How to prevent altitude sickness for EBC trek
0 Comments 16 May 2018 ADV
How to prevent altitude sickness in Everest Base Camp Trek ?
Climbing over the elevation of 5000 meter and conquering Everest base camp is not as easy as trekkers think. Lots of dedication and hard work is required to complete this trek to EBC. Some trekkers have their own experience of completing this trek successfully while some other may not have same experience due to several causes. Altitude sickness is one of the major causes that trekkers may experience while climbing higher altitude. As we gain higher altitude the air pressure gets thinner and we get caught by altitude sickness.
While trekking in EBC the most deadly challenges faced by trekkers is Altitude sickness. So it is very important to realize the challenges and battle them hard to defend it. Number of trekkers have to leave their journey in the middle and some trekkers even lose their lives due to altitude sickness. So here are some of the guidance on how to be prepared before trekkers are caught by this fatal disease. First of trekkers should know about this disease.
What is altitude sickness?
This illness is fatal disease caused by ascent to higher elevation, characterized by nausea and fatigue resulting from lack of oxygen. This disease is also known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). This sickness affect us after gaining the elevation above 2000 meter. As trekkers gain altitude, low oxygen level (about 60% less than sea level) will challenges the trekkers. The physical condition start to be pathetic and may suffer from diarrhea, loss of appetite, dizziness, giddiness and insomnia. These causes are so dangerous even some trekkers may lose their lives if they do not get treatment in time.
There are lot of reason why most of the people suffer from altitude sickness. Lacking the knowledge of trekking and climbing, overrating the altitude, inexperience, lack of awareness, lack of expert guides and medical back up team are the main reason why people get caught by this fatal diseases. If people be aware of this disease before climbing the higher altitude then this illness can be defended in right way. Knowing only about altitude sickness may not be enough as you have to find out which altitude sickness you are suffered from. There are mainly three types of altitude sickness.
Types of Altitude Sickness:
- Acute Mountain sickness (AMS)
This sickness is occurred when your body part except inner eyes, ears, and sensory nerves does not move in balance. When trekkers get victimized from such circumstance, then they should descend as soon as possible which may cure this sickness to some extent.
- High altitude pulmonary Edema (HAPE)
This sickness affects us in our lungs as breathing will be difficult when fluids are build up inside the lungs. Because of dehydration and emancipating water from lungs, the lungs get filled with fluids. Victims must descend as soon as possible and take rest along with medical treatment to get rid from this type of sickness.
- High altitude cerebral Edema (HACE)
This sickness directly affect to our brain. As the fluid are build up inside the brain, the fluid may change the mentality of the person due to swollenness of brain. The trekkers suffering from this condition should be treated in time otherwise they might go to coma and even may lose their lives. Effective medical treatment is recommended in this case and should be descended without wasting any time.
How do I get to know if I am suffering from Altitude sickness?
It depends upon the trekkers and their fitness level on how fast their body may caught sickness. Trekkers who often trek on higher altitude will not suffer from altitude sickness whereas people who have health issues and does not have any trekking experience may suffer from it. Some trekkers may feel this disease as soon as they ascend while some others may get caught in around 5-7 hours only. So question might be raised that what may be the signs and symptoms of sickness. Major indications of altitude sickness are noticed below:
• Lack of coordination
• Loss of appetite
• Swelling of hands and feet
• Excessive flatulence
Above mentioned signs are the primary stage of altitude sickness but if trekkers get in severe and problematic situation they might feel like:
• Inability to walk
• Heart palpitation
• Cough with frothy or bloody sputum
Above mention are the emergency phase of the victims where they needs emergency medical attention and probably recue evacuation. Trekkers are strongly suggested no to trek further high when they feel the initial phase of sickness.
Preventive Measure of Altitude Sickness on Everest Base Camp?
Prevention is always better than cure. Before climbing on Everest base camp, trekkers must know about the preventive measures of altitude sickness.
Do your Enquiry first.
