Altitude adjustment problems are more common than you may think. Commonly known as altitude sickness, is a serious problem that occurs on high altitude hikes, climbs, and vacation destinations. As company based in Colorado, we created this complete guide from our in depth knowledge of high altitudes. We'll cover everything you need to know about altitude adjustment, how to avoid altitude sickness, and even altitude adjustment herbs and supplements you can take.
Altitude adjustment is a normal physiological response to moving from a low elevation to a higher one. High elevations have less oxygen in the air.
For example, if you live at sea level and travel to Denver for a few days, your body will need time to adjust to the change in altitude of 5280 feet.
Acclimatization, the process of your body adjusting to the altitude, typically takes 1-3 days at that altitude according to Princeton University.¹ Basically, your body needs time to adjust before you should start doing any strenuous activity like hiking or climbing.
Elevations around 8000 feet and higher are more difficult to adjust to, and can generally cause altitude sickness. Although, altitude sickness can start at elevations as low as 3000-5000 feet.
The symptoms of altitude adjustment have similarities to those of dehydration and even jet lag. It's commonly known as altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness, which is a temporary condition caused by lack of oxygen at high altitudes.
The most common symptom of altitude sickness is headache but other symptoms include nausea, vomiting and difficulty sleeping.
Symptoms of altitude sickness or altitude adjustment include:
For more severe symptoms of altitude adjustment that are rare, read below about HAPE and HACE.
While altitude adjustment can happen in a plane or in cities like Denver at 5280 feet high, it's the hardest at altitudes over 8000 feet.
If you're going skiing or vacationing in the mountains like in Colorado where we're based out of, here's a few destinations where altitude adjustment can be harder with a higher chance of altitude sickness:
If you're going on a major hike, climb or trek, here's a few popular mountaineering destinations where altitude sickness is high risk:
There's many more high altitude destinations around the world, but you can see from this sample that between 8,000 and 29,000 feet runs a very high risk of hard adjustment to altitude and altitude sickness.
The more you know about altitude sickness, the better prepared you'll be to avoid it on your next trip. Unless you're a mountaineer, most don't don't that there are three main kinds of altitude sickness.
Here are 3 main types of altitude sickness:
While Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is what most people deal with, you should only be concerned and aware of HAPE and HACE if you're planning a mountaineering climb to very high altitudes, or doing rapid ascents. For example, many mountains in the Himalaya's including K2 and Mount Everest run the risk of very severe altitude sickness.
Whether hiking, skiing, mountaineering, or simply vacationing at high altitudes, you'll want to take the right precautions to improve your altitude adjustment.
In Colorado there's many tips and tricks the locals know to improve altitude adjustment, or recommend visitors to do. In our years of experience, we've learned the best ways how to avoid altitude sickness in Colorado.
We'll share the top three tips below which will help you improve altitude adjustment and avoid altitude sickness.
3 tips to improve altitude adjustment:
By implementing the combination of these three tips to improve altitude adjustment, it will give your body the edge it needs for high altitudes.
As a supplement company based in Colorado, we have researched the top herbs available for altitude adjustment. From Chlorophyll and Ginkgo-Biloba to Coca Leaves and CBD, we've covered all sorts of homeopathic altitude sickness prevention remedies.
If you want altitude adjustment all natural, you'll to resort to herbs and natural nutrients. Here we'll go into 3 top herbs for altitude adjustment that we've written about before.
3 top herbs for altitude adjustment:
To get a more in-depth review of each of these herbs, read our full article 3 Herbs For Altitude Adjustment.
Zaca is a top supplement that helps you fuel your body in high altitudes. These chewables have been used by mountain-goers, hikers and skiers for over 10 years. The chewable formula includes three superior herbs including Glutathione, Glutamine, and DHM. Fast-acting, they are an easy way to get the nutrients you need to rehydrate, replenish and recover in the mountains. Try Zaca chewables today and be better prepared for your next mountain adventure.
1. Outdoor Action Guide to High Altitude: Acclimatization and Illnesses
2. High Altitude and Free Radicals
3. Effect of high altitude (7,620 m) exposure on glutathione
4. The Possible Importance of Glutamine Supplementation to Mood and Cognition in Hypoxia from High Altitude
5. Dihydromyricetin Improves Physical Performance under Simulated High Altitude