Mild to Moderate Altitude Sickness

Recently, I had healthy, active clients traveling in Peru. Despite all planning and preparation, they developed symptoms of moderate altitude sickness. They were helped by some of the solutions I mention here.

While traveling and adventuring in destinations that have large areas situated at high base elevations/altitudes (Peru, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, and Colorado to name only a very few), be aware that mild to moderate altitude sickness symptoms can develop – headache, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, dizziness, difficulty sleeping, generally feeling unwell. While generally occurring more often at elevations of 8,000 ft/2,438 m.a.s.l. and higher, mild to moderate symptoms can develop at elevations as low 4,500 ft./1,372 m.a.s.l.

Solutions: Mild to moderate altitude symptoms can be alleviated by: taking Diamox/acetazolamide; drinking coca leaf tea; rest; sleeping in a room supplemented with oxygen; waiting at least 12-48 hours before going on to a higher elevation. If these symptoms don’t improve or get worse, immediately get to a lower elevation and seek medical help.

I’ll talk about severe/acute altitude sickness in another post.