Altitude sickness question

LIK2HNT

Very Active Member
Messages
1,177
Going to be camping around 9k and going up to 12k to 14k daily for up to 2 weeks. Has anyone been prescribed Acetazolamide 125? And how many tablets were you prescribed relative to days going up to the higher altitudes? I live around sea level.

Once acclaimed can you keep going up and down w/o medication, or do you keep taking the medication the whole time?

Main reason I ask is because my Dr. Gave me 8 tablets, my daughter got 28 from her Dr., and my friend got 36 from his. All different doctors and each had a hard time understanding what/why we are going to do this.

Hard as hell getting in tough my Dr. Had to make a phone appointment which I did not hear him call, so I missed it. Each appointment takes a week or so to get. Been working on this for three weeks now and getting frustrated. Appreciate any input.
Thanks
Bill
 

cbat

Active Member
Messages
411
I can tell you this much it sucks when you get it. Last time was on my once in a life time Valle Vidal elk hunt. Toughed it out for a couple days but finally had to leave or die. I still have optic nerve pain on the back of my left eye. I have talked to several people since that use small oxygen bottles at night and they swear by them.
 

littlebull209338

Active Member
Messages
770
Oxygen bottles really help. I was raised at 5,000' but still get altitude sickness at times so I came to rely on the bottles at night. Just a little boost really helps.
 

LIK2HNT

Very Active Member
Messages
1,177
Oxygen bottles really help. I was raised at 5,000' but still get altitude sickness at times so I came to rely on the bottles at night. Just a little boost really helps.

Are you talking about those recreational O2 like Boost or actual medical O2 with mask or nose tubes like They put on you when you have surgery?
 

mickeyelk

Very Active Member
Messages
1,668
Wow. Thank goodness I've never had it. One thing I always do is drink allot of water all the time. Dehydration is the killer. Also they say if you go at a lower attitude before the hunt it helps to acclimate yourself. Good luck.
 

littlebull209338

Active Member
Messages
770
I always drink as much water as I can before I leave camp and take a full quart with me. I drink a lot of water in camp. If you drink booze you might want to go pretty light on it on your hunt. I have been in camp with guys that really drink it up and they seem to pay a higher price. You have to ask "is the gain worth the pain"? I just get the personal oxygen bottles from the hardware store. You can get them a lot of places. They are really light and about the size of a bug spray can.
 
Last edited:

JPickett

Active Member
Messages
678
Never had altitude sickness but at the beginning of the season depending on what hunt I’m doing I can definitely feel the affects of the thinner air and my stamina. I just take it easy the first few days to get used to it and by the end of the year I’m like a billy goat again. I’d say not over doing it early and acclimating is a good idea. But then I don’t know if some folks are just more likely to just get it
 

fullcry

Active Member
Messages
650
Not to be a smart #ss but did you read the bottle?
I have not taken what they gave you.
But the stuff I have always taken says to start several days before you leave to go and take it all the way through your hunt.
Some of that stuff can make you sleepy or a little sluggish for a day or two.
I’m pretty sure it would need to be in your system a few days before it will work.
I had the same doctor trouble years ago too!
I literally doctor shopped until I found a doctor that hunts.
 

Wapitiwilly

Very Active Member
Messages
1,902
I don’t know about the medication but altitude sickness is serious. We live at 6200 Ft.
My son was on a high elevation hunt around Aspen. Camped at 11K started getting sick day two I believe. After 2-3 days his hunting partner drug him to the hospital. Spend a few days in a hyberbaric chamber. It was very scary situation for a few days. Everything turned out good.
Super healthy 25 year going into that hunt.
Don’t mess around it can/will kill you
 

fullcry

Active Member
Messages
650
Acetazolamide is the name for the brand Diamox
Depending on the dose strength you should start a day to a few days ahead of your trip and keep taking it till it’s gone.
The higher you go up the thicker your blood.
So it thins your blood out.Ibuprofen is a good thing to take every day with it as it thins your blood out too.Most guys get sick when they cut corners and don’t aclamate to high elevation and don’t stay hydrated from day one.Guys try to just show up and hunt.You should show up a couple days ahead and get climatetized.
Years ago I started to notice it in my teeth.
I would get tooth aches and I wondered why my teeth would hurt on my first trip of the year.
High elevation changes up and down quickly can do that.
 

