Altitude Mountain Sickness

Trekking above 3000m, please consult to your doctor before you go. If you have problems with heart, lung and blood pressure or taking regular medicine please consult your doctor before you go. If you are over 60 years or over weight please visit your doctor to get proper suggestion to enjoy the trekking.

Altitude Sickness:  

Altitude sickness often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is a very important medical consideration while trekking in Nepal Himalaya. When you are trekking above 3000m/ 10000ft, you must trek within limit which your body can adopt.

All the trekking itineraries we provide are designed thinking of normal trekkers. We will brief to our clients on a pre departure briefing about altitude sickness and simple ways to avoid them.

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

While the trekkers are gaining height the level of Oxygen will go down. At an altitude of 5500m/ 18000ft the level of oxygen will go 50% down compare to sea level. AMS is the common altitude sickness which could effect to any trekkers 3000m or above.

The symptoms of AMS are as following:

Persistent headache: It is normal to have headache to all the trekkers while in High Mountain. You might have headache due to cold, tired or some other reason as well as. But it is continuous and mild, it could be AMS.

Nausea, vomiting: If you are feeling sick or started vomiting, it could be serious. You must go down at least no further hike.

Loss of appetite: Some time due to other problems you may not like to eat bus it can be because of AMS as well as.

Insomnia/sleeplessness: You may not get sleep

Dizziness, light headedness, confusion: If you are feeling dizziness while walking it could be AMS. It could be because of  low oxygen.

Disorientation (Ataxia): loss of co-ordination, cannot walk in a straight line, looks drunk

Weakness, fatigue, lassitude, heavy legs: Slight swelling of hands and face

Breathlessness: Fast breathing even in rest or irregular breathing

High pulse rate: If the pulse rate is 120 or more when resting could be a symptoms of AMS

Blue lips: Mark blueness of face and lips.

Less urine output

Ataxia is one of the most serious symptoms of AMS. This can be very serious if do not descend down immediately or rescued.  Within the 24hrs the onset of ataxia a coma is possible, followed by death, unless you descend. This is easily tested by trying to walking a straight line, heel to toe.

Prevention of AMS:

Do not trek high: Never continue trekking to high elevation with the above symptoms

Acclimatization: After 1000m ascent stay one more night for acclimatization

Drink more: about 3-4 liters day-clean water (boiled, filtered or medicated), tea, coffee, soup, and juice

Stay warm: wear warm cloth, sleep warm and keep your body ward.

Do not make rapid ascent: If you are not feeling well, you should go down or at least stay at the convenient lodge to wait till getting better.

Trek light: While you are trekking above 3000m/1000ft  you should not carry heavy back pack. It may cause AMS

Climb higher, always sleep lower: You should check your itinerary to make sure that you are climb high and descend low to night rest.

Never trek alone: Do not trek alone in High Mountains. You may require help due to any reason and if there is no one to help, small problem could led you serious just because of it was not cured in right time.

Find Shelter: If any reason you are stocked/ unable to continue or waiting for rescue, you must try to find some shelter where you can stay warm and safe.

Early to start and early to arrive: Alpine Asian Treks would like to suggest to our trekkers to start early in the morning and arrive earlier to night rest.

No alcohol, no sleeping pills, no smoking, no sex

Ascent less than 300m a day above 3.000m of altitude

Treatment of AMS:

Descent is the best remedy; do not wait for the helicopters or medical help.
Three medications have been proven

  1. Diamox™
  2. Nifedipine (ordinarily used to treat heart problems and high blood pressure)
  3. Descomethasone (an important drug to carry for emergency use).