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Mountain Sicknes while trekking

Altitude sickness

Altitude sickness, often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), is a very important medical consideration while trekking in Nepal.

The symptoms of AMS are as follows:

• Nausea, vomiting
• Loss of appetite
• Insomnia/sleeplessness
• Persistent headache
• Dizziness, light headedness, confusion
• Disorientation
• Weakness, fatigue, lassitude, heavy legs
• Slight swelling of hands and face
• Breathlessness or irregular breathing
• Less urine output

Prevention of AMS

• After 1000m ascent stay one more night for acclimatization
• Do not make rapid ascent
• No alcohol, no sleeping pills, no smoking, no sex
• Drink more: about 3-4 liters day-clean water (boiled, filtered or medicated), tea, coffee, soup, and juice
• No heavy backpacks
• Climb higher, always sleep lower
• Ascent less than 300m a day above 3.000m of altitude
• Never trek alone

Treatment of AMS

Descent is the best remedy; do not wait for the helicopters or medical help.

Three medications have been proven useful

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


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