LIK2HNT

Very Active Member
Messages
1,177
Thanks everyone.
Got lucky this morning and was able to schedule a phone appointment for mid day with a Dr on call. Luckily this Dr. is outdoorsy and set me up with everything I needed. He even called me back about 30 minutes latter and added another prescription. I have always drank a lot of water and sometimes take Advil in am when I get going on a hike. He said to take Advil daily and to keep drinking a lot of water also.
Thanks
 

OutdoorWriter

Long Time Member
Messages
5,588
Thanks everyone.
Got lucky this morning and was able to schedule a phone appointment for mid day with a Dr on call. Luckily this Dr. is outdoorsy and set me up with everything I needed. He even called me back about 30 minutes latter and added another prescription. I have always drank a lot of water and sometimes take Advil in am when I get going on a hike. He said to take Advil daily and to keep drinking a lot of water also.
Thanks
The suggestions you've gotten here are mostly good ones. Altitude sickness can put you down for the count if you're a lowlander & don't take precautions.

I always suggest that people who are sea-level creatures spend a day or two at a mid-range altitude before moving up to the real high stuff. Drink LOTS of water, & keep the booze consumption light if at all. The pills will also help you. And do not over exert yourself for a couple days., i.e. climbing mountains, etc.

It's amazing how much a couple K feet makes. I have piss-poor lungs now, so I'm on O2 24/7. At 1K feet here in Phoenix, I do fine, but even with the O2, my breathing becomes labored at 4-5K & above. I haven't ventured any higher than that in many years because I would probably expire. :ROFLMAO:

When I was living & guiding in Colo. at 8K+ feet, I still felt it a bit when we went into the high-country on horseback. On a few different hunts or summer pack trips, we had clients who were about useless for a day or more. In one instance, we had 3 cops from Texas on a deer hunt, and two of the three had altitude sickness real bad. The 3rd had a less severe case. It pretty much ruined their hunt.
 

SlowElk

Active Member
Messages
342
Look up wilderness athlete, they have/had something to take starting about two weeks before your hunt, supposed to help with altitude. A friend of mine had a son who played football, went to Flagstaff for a game,who was using it. He was one of a few players that was able to play well the entire game.
 

Homer

Long Time Member
Messages
10,411
Wow. Thank goodness I've never had it. One thing I always do is drink allot of water all the time. Dehydration is the killer. Also they say if you go at a lower attitude before the hunt it helps to acclimate yourself. Good luck.
what's lower than sea level??
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,389
The wilderness athlete type supplements are all we take any more. Both my wife and I. Neither of us truly get altitude sickness. But it bothers us both with rapid heart rate so bad that when you lay down to sleep you can feel it beating in your ears. Also Trouble going to sleep, extreme tiredness, and shortness of breath.

We both take a product called “altitude adjustment”. Guy in Colorado sells them. For about 5 years I took both with me (Acetazolamide and the supplement). But we only took the supplement and never had to go back to using the drug. If you have time I would order some. Each package is a 3 day supply. We get 2 packs each so that lasts 6 days each. We start the day before we leave and the day we leave plus 4 days after we get to altitude. But as high as you are going might need 3 packs (9 days). They cost $5 each so $10-15 does a trip for one person.

We have never had to start the supplement more than one day before we leave on the trip. Your results may vary.

Also be advised of the side effects of the drug. Makes you pee a LOT so you will need to drink extra because of that. Sometimes makes your fingers and toes tingle. And it makes any carbonated beverage taste NASTY!
 
Last edited:

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,389
We have used both the wilderness athlete product and altitude adjustment and they both work for us. I like altitude adjustment better because you can order smaller quantities and you can actually call and talk to the owner of the company. He will get your order right out and he will even just send an invoice with the order if you would rather send him a check. Who does that today??

http://altitude-adjustment.com/
 

OutdoorWriter

Long Time Member
Messages
5,588
what's lower than sea level??
He likely meant as I mentioned -- transition from sea level to high, with a stop at a midway altitude. For example, our CO hunting camps were all at 10K+, so we suggested to clients that they come in early & stay in Durango at 6K+. for a day or two.
 

