If you have altitude sickness, traveling to higher altitudes can be a problem. Generally, a lot of people start experiencing certain symptoms at 8,000-12,000 feet above sea level. And unfortunately, most of the exciting treks take place at those altitudes. However, it does not mean that you will never go on a trekking adventure in your life. You have one life and you got to try everything, the idea of which makes you happy. So, no! altitude sickness is not the reason to not climb mountains. If you follow some instructions carefully and diligently, you can keep your issues in check.
But before we get to that, let us give you some idea about the symptoms of altitude sickness while trekking:
Mild ones – headache, nausea, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, mood swings, and a general feeling of illness
Severe ones – Extreme shortness of breath, coughing, chest congestion, the color of skin getting paler, vision problems
If you experience any of the mild symptoms while trekking, do follow the given instructions below:
Do not cut on carbs
If you are on a carb diet, altitude sickness may accelerate, as carbs help curb it to some extent. So, make it a point to carry a lot of calorific foods, and whole grains, if possible, in your trekker’s backpack. At higher altitude places, you will need that energy boost to keep your sickness in check.
Drink lots of fluids
Water, glucose water, and other healthy fluids may help keep altitude sickness at bay. While trekking to places like Adi Kailash, Alkapuri Glacier, Bagini Glacier, carry enough water to keep you hydrated and prevent any discomfort.
Pack proper medicines
It is better to get a physician’s appointment before going on a trek. Ask him to prescribe you some medicines that may prevent discomfort or sickness due to oxygen deficiency. These drugs help reduce symptoms to a great extent and also make your body adjust quickly to higher altitudes. However, it is better to get prescribed medicines and not try anything randomly.
Climb slow and steady
If you face issues with higher altitudes, do not rush. Climb slowly and steadily and avoid covering steep journeys within a short duration. Talk to your tour guide regarding the same and ask him to make changes to the existing itinerary if possible.
Avoid alcohol or tobacco
Altitude sickness can get worse under the influence of alcohol or tobacco. While smoking reduces your lung’s capacity to breathe in more oxygen, alcohol may cause nausea and dizziness, which can even be life-threatening. What is the need to accelerate the problem? If you want to drink, do so after you have climbed down to a lower altitude.
Sleep after returning
Many travelers have complained of headaches, oxygen deficiency, and nausea after taking a nap at higher altitudes. Hence, do not fall asleep at a higher altitude place. Keep climbing slowly and when you return, take a good night’s sleep to wash away the exhaustion.
To prevent severe illness, carry proper emergency equipment and medication that may help.
Are you planning a trip to Uttarakhand any time soon? Get in touch with our expert tour guides to give you intricate details of places to visit and activities.