What is altitude sickness? It is basically when you move to regions that are several meters above the sea level and your body is unable to get adapted to low-oxygen and low-pressure environments. It may end up causing many neurological and respiratory problems. You have to deal with them cautiously as they can prove to be mild to life-threatening. And you need not worry as some bodies take some time to handle the shift and they adjust gradually to the external changes. For those who are unable to adapt, it may cause swelling in different organs like lungs or brains. Different persons, different scenarios. So keep in mind a few things we have mentioned below when you go for your next hiking trip.
Whenever you go on a trip to a mountain or some other higher altitude destination, try to take it slowly and day by day. Don’t jump on to higher elevations in a single go as your body needs some days to adjust to the external conditions. Go up higher each day and pick a suitable place to stay for at least 24 hours before going your way up. Plan ahead everything especially if you are traveling by foot listing all the stopping points that take you to your final destination.
Eat Light and Right
It is never advised to eat heavy foods whenever you move out to travel. It becomes all more important if you are going on higher altitudes. Yes, we recommend you to eat light but it does not mean you should avoid carbohydrates. In fact, carbs burn at a faster rate when you move up, so it is important to have them in order to replenish the ones that are burning off. Another important intake for your body would be iron. It helps increase the count of red blood cells and thus helps to give the body the necessary oxygen levels. For instance, quinoa is something that has very high iron content.
It is very easy to become dehydrated when you move to higher altitudes. Dehydration can lead to several symptoms of AMS like being dizzy, having a headache or feeling weak. So you need to take care of yourself and make sure you have enough amount of water on your trip. Try to have double the amount of water you generally have as when you move to higher altitudes, more is the tendency of your body to get dehydrated. Be sure to limit your booze intake as the effects of alcohol heighten at a higher elevation.
Take It Easy
In case, you doubt that you might be suffering from AMS, then we must tell you that shortness of breath can be one symptom. It is quite normal to feel this way but we advise you to take it easy in the initial days. Don’t make your body suffer by pushing yourself as it needs some time to adjust to the thin mountain air. Avoid doing activities that require high energy in the first two-three days.
You would not find people on medication ahead of time. But when it comes to driving or flying to a high altitude then it is advisable to take one-two days before your trip. It can help to prevent altitude sickness. Get it prescribed by your doctor. Don’t think if you have taken the medicine then you can’t get exposed to altitude sickness, there might still be chances. Once you start getting the symptoms, move yourself to lower altitudes as even medication won’t reduce them. You can also go to local medical clinics in case a serious issue arises.