woodturner

Member
Messages
68
I know nothing about the drugs......but, it would help you to be in good physical shape before you go. Walk, hike, go stretch those muscles out a bit. Work the lungs some. Get in better shape and the altitude should not effect you as much. Drink water also.
The better shape you are in the less the altitude should bother you.
 

willfrye027

Member
Messages
59
Thanks everyone.
Got lucky this morning and was able to schedule a phone appointment for mid day with a Dr on call. Luckily this Dr. is outdoorsy and set me up with everything I needed. He even called me back about 30 minutes latter and added another prescription. I have always drank a lot of water and sometimes take Advil in am when I get going on a hike. He said to take Advil daily and to keep drinking a lot of water also.
Thanks
Glad you got it worked out. Diamoxx will make you pee like a race horse..drink plenty of water and plan on a lot of bathroom breaks on the drive in! It is acting on the kidneys forcing bicarbonate into the urine, counteracting the respiratory alkalosis that you get from hyperventilating at high altitude. It works very well..carbonated beverages will probably taste bad while you’re on it.

If you’re sleeping every night around 9k you will probably be fine. It’s the altitude you sleep at, that will affect you. If you were to spike out at 12k feet on the first night I can almost guarantee you would feel crappy even with diamoxx. If you do feel sick, you can always drop camp down 1000 feet in elevation and it will make a huge difference. Symptoms don’t really start until 8200ft. If you need advice and can’t get ahold of your Dr shoot me a PM happy to help I am an MD.
 

willfrye027

Member
Messages
59
I know nothing about the drugs......but, it would help you to be in good physical shape before you go. Walk, hike, go stretch those muscles out a bit. Work the lungs some. Get in better shape and the altitude should not effect you as much. Drink water also.
The better shape you are in the less the altitude should bother you.
What’s interesting is that studies have shown people who are in “good shape” actually get worse altitude sickness. But being in shape is never a bad idea, can’t argue with that one!
 

elkassassin

Long Time Member
Messages
27,357
I've Seen Outa-Towners get it!

Live around 6K!

Hike alot of 9K-12K!

Never Experienced it!

But That #### is Gettin Steeper!:D
 

feddoc

Long Time Member
Messages
5,400
Going to be camping around 9k and going up to 12k to 14k daily for up to 2 weeks. Has anyone been prescribed Acetazolamide 125? And how many tablets were you prescribed relative to days going up to the higher altitudes? I live around sea level.

Once acclaimed can you keep going up and down w/o medication, or do you keep taking the medication the whole time?

Main reason I ask is because my Dr. Gave me 8 tablets, my daughter got 28 from her Dr., and my friend got 36 from his. All different doctors and each had a hard time understanding what/why we are going to do this.

Hard as hell getting in tough my Dr. Had to make a phone appointment which I did not hear him call, so I missed it. Each appointment takes a week or so to get. Been working on this for three weeks now and getting frustrated. Appreciate any input.
Thanks
Bill
You should keep taking the medicine until it runs out. Hydrate, refrain from alcohol, hydrate some more and take things easy. If you can acclimate for longer periods of time, take advantage and do so. Stage your altitude bumps if you can.

I would not take anything other than what your doctor prescribes, including stuff from wilderness athlete....*unless* your doc gives the ok.


Not that it matters, but, there was some popular theory which indicates that those born at/above 7K had greater tolerance for altitude sickness. If I recall correctly, the alveoli (they sorta look like a bunch of grapes) in the lungs and maybe the hemoglobin are better able to manage the relatively low O2 pressure at altitude and are subsequently able to more efficiently transport O2.

The percentage of O2 in the air doesn't change much at hunting altitudes (20.9%) ...but...the surrounding air pressure drops as we travel upward to a point that hypoxia can occur as low as 10K'. Those little O2 molecules still comprise about 20.9% but, they are spread further apart and harder for the body to process.

1. Exercise (chopping wood, etc.) at altitude causes problems because (in most cases) exercise causes a build up of lactic acid. LA will, not may, bind stronger to hemoglobin than does oxygen. Not much will break that bond except time and introduction of a base (as opposed to acid) into the blood stream to break the bond and allow hemoglobin to suck up it's normal allotment of O2. Of course breathing 100% O2 offers some assistance.

