Altitude Sickness Tips and Remedies for Skiers

The higher you climb in altitude, the thinner the air gets, and that lack of oxygen can have a striking effect on your body. Altitude sickness can begin to creep in once you've hit anywhere above 5,000 feet, though most people start to experience symptoms at 8,000 feet. What exactly are those symptoms? You're looking at headaches, dizziness, fainting, loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, insomnia and general malaise. Nobody wants to deal with those while trying to enjoy a nice day on the slopes.

Before you embark on a trip and once you get there, you should take preventative measures against altitude sickness. Here's what you should do:

  • Considering seeing your doctor before you leave. Your doctor might be able to provide prescription medication that can alleviate the symptoms of altitude sickness.
  • If at all possible, allow your body to adjust gradually to the altitude. If you are going to a location at a very high altitude from a location at a low altitude (or sea level), it might be smart to factor in a rest day before hitting the mountain. If you know you are susceptible to altitude sickness, you might consider booking a hotel at a lower point (like at the mountain's base or in nearby lowlands) rather than right on the slopes.
  • Stay hydrated to help your body adjust. Accordingly, limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol, which can make the effects of altitude sickness feel a lot worse.
  • Eat well. If you eat like crap, you'll feel like crap, regardless of where you are. In high altitude, that crappy feeling will be a lot worse. Doctors recommend a diet of complex carbohydrates, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes to help with symptoms.
  • See a doctor if your symptoms get severe. If you experience extreme headaches or confusion, dizziness or fainting, fatigue, nausea or loss of appetite, or generally just feel really crappy, see a local doctor. Altitude sickness is not a sign of weakness and if you're body just isn't adjusting, it's not something you can just "tough out."

Read on for more ways to prevent (and help cure) altitude sickness:

Altitude Rx is a natural remedy containing Vitamins C, E and Oxyboost Complex-which contains Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Rhodiola Rosea, Gingko Biloba Extract, which all work together to maximize energy and prevent fatigue. Altitude Rx might also assist in minimizing headaches and improving your rate of acclimation. If you don't want to take prescription medicine or can't make it to the doctor before your trip, Altitude Rx may be a good choice for you, though note if you experience severe symptoms, it is not a substitute for medical attention.

 For headaches and malaise related to altitude sickness, doctors recommend taking Ibuprofen (Advil) as the best painkiller. Just be sure to drink a lot of water and eat a good, solid meal if you take any medicine while in high altitudes.

For many, motion sickness is a nasty part of altitude sickness. PsiBands, which are FDA-cleared and great for kids, too, are easily adjustable, waterproof "bracelets" that use acupressure techniques on pressure points in the wrist to decrease symptoms of nausea and vomiting.

It's important to stay hydrated when you're in high altitude, and even more important to stay hydrated when you're in high altitude and active on the slopes. A CamelBak pack lets you take your water supply with you while you're skiing, so hopefully dehydration will never become an issue.

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Your Citation
Doyle, Katie. "Altitude Sickness Tips and Remedies for Skiers." ThoughtCo, Aug. 22, 2016, Doyle, Katie. (2016, August 22). Altitude Sickness Tips and Remedies for Skiers. Retrieved from Doyle, Katie. "Altitude Sickness Tips and Remedies for Skiers." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 21, 2017).