Altitude Sickness

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness or Acute Mountain Sickness is something that is a great threat for the climbers who are trekking to higher altitudes. Acquiring 5,895m height Kilimanjaro also provides a great challenge for the trekkers and out of all, Altitude sickness is one of the prime threats. 

Altitude sickness is when the body is not adapting fast enough to the reduced level of oxygen in the air, at an increased height. There are many different symptoms of altitude sickness, but the most common one is headache, vomiting and occasionally loss of appetite. These mild forms are not serious and may disappear quickly or certainly when you descend at the end of your climb.

Sometimes Altitude sickness gets worse and you feel some serious symptoms that can be life threatening. You may feel;

  • Blue color to the skin
  • Chest tightness or congestion
  • Confusion
  • Shortness of breath at rest
  • Cannot walk in a straight line, or walk at all
  • Being unconscious
  • Severe headache that doesn’t get cure with medicines

To fight with Altitude Sickness you need to follow the mountain’s rules.

Go slow- climb mountains gradually. The most important rule of Climbing Kilimanjaro that your guide will repetitively say “pole pole” while climbing. Slow climbing will give your body time to acclimatize with high altitude.

Drink...Drink...Drink- drinks plenty of fluids, a minimum of 4 to 5 liters water or any of your favorite drinks. On high altitudes body usually gets dehydrated which may increase the chance of feeling AMS so keep hydrating yourself.

Take Breaks- choose the ideal route as per your physical endurance. If possible add one more day in your itinerary to acclimatize properly.

Include Diamox in your medical kit.  Diamox is a medicine that helps to prevent Altitude sickness. It works by acidifying the blood, which stimulates breathing and therefore allowing a greater amount of oxygen to enter into the bloodstream.

We have seen a higher success rate from clients who are taking this however you need to speak to your doctor before traveling as you need to know if it will suit your body or not.

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