2. Diamox works by reducing activity of a protein in your body called carbonic anhydrase. Once you rid the body of carbonic anhydrase, hemoglobin becomes better able to transport O2 to working tissues.


A web search for Haldane Transformation will show the chemical process in use.



Go Navy.
 
Last edited:

huntnut

Member
Messages
6
Live in central Tx at probably 1500 ft. Have hunted high country Colorado 8-10 times usually arriving in Colorado (9500 ft) and immediately heading to camp at 11,600. Not really smart but vacation time is limited. Without Diamox, suffered with headaches and lack of appetite for several days. With Diamox, have never suffered from any symptoms. Take it. Can add days to your hunting and might even save your trip.
 

DeerHunter53

Very Active Member
Messages
2,402
Years ago when I was hunting the Grey's at around 11 k I had a bad night and couldn't breath I was 40 when this happened. I had to get up and walk around the trailer in the night time so I could breath. It passed the next day.
When I got home and told my doctor he told me to take Ginko as a supplement at least a week ahead of leaving for one of my hunting trips and take it the entire time I am hunting. It supposedly puts oxygen into your blood and I have never had an another issue after this and I live at sea level.
I do try to get early to somewhere and try to acclimate before going to high into the mountains.
 

SlinginLead

Active Member
Messages
579
I did a drop camp several years back outside of Lake City. Our camp was at 12,500. The outfitter suggested taking TUMS for those who experience issues with altitude sickness. He said it helps oxygenate the blood. I typically don't experience much
symptoms, other than some light headiness the first couple days.

One year, we had a friend in deer camp, which was 8,700' up.
We had to drive him to Salt Lake City Airport the next morning. He was suffering fairly severe symptoms of altitude sickness. He said it took 6 months to feel normal again.

I ran into a hunter in Utah one year, and was telling him the story about my friend who suffered from altitude sickness. He said he had a good buddy who got sick one year and they drove him down to a town and got him a hotel room. The plan was to pick him up when the hunt was over. They went to the hotel after to pick him up and he was know where to be found. They went to the front desk to inquire about him, and were told he had to go to the local hospital, who in turn, did an emergency Medivac to Salt Lake City. He almost died due to organs were beginning to fail.
Altitude sickness can be fatal.
 

Vanilla

Very Active Member
Messages
2,319
The better shape you are in the less the altitude should bother you.


Being in good physical condition is ALWAYS good advice, but that actually won’t impact one bit whether one gets altitude sickness or not.

As others have said, don’t fool around with this one, it can be deadly. Don’t try and tough it out. If you feel it, get to lower elevation immediately.

I’ve heard of people using chlorophyll tablets to help at high elevation. I don’t know, and I’m not sure if it’s wise just to start taking something new on a whim. Quite frankly, a lot of these miracle supplements out there either scare me or I’m not convinced they’re anything but a placebo at best. But there are lots of things people take and swear by. I have wondered about those oxygen bottles. My lungs have never fully bounced back from when I had covid, I may have to try the O2 bottles.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,389
There are really two different problems: Altitude Sickness, which can be life threatening, and those of us that has problems adjusting to altitude. My wife and I fall into the second category. No serious symptoms, but enough to make the first 3-4 days miserable.

What we experience is where the supplements can make a big difference. They did for us. Altitude adjustment has Ginko, Ginsing, and some other .

As to taking Tums, I know people who that helps. My daughter will become nauseated and even vomit sometimes when she goes high. But taking tums is all she does and it works for her. but she takes 3, three times a day for a few days.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,389
“Being in good physical condition is ALWAYS good advice, but that actually won’t impact one bit whether one gets altitude sickness or not”

Absolutely true.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,389
I just hear people say:

“ just be in great shape and drink lots of water and you won’t have any trouble”

Which is not true


In reality, everyone’s body has some trouble adjusting to dramatic changes in altitude in a short period. Some just have a lot more trouble than others

All my knowledge was obtained over years of hard knocks. Luckily I am not prone to serious altitude problems and I just suffered through a few years. Then I was in my 20s and 30s and just suffered through the relatively “mild” symptoms. At some point I started taking Diamox and it was a game changer. But I disliked the side effects and having to get a prescription. That is when I heard about the supplements. I did discuss with my doctor and he said no harm to try them. They flat out work for me!

