778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7
3

Altitude Sickness?

by (1118)
Updated October 23, 2014 at 3:28 AM
Created January 07, 2012 at 10:25 PM

Hey all :) My husband and I are planning an awesome vacation to Denver this summer. I was reading up on Altitude Sickness just now and one of the suggestions to avoid it is to consume a high carb diet (WHAT?). It also suggests taking Gingko starting 5 days before. That, I think I can do, but the high carb diet? Does anyone have any experience with this and advice to go along with it? We are planning a fun, active vacation of fishing, hiking, etc. We don't want to be sickly the whole time. Ish...

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab
5043 · January 09, 2012 at 5:21 PM

don't climb Long's Peak (14,000 feet +) on your first weekend. Take some advil if you get a headache. Drink plenty of water and avoid too much alcohol.

778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7
1118 · January 09, 2012 at 11:44 AM

I don't fly. Thanks for all the tips! And if you have any tips for the area, like what we should definately not miss, please, feel free to share :)

Medium avatar
2913 · January 08, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Driving will definitely avoid most of the problems -- it's the sudden shifts, like the people coming off the plane in Kathmandu (switch from pressurized cabin to 4500 ft in a couple minutes) or getting off the train in Jungfraujoch (7600 ft to 11300 ft in about an hour)

Medium avatar
2913 · January 08, 2012 at 6:56 PM

I know the feeling, vacations are the one chance I get to indulge (don't have to worry about designated driver, etc) -- I think it comes back to the same old "Everything in moderation." -- Take it slow, give yourself time to acclimatize, a glass of wine with dinner isn't going to hurt -- certainly the locals are not about to abstain ...

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0
21405 · January 08, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Acclimating to the altitude is the best thing for you. Also, practice deep breathing as much (if not all) of the issue is the reduced oxogen at higher altitudes.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73
20908 · January 08, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Hey, that's only 20 minutes or so from me, cool. Anyway, I'd say potatoes or sweet potatoes are your best bet. You want something starchy that can turn into energy easily. The longer you cook the potatoes, the easier they'll be to digest too. I'd say just have a little potato with breakfast or something like that. See how you feel during the day and then titrate from there. 9,000 ft isn't much to worry about, planes are pressurized to an equivalent of 8,000, so if you don't get sick flying, you'll probably be good. Just take it easy your first couple of days.

778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7
1118 · January 08, 2012 at 2:46 PM

I have to say that I LOVE coffee, so that comment just made my day. My husband doesn't drink coffee at all, so I will probably try to coerce him into taking the Gingko. We are only going to be there for a week... I generally avoid alcohol to begin with, but we will be on vacation, without our young children, so I was planning to indulge a bit. Maybe I should scratch that idea...

778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7
1118 · January 08, 2012 at 2:43 PM

So, how do you suggest ramping up the carbs? White potatoes, sweet potatoes, more fruit? My husband is a carb face, so I'm not worried as much about him as me. Not to mention, I get awfully sick if I eat anything that I shouldn't. So, going crazy on the carbs is not going to be a problem... We are going to be in the Nederland/Black Hawk area. Our cabin is at 9000 feet. Neither of us have ever been that high before. I don't want to say I'm worried, I just want to be prepared :)

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73
20908 · January 08, 2012 at 2:52 AM

But if the headaches don't go away and you start to get confused (or more likely someone around you tells you you're not making sense) then you better get lower in a hurry. It can be pretty serious.

778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7
1118 · January 08, 2012 at 1:49 AM

We are driving, so maybe that will help us ease into it :)

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810
4875 · January 08, 2012 at 1:00 AM

Silverton is between 9,000 and 9,500 depending on if you stay in town or go hiking. The air does feel a bit thin up there, even for a Denver local.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810
4875 · January 08, 2012 at 12:58 AM

Good question - thanks for asking! I live in Denver, and I spent a few years at 7,500 elevation before here, so I'm curious what the community has to say about altitude's affects on physiology.

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393
6418 · January 08, 2012 at 12:34 AM

I stayed a few days in Silverton, Colorado once and had some shortness of breath. Not certain exactly how high Silverton is, but I did indeed have symptoms. Nevertheless, I was able to get out and have a normal time, including hiking and jogging. Anyway, I think you're going to be fine.... call it intuition!

778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7
1118 · January 07, 2012 at 11:36 PM

Our cabin is at 9000 feet. I've heard it can happen as low as 7000 feet. I'm obviously hoping for the best, but I want to be prepared. Thanks for the info :)

Total Views
1.1K

Recent Activity
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

Last Activity
66D AGO

Followers
0

Get Free Paleo Recipes Instantly

4 Answers

best answer

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73
1
20908 · January 08, 2012 at 2:45 AM

Generally you don't need to worry about altitude sickness untl you're higher then 5,000 ft. For me it kicks in at 12,500 and my wife not to 14,000. Most of where you'll be hiking and other activities around Denver will probably be around 9,000 or so.

But you are right, you will want to ramp the carbs up a liitle and lower the fat. Your body becomes less efficient at metabolizing fat as you get less oxygen. That doesn't mean go crazy with the carbs and if you're already a fat burner then you don't need to go high carb, just higher than normal. And the higher (in elevation) you go the more you'll want to bias towards carbs.

I live at 8,000 and since I'm acclimated to that I normally eat what you'd call low carb. But when I do go up to 10 or 11,000 I start ramping the carbs up and I do better.

