Tips for avoiding altitude sickness

Altitude sickness
Photo credit: WSJ

Altitude sickness (also referred to as acute mountain sickness) can proved perilous and occurs when there is a lack of oxygen in the air at elevated altitudes. This is because the air is effectively thinner at higher altitudes. The effect usually happened when persons who are not used to the high altitude suddenly goes from lower level to a greater height above sea level such as driving over a mountain pass, staying at a mountain resort, or hiking up a peak.

Instant warning sign of Altitude sickness is headache. Dizziness, fatigue, insomnia and nauseousness are also common symptoms experienced. Symptoms usually become a problem at altitudes of 8,000 feet and higher.

In most cases, once the body gets acclimated to the elevated height the symptoms usually go away.

Some medications can help (as a precaution, visit your doctor before you go to acquire medication for Altitude sickness. Ibuprofen, medication can be bought over-the-counter and used to hinder headache, nausea, and fatigue.), but there are some things that you can do on your own to lessen the discomfort or maximizing your tolerance for adjusting to high altitudes:

01. Gradually travel from low altitude to high altitude. Get as much as possible rest as possible and engage in minimum activity while allowing your body time to adjust to the gradual decrease in oxygen level in the air as you move on upwards. If possible, stop for periods of time at interval elevations. In some cases, one to two days are recommended.

02. Humidity at high altitude keep the air dry, therefore keeping hydrated by drinking plenty of water is vital. Consuming caffeine and alcohol is not recommended during the hydration period.

03. According to, decreasing salt intake and eating foods with rich in potassium are beneficial. Foods loaded with potassium include bananas, avocado, cantaloupe, celery, bran, chocolate, granola, potatoes and tomatoes, broccoli, dates, and dried fruit. Foods beneficial to stabilizing your blood sugar and maintaining energy are also essential such as whole grains, pasta, fruits, and vegetables.



Article by: Tiffany Huggins, L’ EcoResorts