Take the Risks of Altitude Sickness Seriously

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Like looking at the Sun during an eclipse, it’s all too easy to dismiss the warnings that come with altitude sickness. If your mountain adventure involves elevations higher than 10,000 feet or if you’re changing more than a few thousand feet in elevation change, take precautions. Drink plenty of water, take frequent breaks, eat foods that are rich in potassium and complex carbohydrates, and listen when your body is telling you something isn’t right. You may also be able to find and use oxygenated air tanks in some mountain resort towns.

Flying to Denver from Miami, when you see the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, it’s easy to forget you’re already a mile high before you hit the foothills. It’s not just mountain sickness in the classic sense that you need to know about. There are actually three different types of altitude sickness (AMS, HAPE, HAVCE). But that’s not all, either. You may discover a latent and very mild asthma that causes you start to wheezing at higher elevations. You may get drunk on a fewer number of alcoholic drinks. You may not feel entirely like yourself.