Altitude Sickness Can Effect Anyone…Even Coloradans.
Altitude sickness isn't just something that happens to tourists. Here's how to avoid it happening to you.
Any time you are above 8,000 feet, you're at risk for altitude sickness. I've been pretty fortunate, I've not been hit with it too hard. However, my step-father can hardly drive through on I-70 without having symptoms.
Did you know that there are 3 kinds of altitude sickness? Acute Mountain Sickness is the mild form and the most common. You kind of feel hungover. Symptoms include dizziness, headache, and nausea. High Altitude Pulmonary Edema is a buildup of fluid in your lungs. Of course, that can be very dangerous and even life threatening. The worst is High Altitude Cerebral Edema. If this happens there’s fluid in your brain. It’s for sure life threatening and you need to seek medical attention immediately.
Here are the best ways to help avoid altitude sickness...
1)- Go slow and take it easy. Ease into your physical activity. Whether it's hiking, biking, walking, or running, at higher elevations of 5,000 feet or more, your body has to work harder because there's less oxygen available to breathe. Take time and get yourself acclimated to the higher altitudes before venturing off on a hike.
2) Stay away from caffeine- I know that's a tough one. We MUST have my morning coffee. However, when heading to the mountains you will want to limit your caffeine intake. Caffeine is like alcohol. it dehydrates you. Try to avoid, or at least limit, the amount of coffee and booze.
3) Most importantly, drink lots of water- Keep yourself hydrated by regularly drinking water. If you drink plenty of fluids days in advance of your higher elevation trip, you'll feel better and avoid altitude sickness. Sports drinks are helpful too. They fuel your body with electrolytes for better hydration.
Credit: Out There Colorado