Welcome to Frisco, Colorado-Altitude 9,097 ft! We are surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, with many peaks reaching over 14,000 ft of elevation. Whether it is your first visit, or you are a seasoned returnee, many people have to deal with altitude sickness (also known as Acute Mountain Sickness, AMS) upon arriving at our mountain mecca.
Symptoms of mild to moderate acute mountain sickness may include:
• Dizziness or light-headedness
• Loss of appetite
• Difficulty sleeping
• Nausea or vomiting
• Rapid pulse or hear rate
• Shortness of breath
Like with most illnesses, the best treatment for altitude sickness is prevention. Nonetheless, if you are traveling to the mountains, you may not have much time to plan for AMS. Altitude sickness tends to last 24-48 hours, sometimes even less. However, if you’re experiencing symptoms, the most important thing you can do is stop ascending in elevation and descend if you can. In addition, here are 3 tips that have worked for me in preventing Altitude Sickness:
1. Acclimate slowly- If you can, ascend gradually to your destination. Stop at areas that are at lower elevation and spend some time there without exerting yourself too much.
2. Get as much rest as you can- It may be enticing to want to jump right into hiking and biking endless miles, but pace yourself and rest in between.
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate- The high elevation and dry weather here in Colorado contributes to quicker dehydration for most of us. Drink water regularly and don’t wait to feel thirsty, by then it’s too late.
Finally, there are many supplements that are recommended for Altitude sickness; however, I am not a health professional so i leave it up to you to consult with your health practitioner and do some research.
We are all different and so what may work for some may not for others. Since moving to Colorado, I have found beetroot powder is a great supplement to add to my diet, especially when hiking, mountain biking, snowboarding, or swimming. I have also found that chlorophyl is helpful in keeping AMS at bay. Again, this has worked for me, consult with your health practitioner for professional advice.
Enjoy your time in the mountains responsibly!
Harry Canales-Broker Associate-
Fan of Mountain Biking, Hiking, Snowboarding, Swimming and anything outdoors!!