Trekking:Altitude Sickness

image

Post note to Trekking Nepal: Having been reassured that altitude sickness was not a concern on the trek we were taking, with elevations reaching only 10,500′, I barely looked into the symptoms. After our return I researched the condition more fully and discovered that everything that was occurring for me falls within the list of symptoms for acute altitude sickness: insomnia/wakefulness, lack of appetite, nausea, dizziness, tiredness/muscle weakness, shortness of breath. A couple of other symptoms that I didn’t experience are headache and vomiting. It is recommended that persons experiencing these symptoms at elevations not climb higher for 24 to 48 hours, then reassess. Severe altitude sickness is the next phase and can be dangerous, involving symptoms such as irrational behaviour, coughing up frothy liquid, seizures and death! Had I read this before my trek I may have made a different decision about going forward. Because I am here to tell about it, and did not need to be flown out by helicopter for about $1000 – I am glad I went onwards, upwards and completed the trek. I did learn the hard way that it is important to pay heed to that key phrase in the trekking world – ‘slowly, slowly’.

For further information on altitude sickness go to altitude.org