Altitude sickness - remedies

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Altitude sickness - remedies

Postby freshspringroll » Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:05 am

Hi, just wondering whether anyone has some (natural) tips for helping to prevent altitude sickness? I'm flying into Quito in a couple of weeks and a bit worried about the altitude... i've heard that taking some gingko biloba a day before ascending may help? (as it improves circulation).

I guess that rest and fluids etc. are the only way to try and properly recover/adjust but if anyone has some tested tips I'm all ears!

thanks
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Re: Altitude sickness - remedies

Postby TravelFun » Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:10 pm

Hello there,

Everyone reacts differently to high altitude but always best to be prepared...plus take it easy for a few days & drink plenty of water. Here's a link on this topic too:
viewtopic.php?f=47&t=6366&hilit=+sickness

Anything else let me know.

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Re: Altitude sickness - remedies

Postby Zuleika » Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:23 pm

As Quito is not that high (2850) you may get away with it and most do. I was way over 3000m before I begun experiencing the following:
If you are unlucky - You may experience a bit of shortness of breath, headaches and some dizziness. If you can get coco leaves - sold throughout SA then I recommend it - you can have it as tea but it is far better (concentrated) if you parcel it up and suck it in your cheek - the locals will show you how - this totally gets rid of the dizziness which to my mind was the most unpleasant symptom. Take ibuprofen for the headache. And as the others say sleep and drink. It will all pass within a day or so. You could get there in advance of your trip so you are ok by the start.
Ginko biloba didnt do anything for me.
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Re: Altitude sickness - remedies

Postby IndyGent » Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:53 pm

I took Gingko Biloba every day for a month before departure to Peru and on into Bolivia.
I didn't even get a headache the entire time I was down there. Perhaps I was just lucky.
My home is at sea level so I should have felt a very noticeable change when I was at altitude.
Maybe Gingko works or maybe not but it couldn't hurt I guess.
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Re: Altitude sickness - remedies

Postby travelling_on » Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:43 pm

The best advice I could give is to relax when you reach Quito. We travelled inependently and flew up to Cusco at 6 am. Went to bed for a couple of hours , went for a walk, back to bed and relaxed and ate lightly for the first day. We had no altitude problems and anyone I speak to who has, had flown up, dropped the bags off and then gone rushing around sightseeing. There are pharmacists everywhere who can sell you medications for soroche if you need it.
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Re: Altitude sickness - remedies

Postby Macha » Mon Aug 24, 2009 4:13 pm

I tend to be very susceptible to altitude sickness, but have had only mild problems on my two trips to Quito. Both times, I had a headache and general malaise on day 2 and into day 3. I haven't encountered anyone who experienced anything worse than that in Quito.

I took the usual precautions- lots of water, no alcohol, and not too much physical activity. One place that is good for relaxing, with great people watching is the Plaza San Francisco. You can sit on the steps, or there is a cafe with outdoor seating.

(I agree that coca leaves/tea seem to be helpful, but I found that they aren't widely available in Ecuador, like they are in Peru and Bolivia.)
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Re: Altitude sickness - remedies

Postby freshspringroll » Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:44 pm

Thanks for all the replies guys. I think I will take the gingko biloba just in case and look out for the coca leaves. Other than that I will def just make sure to rest for the first day!

ps. I know Quito isn't that high but I think I am quite susceptible given that I got alt. sickness when I was in China at around about that altitude...
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Re: Altitude sickness - remedies

Postby traveller_ac » Sat Sep 19, 2009 11:29 pm

Hi,
those who are particularly sensitive to high altitude - talk to your doc in advance. There is a very light "water pill" called acetazolamide. It is indicated for altitude sickness. But again... talk to your doc.
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Re: Altitude sickness - remedies

Postby thecakeisalie » Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:55 am

traveller_ac wrote:Hi,
those who are particularly sensitive to high altitude - talk to your doc in advance. There is a very light "water pill" called acetazolamide. It is indicated for altitude sickness. But again... talk to your doc.


Just a note on the above, acetazolamide (Diamox) is a prophylactic, meaning it is used to prevent altitude illness, not cure it. You need to take it before ascending to altitude in order for it to take effect, and its not for everyone. The only true remedy for altitude sickness is DESCEND, DESCEND, DESCEND.
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