One of the major things that trekkers must do is to enquiry about the trek first. Gather as much as information you can about the places, peoples, challenges and danger of the trek. People may think they can easily trek up to Everest base camp but it is not possible without gaining information about it. Everest base camp lies above 5000 meter which means there is chance of altitude sickness. The trail is really difficult and the level of oxygen may varies according to the condition of trail. Even guides and trek leaders who often does trekking in EBC may suffer from sickness so, you have to collect as much as information via different websites, blogs, travel agencies and other foundations. After getting sufficient information you may get right steps to handle different situations which helps to tackle you from sickness.
Be patient while trekking and walk in slow pace.
Don’t be panic while walking in high altitude. Sometime what happens, most of the trekkers want to finish the climbing as quickly as possible but it is not the right way. In case of EBC and other treks you should not disregard the guidance and overrate your capabilities. Walking in slow pace with stable pattern lets your body to provide required energy to deal with low level of oxygen. You are strongly advised to take your time while trekking to Everest Base Camp. There is no rush while trekking and more importantly you have to reach base camp and return successfully which should be in your mind.
Climb high at day at sleep at low elevation:
Altitude sickness generally occurs while sleeping at night. Trekkers think they can have good nap in the night while walking whole day long but it may not happen in high altitude. After trekking whole day, at night your body may feel tiredness and altitude sickness can occur. While sleeping or after waking up you may feel this sickness. Effect of this disease can be controlled if you climb higher altitude in day and have nap in lower altitude.
Keep Hydrated: Drink plenty of water
Though the cold weather and temperature might make you less thirsty but you have to drink plenty of water while climbing. Walking in higher elevation of EBC for long hours may drain and dehydrated your body so drinking water is very important. So you have to drink healthy drinks and water frequently while climbing higher altitude. Doctors have strongly recommended to drink 5 liters of water everyday while performing trekking events.
Avoid alcohol and smoke:
Alcohol and smoke should be avoided doing any shorts of hiking or trekking. Drinking alcohol and smoking in higher altitude will have worst effect in your body which results as altitude sickness. Because of alcohol and smoke your body can dehydrated fast. So it is better to stay away from such toxic drinks which may even take you lives while trekking.
Well train and strengthen your body before trekking:
It is very key thing that before climbing EBC your body must be well trained and must be physically sound. Altitude sickness can occur to those people who have very low physical fitness and health issues. Even normal people who have sound physical health may occur this illness without training. Thus, it is highly recommended to do physical training before trekking to Everest Base camp and other trekking or hiking events. Body and legs should be strengthen enough by running and walking daily. The best idea to train yourself is to climb around the hills and mountains of your own locality above 2000 meter above.
Try consuming Cocoa (Dark chocolates)
This is interesting fact that Native American trekkers have claimed that dark chocolates helps to prevets us from getting altitude sickness. So it is better to consume some dark chocolates while trekking in high altitude.
Do not over rate yourself and never lie:
People who does training and make themselves ready for the trekking may overestimate themselves while trekking. But it is very wrong way to deal with your body. Not to be over smart claiming you have trained well enough. You may ignore the guidelines and minor altitude sickness while trekking this is where they are caught very badly. Hitting hard in the trail may get weaker and in the evening you may be tired. If you feels the signs and indication of this sickness you must inform to your crew members, so that you can get immediate treatment. Some trekkers have a habit of keeping the secret of their condition thinking it will hamper the journey of whole group but it is not so you have to inform as soon as you feel like you are getting ill.
Select the right Travelling Agency:
One of the major factor that depends for your successful EBC trek is best travelling agencies. While gathering information about the trek you also have to choose best travelling agencies which can provide quality services. Search more about the travelling agencies and find one of the best which have best success rate and safety guidelines. Pick out the best travelling agency who are fully dedicated for your wellbeing as well.
It is proven that the medicine like Diamox (Acetazolamide) can prevent us from effect of altitude sickness. But it is very necessary to take this medicine with right dose at right time. So you have to take some medicines with yourself while trekking in EBC.
Source: Adventure Discovery Treks admin
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