July 26, 2022

How to Treat Altitude Sickness

treatment for high altitude sickness in Manchester

When travelling to a high altitude too quickly, altitude sickness can occur. Because you can’t take in as much oxygen, breathing becomes difficult. If left untreated, altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), can become a medical emergency. This condition can happen to anyone, no matter their age, gender, or level of fitness. Keep reading to find out a treatment for high altitude sickness in Manchester.

What are the symptoms of altitude sickness?

Symptoms of altitude sickness typically appear six to twenty-four hours after climbing to altitudes greater than 2,500 meters above sea level.

Symptoms resemble those of a severe hangover and include the following:

– Headache
– Loss of appetite
– Feeling and being sick
– Tiredness
– Dizziness
– Shortness of breath

The symptoms usually worsen at night.

Altitude sickness affects more than just mountaineers. Tourists who go to La Paz, Bolivia, or Bogota, Colombia, which are both at least 2,500 meters above sea level, can also get altitude sickness.

It isn’t possible to develop altitude sickness in the United Kingdom as the highest mountain, Ben Nevis in Scotland, is only 1,335 meters high.


What’s the treatment for high altitude sickness in Manchester?

The best way to avoid altitude sickness is to move slowly to heights above 2,500 meters. The body typically requires a few days to adjust to a change in altitude.

You should also:

– Resist flying directly to places of high altitude, if you can.
– Stay at a high altitude for two to three days to get used to it before going above 2,500 meters.
– Avoid daily ascents of more than 300 to 500 meters.
– Have a rest day every 600m to 900m climbed or every three to four days.
– Make sure you’re drinking enough water.
– Avoid smoking and drinking.
– Keep away from strenuous exercises for 24 hours ahead of your journey.
– Consume a low-fat, high-calorie diet.

Medication for treatment of high altitude sickness in Manchester

Consider carrying along the following medications for altitude sickness with you:

Acetazolamide – used to prevent and get rid of high altitude sickness.
– Paracetamol and Ibuprofen – for relieving headaches.
– Anti-nausea medication, such as promethazine.

Acetazolamide is not licensed to treat altitude sickness in the United Kingdom. But you can get it at most travel clinics, and some doctors may give it to you. Take acetazolamide one to two days before ascending in altitude and continue to take it as you climb.

Promethazine is offered at pharmacies. It does not require a prescription.

You should still climb up gradually and abide by the precautionary advice, which includes taking time to acclimate, taking frequent adequate rest, and drinking plenty of water. If you experience altitude sickness symptoms while taking acetazolamide, you should rest or go down until you feel better before climbing up again.


What foods help with altitude sickness?

High-carbohydrate and potassium-rich foods can be used to alleviate the symptoms of altitude sickness. Before beginning your ascent, pack some bread, fruits, pasta, and other carbohydrate-rich foods. Consuming foods that are high in sodium can cause dehydration of the body’s tissues.

Managing altitude sickness

If you suspect that you have altitude sickness, you should:

– Stop and take a break where you are.
– Not climb up until at least 24 to 48 hours have passed.
– Take ibuprofen or paracetamol when experiencing a headache.
– Take anti-nausea medication, such as promethazine if you feel nauseous.
– Make sure you’re drinking enough water.
– Not smoke, consume alcohol, or work out.
– Take Acetazolamide which can make your symptoms be less severe, but it won’t get rid of them completely.

Get in touch with South Manchester Travel Clinic today for your treatment and advice before embarking on your journey.

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This blog post was written on behalf of the South Manchester Travel Clinic by Pharmacy Mentor.