Health/Altitude Sickness

Lack of oxygen at high altitudes can tire physically unprepared travellers faster, and inability of our bodies to adjust to low oxygen content in air. Apart from tiredness there are also the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness to contend with, which include loss of appetite, nausea and dizziness, insomnia, shortness of breath and nosebleed among others. It is prudent to improve your overall stamina before you set out. Even with all the physical and mental training in the world there is no way you can avoid the symptoms of mountain sickness at such high altitudes. The key is to give your body time to acclimatize to high altitude mountain conditions by having at least two days stop at Leh if you have flown into the city, before proceeding to higher places and Keep yourself adequately hydrated.

Keeping preventive medication handy. Diamox is preferred by Mountain travellers. However, it is advisable to have your doctor prescribe the AMS medication.

Carrying an oxygen cylinder while travelling is also advisable and the same iseasily available at a chemist shop.

Keeping yourself adequately warm. Remember to dress up in layers. This is particularly helpful when you are gaining height as you can add to the layers effortlessly.

Having a carbohydrate rich diet. Light meals at frequent intervals are advisable. It is prudent to avoid heavy meals.

A good night’s sleep can go a long way in mitigating the effects of mountain sickness. Remember not to over-exert yourself.

If the problem becomes acute try descending to a lower altitude to take some rest before carrying forth with your journey.

It is advisable to sleep with your head elevated while sleeping.

It is best to avoid alcohol at least for the first couple of days till your body has got used to the high-altitude conditions. Similarly, it is best to avoid smoking and tobacco.