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Old 12-26-2015, 02:54 PM   #1
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Altitude Sickness Problems and how you cope

I have problems going thru high altitude and wonder how you handle it or prevent it?
Is there any maps that tell you altitude so may avoid high altitude?
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Old 12-26-2015, 03:07 PM   #2
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There really is no way to prevent it, just takes time to acclimate. Limit your heavy physical activity until acclimated. Staying hydrated helps, and you can take some aspirin or similar for headache. Symptoms usually go away after a day. Very short term exposure like going over a mountain pass and then back down should not create problems, it is staying at the high altitude elevation from a lower elevation that your body just needs time to adjust.
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Old 12-26-2015, 03:07 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum. There are maps and Google can tell you specific altitudes of areas in question. There's also medication available ( not sure about them ).

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Old 12-26-2015, 03:09 PM   #4
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I had a problem with it when we went west (living in Memphis TN about 250 feet above sea level). The only solution I found after much discussion and Dr Google was to drink MUCH more water, starting 2-3 days before we crossed the Rockies a second time. I was thrilled with our class A because DH didn't have to pull over every 30 mins to an hour for me to use the facilities, but I didn't have a problem with altitude sickness.

As far as maps, I'd advise you to pick up Mountain Directory West or Mountain Directory East. They don't give you altitude, but if you're co-piloting they are invaluable to help with grades etc.

Happy RV'ing
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Old 12-26-2015, 03:36 PM   #5
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Where have your traveled and at what altitude that caused you problems? Has this just happened on one occasion or have you tried it multiple times?

Did you fly in, rent a car and immediately go to high elevations?

Normally, folks acclimate to elevation gradually and have no problems. If you're driving a RV you would gradually be going up in elevation in the western states. Stop for a day or two at various elevations, drink water, and this should acclimate you just fine.

When you get to your destination, continue drinking lots of water and take it easy for a day or two. Then you should be able to perform normal routines of exercise.

However, some folks just can't handle it due to their current heart or respiratory issues and sometimes medications can pose a problem. Usually folks can do 7,000' elevation easily. Going higher depends on you, in particular. Everyone will be different. For instance, I can camp at 9,000' elevation but I cannot hike to a higher elevation. I get light-headed and my breathing is labored. So....I just find nice trails at the lower elevations.

Good luck! If you're going to explore the West you'll need to get into some elevation change. Staying just on interstates wouldn't be fun.
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Old 12-26-2015, 06:00 PM   #6
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When we visited Pikes Peak, we were told to drink LOTS of water before going up and during the trip up. I was the only one of the 4 of us who paid attention and did as I was told. I was also the only one who had no problem with altitude sickness. So, as suggested by other posters, drink lots and lots of water. That might help.
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Old 12-26-2015, 07:24 PM   #7
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stay in Iowa and Kansas. sorry couldn't resist it.
take your time and adjust to the altitude small steps at a time.
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Old 12-26-2015, 07:54 PM   #8
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Are you concerned about "real" altitude sickness with the attendant headache and nausea, or are you worried about heart/lung problems at high altitudes? For the first, drink lots of water and take it slow. If the later (like my MIL), the only real solution is supplemental oxygen (or that is what her doctor said). We used to live at 7000', and MIL couldn't visit without using the oxygen, even though she didn't need it at the 700' she lived at.
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:04 PM   #9
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Along with the water it is important to stay away from alcoholic beverages for a few days until you become acclimated. I think it would also be advisable to stay away from coffee and sodas because they are diarectics.
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:06 PM   #10
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You don't tell us what problems you are experiencing. I advise you to consult a physician.
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:09 PM   #11
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Water as recommended, limit strenuous activity, don't eat fatty foods, and abstain from alcohol. When I used to hunt in CO, we violated all the above.
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:16 PM   #12
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I had the opportunity to travel to Peru to visit some mines that the parent company I worked for had interests in. One of the mines was at an elevation of +15,000 ft. We crossed a pass that had a marker showing the elevation was over 15,500 ft.

When we got to the mine site it was mandatory that we were given a physical evaluation. The nurse checked everyone's vitals include blood oxygen level. When she got to me she looked down at the monitor and looked up at me and said Oh MY. They took me to the back and put me in a bed and I had an oxygen mask on for ~15 minutes.

We then went on the tour, I felt pretty good to start with until the oxygen level started to catch up with me. A real struggle just to take a step. I remember watching some of the workers breaking apart a piece of concrete footer, they also struggled basically just lifting the sledge hammer and letting the end fall.

Some of the senior staff said it takes 3-4 days of restless sleep before the acclimate. Some people never do.

We drove back down to ~10,000 feet to spend the night. The roads we drove on were very treacherous, 1000 ft drops almost straight down, what an experience.
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:17 PM   #13
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As stated often times dehydration causes altitude issues. Hydrate days before is best.... Drink enough to where you have to pee every few hours.... Not once a day or two .... Pee should be clear.... Dark and stinky and you aren't hydrated.

It's a lot harder to hydrate after you are dehydrates vs hydrating before you become dehydrated

Years ago we went snow skiing in Colorado and I had altitude issues.... Bloody nose, major headaches etc... Locals said water... Water... Water....

In addition to drinking water... Put a humidifier where you sleep
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:19 PM   #14
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Should have paid more attention in geography class.
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