How to prevent Altitude sickness

As logic suggests, the higher in altitude you go, the less oxygen there is in the air. So we were a little worried when we booked La Paz, Bolivia about getting altitude sickness. However we had no idea how to handle it, and if we could, how to prevent it from affecting our holiday. It didn’t affect us at all, but you might consider still having a read to be in the know!

What is altitude sickness?

In simple terms, it is when we are exposed to high altitude that has low levels of oxygen. The higher up you are, the less oxygen is available for your body to operate. Your body doesn’t like this and has side effects.

What does it feel like?

The main symptoms of Altitude Sickness include:

  • Fatigue/loss of energy
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Insomnia
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How do I stop it?

One thing about Altitude sickness is that it can happen to anyone. It doesn’t matter what your fitness levels are, so you need to be prepared.  Here are some tips to minimize and hopefully prevent and nasty side effects.

1.Take it easy: When you land, walk slow, slow down your breathing and do not do anything strenuous. There is a reason why the first few days of any mountain hike is acclimatizing day.

2. Water: Lots of it. Simple. Thin air is dry. Avoid caffeine and alcohol – stay with the Cocoa Leaves 🙂 Its a simple tea that many locals use to avoid sickness and has used for thousands of years.

3. Food: Keep hydrated by not eating many salty foods. Also try foods that are rich in potassium such  as bananas, avocados and chocolate!!!! 🙂

4. Medication: If you are ultra cautious, have a chat to your doctor and ask them about altitude sickness drugs called acetazolamide, also known as Diamox. They work great and stopped my symptoms quickly.

5. Your clothing: Bring layers. High altitude areas usually have quite big temperature swings and that can really throw your body around- and that is the last thing you need when in a new altitude.

You are now ready to go to Bolivia, Machu Picchu, Nepal, and many places around the world with incredible heights! 

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