There’s no denying that altitude sickness is a health condition that affects many people each year. It’s a problem that can show up whenever someone travels to a destination with a high altitude.
But, it’s also an issue that a person can experience when climbing great heights. Altitude sickness does not discriminate; it can happen to anyone, regardless of their age, gender, and even general level of fitness.
What Causes Altitude Sickness?
As you ascend higher from sea level, there are decreasing oxygen levels available in the air around you. The atmosphere at sea levels comprises 21% oxygen, with the rest being nitrogen and other gases.
Problems start to occur when ascending heights greater than 2,100m above sea level, such as lower oxygen concentrations in the blood. To counteract such issues, the human body will try to acclimatize to heights of up to 8,000m.
However, many people can easily experience altitude sickness when trying to acclimatize to new heights.
Altitude Sickness Symptoms
Altitude sickness can present itself through several different symptoms. The primary ones are headaches combined with other symptoms like nausea, fatigue, swelling in the hands, feet, and face, nose bleeds, and a rapid pulse.
If left untreated, altitude sickness can cause a person to get extremely ill and end up with life-threatening symptoms. Examples of severe symptoms can include pulmonary edema (fluid on the lungs) and cerebral edema (swelling of the brain).
How to Prevent Altitude Sickness
It’s possible to take some actionable steps to avoid experiencing the primary or severe symptoms of altitude sickness from traveling to a high-altitude destination or climbing mountains in high altitudes.
Here’s how to prevent altitude sickness with some practical suggestions:
It makes sense to ensure that your body is fully hydrated before you travel to or ascend a high-altitude destination. The Summit IV drip from Prime IV contains all the nutrients, minerals, amino acids, and vitamins you need to diminish the effects of altitude sickness.
Plus, as it gets administered via an IV drip, it will get to work immediately as it enters your bloodstream. IV hydrations boast a 100% absorption rate and take as little as 30 minutes to administer.
You can take some medicines, both over-the-counter and prescription, to counter the effects of altitude sickness. For example, paracetamol (also known as Panadol and Tylenol) helps treat headaches – one of the primary side effects of altitude sickness.
There’s also acetazolamide (also known as Diamox), a prescription medicine used primarily to treat altitude sickness.
You can make some lifestyle adjustments to prepare for mountaineering or a trip to a high-altitude destination. For instance, quitting smoking, avoiding drinking alcohol, and consuming plenty of water are practical examples.
Lastly, a high-calorie diet can help you counteract the effects of altitude sickness. Foods rich in carbohydrates such as dates, bananas, sweet potatoes, and oats will give you extra energy.
Iron-rich foods like lean beef, pork, chicken, and eggs will help increase your red blood cell production, enabling more oxygen to get transported around your body.