The mild form of altitude sickness is called Acute mountain sickness. If you are a going to mountains or high altitude trekking, you should aware from AMS. AMS generally happens above than 2500m from sea level. This is common on said elevation, although everybody do not face this problem but anybody can, it is depend on health, physic, food etc. Part of the mystery of acute mountain sickness is that it is difficult to predict who will be affected. Many times it is came to see that more fit and younger people face badly AMS rather than their old fellows. So it is very important if you are going to high altitude area, make sure you have to give sufficient time to adjust your body with that climate.
Why AMS Happens?
In more than 2500m or 3000m level oxygen is lesser than low altitude area and our body has to make effort to supply oxygen from our lungs to all part of our body, especially in brain, by red blood cell. If oxygen is not conveying properly, thickness may increase of our blood and many things can happen like swelling in skull and brain, from where AMS produce.
Symptoms of AMS
If you are going to high altitude area, AMS can happens and you can diagnose, after checking below symptoms –
- muscle aches
- nausea and vomiting
- loss of appetite
- swelling of the hands, feet, and face
- rapid heartbeat
- shortness of breath with physical exertion
Above symptoms are often happens in high altitude and especially headache and insomnia are general AMS. But in condition of any AMS we should cure them as soon as possible, because if we ignore that, maximum of above things we have to face. So we should not ignore any of above said symptoms.
Treatment for Acute Mountain Sickness
This is very important to cure AMS symptoms. Headache is most common and preliminary AMS. In high altitude area, we generally face less oxygen and cold wind also decrease the percentage of oxygen in atmosphere and red blood cells cannot supply enough oxygen to brain and it cause headache. Sometimes it happens for some hours and sometimes for more. These are some tips what we can do during opposite situation.
- Acclimatization – first thing is your body should acclimatize as you ascend. If you ascend quickly, it means your body is facing rapidly changing in atmosphere and it could not adjust with climate and then… So don’t walk very fast and too much. 3000m altitude is best for first day rest. In case of AMS symptoms, you can stay for one day or two for acclimatize. And after 3000m we should ascend 300 to 350mtrs. In a day. This is ideal walk to acclimatize your body. So walk slowly, take is easy, cool your mind and give enough time to your body, body have special quality to adjust in atmosphere but it need time and patience.
- Hydrate Your Body – water is main part of our body. During trek a lot of water comes out as perspiration from our body. So make sure our body should not dehydrate. We should take approx 1ltr. Of water before 1hr of start the trek and during trek 2 or 3 ltr. But slowly in sip. Water helps of red blood cells to convey oxygen in all parts of body.
- Diamox (acetazolamide) – Acetazolamide drug is very known as Diamox. It has a special quality, that easily adjust with body and very good for treating AMS but you have to take it, 2 or 3 days before starting the trek and till destination. But before use, consult your doctor, although it does have some unusual side-effects. It makes your hands and feet tingle.
- Eat properly and hygienic – Eat your food properly, healthy, easy digestive and hygienic. Because indigestion may cause of vomiting. Good amount of carbohydrate and fiber, we should eat.
- Say no to Alcohol and Tea – Alcohol dehydrate our body in normal situation, so in high altitude it may cause of AMS and tea decrease our metabolism, and food takes more time to digest.
- Walk descend – If above said things are not curing your AMS and symptoms are increasing, walking down is best option to curing AMS. So come down as soon as possible.