Scaling a mountain is one of those “bucket list” exploits we all want to accomplish at some point in our lives. We imagine we’ll feel so invigorated being up there, 8,000+ feet above sea level, looking down upon the land after hours of putting our bodies to the test. Unfortunately, some people spend this “magical moment” crippled with headaches, vomiting and weakness from altitude sickness. Don’t let that be you!
Serious climbers will tell you that descending to a lower level and giving the body time to become acclimated is the only real way to combat altitude sickness with any degree of success. “Within a few days, you’ll increase your breathing rate to take in more oxygen,” mountaineer Dr. Stuart Harris told the Boston Globe³. “Other systems in your body adjust as well; for instance, your kidneys will excrete more bicarbonate in the urine in order to accommodate your faster breathing rate. That will cause you to urinate more frequently. After several weeks, your body will produce more red blood cells to become more efficient at transporting oxygen.”
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1. Ibuprofen Can Prevent Altitude Sickness: A new study suggests that popping a few Advil before a high-altitude climb can prevent symptoms like headache, nausea and fatigue.
3. How to avoid high altitude sickness if you’re heading for the mountains