778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7
1118 · January 08, 2012 at 2:43 PM

So, how do you suggest ramping up the carbs? White potatoes, sweet potatoes, more fruit? My husband is a carb face, so I'm not worried as much about him as me. Not to mention, I get awfully sick if I eat anything that I shouldn't. So, going crazy on the carbs is not going to be a problem... We are going to be in the Nederland/Black Hawk area. Our cabin is at 9000 feet. Neither of us have ever been that high before. I don't want to say I'm worried, I just want to be prepared :)

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73
20908 · January 08, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Hey, that's only 20 minutes or so from me, cool. Anyway, I'd say potatoes or sweet potatoes are your best bet. You want something starchy that can turn into energy easily. The longer you cook the potatoes, the easier they'll be to digest too. I'd say just have a little potato with breakfast or something like that. See how you feel during the day and then titrate from there. 9,000 ft isn't much to worry about, planes are pressurized to an equivalent of 8,000, so if you don't get sick flying, you'll probably be good. Just take it easy your first couple of days.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab
5043 · January 09, 2012 at 5:21 PM

don't climb Long's Peak (14,000 feet +) on your first weekend. Take some advil if you get a headache. Drink plenty of water and avoid too much alcohol.

778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7
1118 · January 09, 2012 at 11:44 AM

I don't fly. Thanks for all the tips! And if you have any tips for the area, like what we should definately not miss, please, feel free to share :)

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393
2
6418 · January 07, 2012 at 10:29 PM

I've stayed in high altitudes before and had symptoms. They lessened gradually and were gone within 2-3 days. I have to be at a considerably higher altitude than Denver before I experience any symptoms.

Stay well hydrated. I think that's about all the advice I have for you. Oh, and don't think about or expect it. If it happens, it happens, but you'll be fine.

778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7
1118 · January 07, 2012 at 11:36 PM

Our cabin is at 9000 feet. I've heard it can happen as low as 7000 feet. I'm obviously hoping for the best, but I want to be prepared. Thanks for the info :)

Da3d4a6835c0f5256b2ef829b3ba3393
6418 · January 08, 2012 at 12:34 AM

I stayed a few days in Silverton, Colorado once and had some shortness of breath. Not certain exactly how high Silverton is, but I did indeed have symptoms. Nevertheless, I was able to get out and have a normal time, including hiking and jogging. Anyway, I think you're going to be fine.... call it intuition!

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0
21405 · January 08, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Acclimating to the altitude is the best thing for you. Also, practice deep breathing as much (if not all) of the issue is the reduced oxogen at higher altitudes.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810
4875 · January 08, 2012 at 1:00 AM

Silverton is between 9,000 and 9,500 depending on if you stay in town or go hiking. The air does feel a bit thin up there, even for a Denver local.

Medium avatar
0
2913 · January 08, 2012 at 1:51 AM

Most common symptoms of altitude sickness (if you suffer) are migraines and dizziness -- for most people, as long as you take it easy, these will go away in half an hour or so. Give yourself time to acclimatize -- no triathlons in your first week :p ... Avoid alcohol and focus big on staying hydrated (plain ol' water will do more good than worrying about your carb/protein ratios)

The ginkgo is recommended because it's a blood thinner, and most other blood thinners or vasoconstrictors will work, including *gasp* plain old coffee.

http://www.its.caltech.edu/~alpine/altitude_links.html

The best solution for altitude sickness is coca tea -- available in Peru, but *cough* limited availability in the US ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coca_tea

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73
20908 · January 08, 2012 at 2:52 AM

But if the headaches don't go away and you start to get confused (or more likely someone around you tells you you're not making sense) then you better get lower in a hurry. It can be pretty serious.

Medium avatar
2913 · January 08, 2012 at 6:56 PM

I know the feeling, vacations are the one chance I get to indulge (don't have to worry about designated driver, etc) -- I think it comes back to the same old "Everything in moderation." -- Take it slow, give yourself time to acclimatize, a glass of wine with dinner isn't going to hurt -- certainly the locals are not about to abstain ...

778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7
1118 · January 08, 2012 at 2:46 PM

I have to say that I LOVE coffee, so that comment just made my day. My husband doesn't drink coffee at all, so I will probably try to coerce him into taking the Gingko. We are only going to be there for a week... I generally avoid alcohol to begin with, but we will be on vacation, without our young children, so I was planning to indulge a bit. Maybe I should scratch that idea...

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab
0
32518 · January 08, 2012 at 12:41 AM

Moved to Santa Fe (7000 ft.) from sea level six months ago.

High protein is recommended, not high carb, from everything I read. I was already eating Primal for 6 months and I had NO problems at all. I read about the Gingko & forgot to get any!

If you are flying in, give yourself a couple of low intensity days to adjust. Drink lots of water and keep fat & protein high.

778b36f4f699f202de135ef176fe9ab7
1118 · January 08, 2012 at 1:49 AM

We are driving, so maybe that will help us ease into it :)

Medium avatar
2913 · January 08, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Driving will definitely avoid most of the problems -- it's the sudden shifts, like the people coming off the plane in Kathmandu (switch from pressurized cabin to 4500 ft in a couple minutes) or getting off the train in Jungfraujoch (7600 ft to 11300 ft in about an hour)

Answer Question

Login to Your PaleoHacks Account

Get Free Paleo Recipes