how to avoid altitude sickness?

Old Jan 11th, 2005, 05:59 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 125
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
how to avoid altitude sickness?

Anyone have good suggestions of how to avoid altitude sickness? We will be flying from St. Louis to Denver and then driving to Keystone on a Thursday and will not be skiing until Friday. Hopefully we will get accustomed in that one day. Thanks
millsy5 is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2005, 06:23 AM
  #2  
KMK
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 336
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated - the higher altitude is dehydrating, and if you don't drink enough, that alone will give you a headache & make you slightly miserable.

Don't overdo it physically, particularly your first day of skiing.

Avoid alchohol and caffeine - at least for the first day or so as you are acclimating.

I think there may be a prescription drug you can get that helps (taken in advance), but I don't recall what it is, and I have always managed by following the above steps.
KMK is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2005, 06:34 AM
  #3  
dcespedes
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I agree, drink lots of water! The absolute worst altitude sickness I ever experienced was during my first trip to Breckenridge (not far from Keystone). On my second visit there, I drank plenty of fluids and experienced no problems at all. We always use arrival day to acclimate and normally don't do more than collect lift passes and eat. Hope this works for you, too!
 
Old Jan 11th, 2005, 06:38 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You'll feel the altitude sickness the 1st night, if at all (you may be one of the lucky ones who doesn't get it). The symptoms are dizziness, headache, and shortness of breath. By the next day it's likely that the dizziness and headache will be gone but you'll still be easily exhausted because it takes awhile to become accustomed to the lower oxygen level.

To help reduce the possibility of dizziness/headache, drink LOTS of water and don't eat too much...it will cause blood to rush from your head to your stomach and you may feel faint. Also try to avoid alcohol that 1st night.

(I go to Denver on business often and always wondered why I felt like I was going to pass out at dinner on the 1st night...some research on this board and elsewhere told me that eating a big meal & having a drink was a BAD idea! I know better now.)
suzanne is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2005, 06:46 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 158
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Keystone/Breckenridge area is one of the highest in Colorado, so altitude problems are more likely. My biggest problem is waking up several times during the night. You might want to consider a sleeping pill, at least for the first few nights. Also, I've noticed that taking ibuprofin for other aches and pains will also help with the altitude headaches.
plummie is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2005, 06:55 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 545
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Stay hydrated! If you go out for a few cocktails, be sure to match them with water.
yale is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2005, 07:32 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 988
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The prescription drug KMK is referring to is Diamox.
I don't know the altitude of Keystone, but I don't believe it is high enough to warrant use of the drug.

It is typically used by climbers who will be sleeping and climbing over 14000 feet.
It can also have several unpleasant side effects.

The best solution is proper hydration and rest...and time.
Queenie is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2005, 08:10 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,110
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just agreeing with everyone else. Lots of water and a going to sleep early the first night should take care of it. Another thing I've noticed in Colorado is that my skin gets very dry very quickly, so make sure you've got lotion and chapstick.
J_Correa is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2005, 09:06 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,219
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I believe that it is the dehydrating effects of altitude that creates the problems.

So, I agree with the suggestions to drink lots of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine (both of which are also dehydrating) for the first couple of days.

We also take one aspirin every morning and every evening, starting the day before the trip, to thin the blood and improve oxygenation.
abram is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2005, 09:53 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,854
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My DH gets this and has found that if he takes it easy on the first day he doesn't feel the effects so much. The fact that you won't be skiing on the first day there will help. Like others say watch your food and drink intake carefully. I'd suggest taking the Motrin, or ibu of your choice, as a precaution so that the headache doesn't come in the first place. The headache can cause nausea.
Suzie is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2005, 11:36 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 895
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Also, if the pressure changes seem to be affecting your sinuses - take a Sudafed or other sinus relieve product, rather than try to tough it out. Keeping those passages clear will go along way towards keeping you comfortable and avoiding a sinus infection.
ajcolorado is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2005, 11:53 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 95
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Agree with all the other posters. My problem is my nose constantly runs and I am blowing from the time we arrive until we leave. Bring the tissues!
chitowngirl is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2005, 11:58 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,637
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Millsy, All the rental accommodations in Keystone have humidifiers. Be sure to use one in your bedroom. Lots of new snow. You'll have a great time!
Grasshopper is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2005, 01:16 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,774
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I will add my two cents on altitude and alcohol: I was blasted away after two glasses of wine in Estes/Rocky Mt NP on the second day of our vacation. I mean, I could not drive.

Needless to say at sea level achieving this state of inebriation would require a LOT more than two glasses, so please be extra careful if you do decide to have some cocktails
marigross is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2005, 02:32 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,295
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How high is Keystone? I was in Lhasa this past summer at about 12,000 ft and in addition to most of the advice that's already been given, I took a ginkgo supplement which I feel helped as I've had minor altitude problems in the past at similar elevations but not on this trip. I found the info on ginkgo here:

http://www.basecampmd.com/expguide/amspremed.shtml

There's some good general information regarding altitude sickness on that site as well.

I was seeking an alternative to Diamox which I'd considered taking but decided not to after reading about some of the adverse side affects. I don't know if Keystone is high enough to warrant taking anything though.
Patty is offline  
Old Jan 11th, 2005, 06:45 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,219
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Keystone base is 9300 feet; the summit is 11,980
abram is offline  
Old Jan 12th, 2005, 06:48 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,637
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You're going to be in heaven! It snowed all night, it's snowing now. And it's supposed to snow tomorrow. That's a lot of powder!
Grasshopper is offline  
Old Jan 12th, 2005, 09:11 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 110
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am not aware of any alternative to Diamox (and I have asked my MD). I tried Diamox one trip to Keystone and it did not help. Interestingly enough, the side effects are similar to effects of altitude sickness. I believe Diamox is a seizure med that is supposed to work for alt sickness.

These days, I travel to Utah (lower altitude!) or plan on a day of rest my first day in Keystone.
LauraT is offline  
Old Jan 12th, 2005, 10:58 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,590
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
LOTS of water and an aspirin.
Don't think Diamox is a seizure drug.
Gretchen is offline  
Old Jan 12th, 2005, 11:00 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,295
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Laura,
I guess 'alternative' isn't the most appropriate word, and I don't want to be misleading. I should clarify that there is no definitive proof that ginkgo prevents altitude sickness or AMS. There have been some promising studies and some climbers swear by it. I know that it worked for me, but that doesn't necessarily mean it'll work for someone else. Anyway, if you go to the Everest base camp med clinic link, you'll find both Diamox and ginkgo listed as preventatives. I also don't think your typical family physician is well versed in these types of situations. I went to my MD recently to get a prescription for malarial prophylaxis, and he was not really up to date on all of the medications available. It was through this board that I was able to find out what was both effective and had the fewest adverse side affects.

For the OP, this may not matter anyway as he/she will be sleeping at around 9000 ft.
Patty is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:22 PM.