Home remedies for altitude sickness include drinking water, avoiding exercise, and consuming acetaminophen, herbal mixtures, lemon soda, and ginger. Many people feel uneasiness and sickness when they climb to high altitudes. This is termed acute mountain or altitude sickness.
Symptoms can be seen within 12 to 24 hours of arrival, and they normally increase at night as your body tries to achieve its resting metabolic rates. Some of the symptoms are increased rate of heartbeat, breathing problem due to physical exertion, nausea, tiredness, headache, and sleeplessness. Air is thinner at high altitude areas. The higher you climb, the less oxygen your body has to breathe, which is the fundamental reason for altitude sickness. To compensate for this, you can practice deep breathing exercises.
Altitude Sickness is also known by the name of acute mountain sickness. At times, it also turns into High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE), which can be a life-threatening condition. The basic reason for the cause of altitude sickness is also the failure of acclimatisation of the human body beyond a certain elevation. Most of the time, the human body fails to adjust in terms of homeostasis of fluid balance and chemistry. At times, the process of acclimatisation stretches from days to weeks, after which the body can at least respond to the external stimulus and normalize its metabolic rates accordingly.
According to the University of Buffalo Reporter, brain swelling and pulmonary edema are major problems at high altitude.
Symptoms of Altitude Sickness
- General malaise
- Pins and needles
- Light headedness
- Persistent rapid pulse
- Peripheral Edema
Home remedies prove substantially helpful in dealing with the symptoms of altitude sickness. In addition to this, it is hard to get medical assistance in hilly and mountainous regions. Therefore, one should be aware of home remedies to prevent altitude sickness both before changing altitudes, and while you are experiencing it.
Home Remedies for Altitude Sickness
Different home remedies and measures to avoid altitude sickness are mentioned below:
Drink Water: When your breathing becomes fast and deep, you tend to dehydrate at a faster rate. To counter this, drink water in considerable amounts to keep yourself hydrated. Be vigilant and check whether the urine is clear and in proper quantities. Alcohol can add to the dehydration problem, so it is better to avoid it completely, especially when you are climbing at higher elevations.
Avoid Exercises: Exercising should be avoided, even if it is not rigorous, until you are completely regulated to the new altitude. Thus, when you are at high altitudes, invest more of your time in leisure activities, rather than in those which require the expense of energy. Limiting exertion is better than using a bunch of different medications. Activities like running, hiking, lifting,or straining in any capacity can worsen the symptoms of altitude sickness.
Acetaminophen: Rather than using combination drugs like aspirin, which have side effects, it’s advisable to use acetaminophen, a safer drug that confers instant relief from pain at higher elevations.
Herbal Potions: These herbal potions are made from the common ingredients which are easily found at home. Ingredients include basic and normal things like lemon, water, ginger garlic, and honey. Drinking the potion helps in building body stamina, and fighting colds, coughs, fevers, and headaches, while also providing the energy to combat the metabolic effects of high altitude areas.
Lemon Soda: This can be taken to prevent vomiting, the colloquial tendency. However, home remedies are more useful and easier to get. You can take a glass of fresh sweet lemon soda, digestive capsules made of herbs and natural ingredients like green mango, amla, ginger, or methi.
Eat Digestible Food: Avoid eating heavy, oily, junk foods while ascending in height. You should also eat in small portions. Eat foods which are easily digestible, so your body doesn’t expend energy more than it can afford.
Ginger: Christopher Hobbs, the renowned herbalist, believes ginger to be very beneficial for treating altitude sickness, as it plays a pivotal role in treating mild levels of altitude sickness. It is advisable to mix 20 drops of ginger liquid with half cup of water in case you suffer from altitude sickness.
Travellers can experience High Altitude Cerebral Edema or High Altitude Pulmonary Edema, in which case, emergency medical attention should be sought out due to their life-threatening potential, as confirmed by International Society For Mountain Medicine. However, home remedies can help prevent the condition from getting to this dangerous point.
References:University of Buffalo Reporter, International Society For Mountain Medicine.