoms.
Altitude Sickness Cures
No cures for Altitude Sickness exist, it’s not a disease it is a situational condition that is completely avoidable.
Throughout our travels well above 8000 feet, we honestly tell you that the complications are real. We have definitely experienced altitude sickness. Most of us here have acclimated and can travel to high elevations without any issues. That being said the altitude can still slow us down.