Altitude Sickness (aka Acute Mountain Sickness or AMS), is caused by traveling to elevation (above 5000 ft.), and has symptoms ranging from a mild headache and fatigue to nausea/indigestion, vomiting, rapid pulse, difficulty sleeping, shortness of breath and even death due from accumulation of fluid in the lungs or brain. It affects roughly one in four Colorado mountain vacationers. Altitude sickness can affect persons of any age and fitness level. Altitude sickness can be mild to life threatening. Here are six helpful tips to help reduce your risk of AMS. Early diagnosis and preventive measures are critical as it is much easier to treat altitude sickness in its early stages.
1. GO UP SLOWLY
Spend a night or two at moderate elevation (4000-6000 ft) before going to higher elevations.
2. STAY HYDRATED
At a minimum consume half your body weight in fluid ounces of water or 2-3 liters daily while traveling to elevation and while at elevation. Non-caffeinated sport drink may be added as half of this amount. Consume Acli-Mate® Mountain Sport Drink 3 days prior to arrival at elevation and three times daily for the duration of your stay. Mix with 10-14 ounces of water per serving. Make cold or warm depending upon season and preference.
Listen to your body and if you are feeling tired find a relaxing activity like watching a movie or reading a book to give your body a chance to catch up.
4. AVOID ALCOHOL AND CAFFEINE
At the very least significantly limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine for the first 2 days at altitude. Alcohol and caffeine are both diuretics and can exacerbate the symptoms of altitude sickness.If you have felt the symptoms of altitude sickness during prior travels you may want to avoid consuming alcohol and caffeine altogether during your trip.
5. BE EDUCATED
Recognize the early symptoms of altitude sickness and begin treatment.
6. MEDICAL HELP
Consider getting a physical exam before traveling to altitude. Seek help immediately if you feel you are suffering from altitude sickness.
Acli-Mate® Mountain Sport Drink is a natural hydration supplement with added vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts designed specifically to aid the mountain visitor with hydration, energy and acclimatization.