Acute Mountain Sickness: Here is how to simply minimize the effect

Khardungla Pass - Highest Motorable Road

If you are new to travel to high ground mountain areas, you must at least have heard of Acute Mountain Sickness or High Altitude Sickness or some people call for short as “AMS”. Let me tell you my story on how I got hit and injected 3 times because of Acute Mountain Sickness in Leh Ladakh, India. Moreover, I have to feel the oxygen tank for the first time while trekking uphill on the way to Pangong Lake. I would say this is my first experience to stay on high ground land as well so having yourself accustomed to new body conditions is extremely challenging. Please always take Acute Mountain Sickness seriously.

Here are the effects of Acute Mountain Sickness

  • Lack of Sleep: Every night I always woke up about 4-5 times.
  • Dizziness and Headache: After each long day of hiking and traveling through Tsemo Gompa, Khardung La, and more, I always feel headache and need to take a rest more often.
  • Fatigue: It’s easy to get tired each day so better do rest a lot.
  • Loss of Appetite: When I was in Leh, I didn’t feel like I want to eat anything at all. In fact, I was feeling hungry. After I arrived back in Bangkok, I lost my weight for about 4-5 kilograms.
  • Nausea: I always felt there’s some gas inside my stomach and wanted to throw up. Some night, I did throw up indeed.

Traveling to High Altitude area? Please check out: 
Traveling to Leh Ladakh in India for 5 Days – Ultimate Experience You Will Never Forget

Acute Mountain Sickness: Here is how to minimize the effect

And here are the suggestions you need to take on seriously;

  1. Rest at least 6 hours after arrival: As suggested by lot of people I’ve met because you need to get your body adjusted to new conditions. It will not affect on the first day but a few days later, it will start taking its toll on you. (more info on internet)
  2. Do take Diamox tablet regularly: From my experience, I took one tablet a day about 2 days before I traveled to Leh. However, as suggested by doctors, a woman should take one half of the tablet and a man should take a whole tablet.
  3. When things don’t look normal, immediately go to hospital: Acute Mountain Sickness is a serious issue and should be treated immediately when conditions appear. It’s very hard to go from place to place and somewhere that doesn’t have hospitals nearby.
  4. Get yourself more oxygen: If you don’t feel well, you better need an oxygen tank beside you. Ask your guesthouse manager if they can prepare for you on the trip or not. I stayed with Padma Guesthouse in Leh, they charged me for about 500 Indian Rupee. Don’t bring oxygen tank from your home country at all! (Who would have thought to do so :P) That’s dangerous!
  5. Live like a sloth. Don’t move so quickly: You know how a sloth lives? If you don’t, you can watch the trailer below and see how slow they really are. If you move so quickly, you will not breath well and get exhausted and experience insufficient amount of oxygen that could eventually cause you Acute Mountain Sickness.