- 4th March 2020
Please read up extensively on Altitude sickness. Be familiar with the symptoms and do not ignore them. Be sure to keep to a conservative ascent schedule and drink plenty of fluids. If you or anyone in your party begins to experience symptoms of acute mountain sickness (AMS), do not ascend any further, and if they do not improve, then descend to a lower altitude. Carry some Diamox (acetazolamide) pills, easily found in pharmacies in Nepal. Diamox forces the kidneys to excrete bicarbonate in the urine, therefore making the blood more acidic, which stimulates breathing, increasing the amount of oxygen in the blood. But note that Diamox is not an immediate fix for acute mountain sickness; it speeds up part of the acclimatization process which in turn helps to relieve symptoms. This may take up to a day or two, and requires waiting without any further rapid ascent. It is often advisable to descend if even mild acute mountain sickness is experienced. If serious sickness is encountered or symptoms of high-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) or high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE) occur, descent with another trekker is A MUST. Please consult the pharmacist when purchasing Diamox and do your own research. One major thing to remember is that the body requires large amounts of water at altitude to counteract sickness so be sure to drink more than you are used to!