Acute Mountain Sickness

It can happened when one ascends above 10,000 Ft. The primary cause is less Oxygen in the atmosphere at the high altitude.

It is preventable if one understands and follows the discipline of the mountains. But, if it happens, then in case of mild sickness one should take extra time to acclimatize. In case of acute sickness, the
only way is to descend back to lower altitude as fast as possible.

We have to understand that when we go via Helicopter route, we are reaching at a very high altitude in a very short duration and it does not prepare our body to be acclimatized as we go up. Therefore, we must take certain precautions to ensure that we do not get sick.

We have to keenly watch ourselves as well as other group members for symptoms to combat it at the beginning itself. The common symptoms are :-

*      Headaches
*      Fatigue
*      Disturbed sleep
*      Loss of appetite, Nausea
*      Shortness of breath
*      Cough
*      Palpitation
*      Periodic breathing during sleep (regular breathing intermittent with gasping)
*      Mild swelling of face or fingers.
*      Less Urine.
*      Antisocial behavior, irritability, loss of temper.

Precautions to combat High Altitude Sickness :-

Do intake around 5 litres of fluid everyday. This can be taken in the form of water / Juice / Energy Drink, Green Tea / Coffee etc etc...

Do take mild Paracetamol only to combat headache, if any ( But advised to avoid ).

  • Avoid taking extra salt in food.
  • We advise that one should take Diamox tablets at high altitude so that you do not get sick specially during night. Diamox, however, is a strong diuretic also (You may have to suffer a bit as you shall be passing urine more frequently). Therefore, on one hand it helps so that your urine is not blocked at high altitude. But at the same time, you must continue to take lot of fluid so that you do not get dehydrated. We suggest that one should have half a tablet in morning and one at night from Simikot onwards. However, once you reach Taklakot, you can have one tablet at night and one in the morning. One way down, you can stop taking Diamox once you arrive back to Simikot.
  • Diamox is available at regular pharmacies.

  •  If you belive in Homeopathic medicines, then You can also carry  :- Coca 30, Glonoine 30 and Coccus 30 (to be taken alternately at least twice daily 3 drops in one teaspoon of water). These also help in combating AMS.
  • Do not over exert yourself. Try to remain calm and speak less. Must not get angry or overexcited. Go on taking deep breaths intermittently.
  • You must understand that during this journey, you get very basic facilities everywhere. Therefore, you must have a very positive attitude throughout the journey keeping always in mind that our aim is to realize the dream of coming face to face with Lord Almighty at His Abode. Listen to music, be calm, and must avoid any altercation, confrontation of any kind that might result in accelerating the heart beats.
  • Eat small helpings along with fluids at regular intervals to keep yourself light and free from indigestion / acidity etc.
  • Must avoid strong pain killers, sleeping pills, any sedatives.