Altitude Sickness

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cedica
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by cedica » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:30 pm

"mild nausea and the beginnings of a headache"? "felt somewhat ok again, albeit tired and kind of “off”"? That does not sound like altitude sickness to me, but ymmv.
If you have mentioned Cheyne-Stokes breathing and mild anxiety attacks I would say that I can relate, those point to mild altitude sickness. Btw you can push a little bit through those, don't ask me how I know, but of course you shouldn't be climbing class 3 or something with complicated route finding if you are not 100%. More serious symptoms are dizziness and nausea strong enough to cause vomiting, that is when you turn around and go lower (or preferably before that). Then there are real things like HAPE or HACE, but you have to be really unlucky minority to suffer those on a 14er.
Advil (or some other NSAID) is not the cure for altitude sickness, but it can help alleviate symptoms. Read small print, drink enough fluids, mind your liver and kidneys.
cdonnelly0626
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by cdonnelly0626 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:07 pm

probably just routine need for acclimatization which can vary for a given person on different trips.

also get checked for LOW hemoglobin if you didn't already. The combination of anemia and even mild altitude is bad, bad, and bad at least for me. This certainly could have changed between your 30's and 40's.
palikona44
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by palikona44 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:19 pm

cdonnelly0626 wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:07 pm
probably just routine need for acclimatization which can vary for a given person on different trips.

also get checked for LOW hemoglobin if you didn't already. The combination of anemia and even mild altitude is bad, bad, and bad at least for me. This certainly could have changed between your 30's and 40's.
I recently got my hemo checked and it’s slightly elevated.
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desertdog
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by desertdog » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:34 am

I got altitude sickness on my Everest attempt.

I trained all winter. I went to Ecuador as part of my training and did some climbs at altitude. I was super strong when I rolled into Nepal. I was great the whole time on the trek in and in base camp. Never got sick or really felt bad with the altitude.

I went up the Khumbu Ice Fall and felt strong. Once I got to a Camp 1, I started getting sick, weak, throwing up, etc. I then tried to push through it to Camp 2, bad move. I completely fell apart physically and came down with a bad case of AMS and HACE (diagnosed later). I was barely able to down climb to base camp. If it were not for the Sherpa I was climbing with I don’t think I could have gotten back through the ice fall. I really should have done a helicopter rescue, but it all kind of a blur. Once I got to base camp the Global Rescue doctors insisted I be helicoptered a hospital in Kathmandu where I spent three days. In the hospital they also found a blood clot. That was the deal killer for my summit bid.

I know this all sounds horrible, but actually it was a big adventure. Other than not summiting and the two bad days in the upper camps, it was an incredible experience.

I had been higher than the elevation that I got sick on Everest several occasions with no problems. My hypothesis is I let myself get dehydrated and moved too quickly through the ice fall causing my body to go over the edge. But I’ve also read dehydration can’t cause altitude sickness, so who knows. I have gotten all kinds of mixed feedback from different doctors and I think it comes down to bad luck on my part. My challenge now is where to go from here. I don’t think I will attempt Everest again without testing my body at 20,000 ft plus.
The summit is a source of power. The long view gives one knowledge and time to prepare. The summit, by virtue of the dizzying exposure, leaves one vulnerable. A bit of confidence and a dash of humility is all we get for our work. Yet to share these moments with friends is to be human. C. Anker
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by peter303 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:47 am

It can be unpredictable. I have been above treeline hundreds of times. I have gotten sickness about 1 per 100 trips and do not know why. Perhaps a hidden low level cold.
palikona44
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by palikona44 » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:26 pm

This is all interesting, thank you.

How long do you typically have to be at a certain altitude for it to help acclimate slightly? I.E. in prepping for a future climb to 13,900, if I go to 13,500 and sit for an hour up that high, will that do anything to help for the future climb?
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by Conor » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:31 pm

I'll get on my unscientific acclimatization soap box. I treat acclimatizing as I would training, there is a stress to the body, and then a recovery period. As with training, I've found the recovery to be just as important as the stress/stimulus itself. That's why I am a firm believer in the "Russian rest," or train high, rest low. Stimulate the body up high, move lower in more O2 rich environment to allow your body to recover quicker.
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by shelly+ » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:44 am

palikona44 wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:26 pm
This is all interesting, thank you.

How long do you typically have to be at a certain altitude for it to help acclimate slightly? I.E. in prepping for a future climb to 13,900, if I go to 13,500 and sit for an hour up that high, will that do anything to help for the future climb?
yes.

Conor's training example is a good model and has worked well for me. i think the best method is to slowly acclimate over time.... and is better on your body in the long term.
is it asking too much?
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druid2112
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by druid2112 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:09 am

I can only assume this thread is really supposed to be about elevation sickness.
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by ARY » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:39 pm

We are "out of state" hikers so every time visiting we would drive to Mt.Evans on the next day after arriva. Justl walk out for 400 yards and drink tea somewhere on a talus near the top. Next day we would be doing some 13-er like one at Loveland pass. This year the road to Evans is closed according to authorities. What would local gurus recommend for easy drive to altitude place doing the first day of acclimatization (I really don't like Pikes peak but i guess might go there if nothing else).
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mtree
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by mtree » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:57 pm

There is nothing you can do to acclimate to high altitude in one day. What you CAN do is get your body to start adapting to the physiological stress high altitude will put on it. A quick hike the day before will help "wake up" your heart, lungs, and muscles before tackling a big hike. Plus, it'll help you prepare mentally for what's ahead. Driving to the top of Mt. Evans road and sleeping the night before does virtually nothing for acclimating. Its a placebo. Maybe you'll get the placebo effect, but that's all. Have fun!
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Re: Altitude Sickness

Post by NatDog » Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:10 pm

ARY wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:39 pm
What would local gurus recommend for easy drive to altitude place doing the first day of acclimatization (I really don't like Pikes peak but i guess might go there if nothing else).
You could just acclimate a bit at Loveland Pass by doing a short hike near the top, one of the 13ers or just hiking around for a bit.
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