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The well-known and dreaded Altitude Sickness refers to a series of symptoms and effects that people may experience as they ascend more and more meters above sea level.
Normally people can ascend between 1500 and 2000 meters above sea level without major problems, it is from 3000 meters above sea level that the effects occur.
Faced with the discomfort that one feels, the question arises: Why does it occur?
and the answer is very simple, this is because the higher the altitude the atmospheric pressure decreases so the air is lighter and less oxygen is available.
In other words, what it produces is a lack of oxygen in the environment causing breathing difficulties among other symptoms that we will see later on.
The most recurrent symptoms of increased height are the following:
Remember to always listen to your body, pay attention to the symptoms and it is recommended to take a break before continuing with your activities.
The symptoms of Mountain Sickness can present themselves in different ways in each person is different, some with greater intensity and / or duration, so you should be aware of how your body reacts to the increase in height
Diagnosing altitude sickness is very simple, especially when the patient presents the symptoms mentioned above.
Although these do not appear immediately, but between 3 to 6 hours after the change in altitude, so it is important not to be confident and always wait for a prudent time before starting activities.
The duration of these symptoms caused by altitude sickness will depend a lot on the time you take to acclimatize to the new altitude in which you are. You may feel the discomfort with greater intensity the first day you experience the change in altitude and as the days pass these tend to decrease because the body is getting used to the new atmospheric pressure and the low level of oxygen in the environment.
In case the symptoms are persistent and the duration of altitude sickness exceeds 2 to 3 days, it is better to consult a doctor.
Although there is really no single treatment, there are natural remedies and some medications that can help counteract altitude sickness and the symptoms it causes.
Below, we present 2 of the most used native plants in natural treatments based on infusions of ancient plants that not only serve to altitude sickness and help to calm the symptoms of this, but also have other very beneficial properties for the body.
Coca leaves can be consumed by chewing the leaf directly, or through hot infusions, the good thing is that nowadays you can find coca in candies, chocolates, iced cookies and many more so it will always be at your fingertips.
Pills are now available as treatments to counteract altitude sickness, in doses of 1 pill every 8 hours.
The composition of these pills is mainly to alleviate the discomfort you may feel when gaining more height, mainly help improve blood flow, counteract headaches, and help reduce muscle pain caused by irregular blood circulation due to a decrease of oxygen in the blood.
It is important to note that these drugs are not recommended for children under 12 years of age, pregnant women or nursing mothers, so you should consider consulting your physician for additional alternatives or you can opt for the natural options.
In the presence of the symptoms of this disease, it is very easy to panic, especially the smallest ones.
The question then arises: What should I do?
The most advisable thing to do when you start to feel sick with mountain sickness is to stop any activity you are doing and rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Drink plenty of water and wait for the body to feel comfortable before continuing with the day, all this, of course, in case the discomfort is mild.
If, on the other hand, these discomforts are very strong, the first thing to do is to reduce the altitude, the symptoms disappear almost instantly. If, on the other hand, the symptoms of altitude sickness persist, you should receive oxygen, and in some cases receive nifedipine, a drug that helps lower blood pressure, so that the heart does not overexert itself, remember not to self-medicate, always wait for an expert to help you.
It is important that before taking any tour in Peru you always consult about the activities to be performed, and the altitude at which the tour will take place, as well as whether it is necessary to have a good physical condition or if there is any age limit.
The altitude sickness usually occurs in the high Andean cities of Peru, and usually presents discomfort at least during the first few days of arrival in the new city, these discomforts usually disappear on the 2nd day.
So, if you are planning to do any mountaineering or similar activities, we recommend that you first take a couple of days to acclimatize and then make the ascent gradually, always listen to your body and do not overexert yourself.