Altitude Sickness

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness, also known as Acute Mountain sickness, is a kind of health condition that occur in high altitudes. It is one of the most probable and dangerous risk involved in trekking.

As you attain altitude, your body will be subjected to changing atmospheric pressures. When the body fails to adapt itself with the changing pressures, you will begin to show symptoms of Altitude sickness.

This life threatening condition can attack anyone irrespective of health conditions and age. There isn’t any method as such to train your body for altitude change. However, there are some preventive measures you can take to keep yourself from being the victim of this sickness. You must-

  1. Gradually attain height. Walk slowly and steadily as you go higher.
  2. Keep yourself hydrated. Drink at least 2-3 liters of water every day.
  3. Abstain from alcohol and cigarettes
  4. Eat food that are high in calorie
  5. Take plenty of rest

Regardless of taking all these measures, your body can still fail to adjust to the changes. The earliest symptoms of Altitude sickness are-

  1. Headache
  2. Nausea and vomiting
  3. Dizziness
  4. tiredness
  5. Loss of appetite
  6. Upset stomach
  7. Feeling unsteady
  8. Shortness of breath
  9. Increased heart rate
  10. Difficulty sleeping

These are some of the early signs of altitude sickness. If you happen to notice any of these symptoms,do not take it for granted. Immediately, take the following measures-

  1. Immediately descend to a lower altitude
  2. Take complete rest for at least 2 days
  3. Do not exercise
  4. Keep yourself hydrated
  5. Avoid drinking or smoking
  6. Force yourself to eat meals
  7. Take oral medications if you must

Regardless of taking all these measures, if you happen to notice no positive change in your health even with 42 hours, then you will have to be immediately deported to Kathmandu in a helicopter.

Some of the severe signs of altitude sickness are-

  1. A persistent, irritable cough
  2. Breathlessness
  3. A bubbling sound in the chest
  4. Coughing up pink or white frothy liquid
  5. Clumsiness
  6. Irrational behavior
  7. Double vision
  8. Fits
  9. Drowsiness
  10. Confusion

Altitude sickness can be fatal if not treated in time. Also, before you trek, make it a point to purchase an insurance that covers your health cost and as well as helicopter deportation cost if at all you might need one.

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About Author

Mukti is is the founder and CEO of Himalayas on Foot. He started Himalayas on Foot in 2008 after working as a trekking porter, guide and then a sales manager for a decade.

He has done most of the treks in Nepal such as Everest Base Camp, Annapurna Base Camp, Manaslu Circuit Trek, Poon Hill, Langtang Trek, Annapurna Circuit, etc. Apart from Nepal, he has also travelled to Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Finland, Norway, Germany, Belgium, France and USA.

Mukti was also secretary of Trekking Agency Association of Nepal (TAAN) for the year 2015-2017. TAAN is an umbrella association of trekking agencies in the Nepal.

He speaks fluent English, Japanese and Nepali.

Mukti is friendly and he is the one who answers most of your trip questions. So if you have any inquiry about our trip, don't be shy. Write to us.

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