So my recommendation to people: if you have already gone high hunting multiple times and experience only mild symptoms, try the supplements. HOWEVER, if you haven’t been, or don’t know, and you are heading to the high country to hunt, have a conversation with your doctor and take the drug. Most is us won’t need it, but altitude can absolutely ruin a hunt if you are one of the few that has serious altitude issues.
 
Last edited:

whitwell_56

Active Member
Messages
333
I live in Texas at less than 1k.

On a Colorado elk hunt, tried to camp at 11,500. Had the oxygen bottles with me, but they didn't seem to help much.
 

Bluehair

Long Time Member
Messages
3,828
. My lungs have never fully bounced back from when I had covid, I may have to try the O2 bottles.
I know of two other people with this condition. One is my brother in law, who was a billy goat. It’s been 9 months for him. Good luck.

There were a number of Navy SEAL candidates who had to quit AFTER completing “hell week” but before completing BUD/S because of reduced lung function after contracting COVID. Their health is actually monitored so there will be some science in a few years.
 
Last edited:

Vanilla

Very Active Member
Messages
2,319
I know of two other people with this condition. One is my brother in law, who was a billy goat. It’s been 9 months for him. Good luck.

Thanks. Frustrating part is I had VERY mild symptoms. A very mild cough, no fever, no fatigue, nothing. Lost taste and smell for only 3 days. Felt fine. It was the first day I went back to my office after my quarantine and walked up the stairs to the 3rd floor and thought, “Well…wow! That was quite different.” There has been some improvement. All summer long you could hear the wheezing in my breath when I hiked. That has started to go away. But lung function still just isn’t there. I got it 6 months ago.
 

Tomichi

Active Member
Messages
591
AS can turn to HAPE..take is seriously. Good friend grew up in Gunnison climed 14rs.hunted football and flew planes. Went to AK Climed Mceanly and Hunter...got HAPE on a elk hunt down here. Had to move to sea level..died on lung transplant list at 40 looking like superman.No one is exempt... The covid lung **** is real too. Had it last November. Still got a "weeze" on the uphill..concerning.
 

littlebull209338

Active Member
Messages
770
Just learned yesterday that two couples who are close friends; one in Phoenix and one here in Denver have now got it. Both are in ICU and it is not looking good. They both were unvaccinated and are lamenting what poor decision it has turned out to be.
 

sagebrush

Very Active Member
Messages
1,515
Look up wilderness athlete, they have/had something to take starting about two weeks before your hunt, supposed to help with altitude. A friend of mine had a son who played football, went to Flagstaff for a game,who was using it. He was one of a few players that was able to play well the entire game.
Big fan of Wilderness Athlete products. Altitude Advantage, Hydrate & Recover and Midnight Build keep me hunting in the high country and I'm 70 years old. Try it and it will make a believer out of you.
 

Wyo_Roadhunter

Active Member
Messages
316
Big fan of Wilderness Athlete products. Altitude Advantage, Hydrate & Recover and Midnight Build keep me hunting in the high country and I'm 70 years old. Try it and it will make a believer out of you.
+1 I don't usually get to far from the road but do really like wilderness athletes stuff
 

Gutthooked

Member
Messages
8
Altitude sickness sucks, I get it every time I go out west with or without meds, not as bad with meds. I can run several miles and train most of the year for my trips.
 

eelgrass

Long Time Member
Messages
27,401
I've lived at sea level my entire life and every time I get above about 6000' I get a headache, but it goes away after one day and one night. I don't recall ever being above about 9000', so I don't know.

When I'm in my kayak on the ocean and the swells get above 4' in elevation I get sick but that's a different sickness.:sick:
 

OutdoorWriter

Long Time Member
Messages
5,588
I've lived at sea level my entire life and every time I get above about 6000' I get a headache, but it goes away after one day and one night. I don't recall ever being above about 9000', so I don't know.

When I'm in my kayak on the ocean and the swells get above 4' in elevation I get sick but that's a different sickness.:sick:
Where we lived at Vallecito Lake in CO was about 8,000', so when I went into the high country to guide or hunt at 10-11K, it wasn't too bad. It still took me a day to fully acclimate, tho.

As for the swells, they needn't be 4'. Over a foot is good enough to make me...

barf2.gif
 

LIK2HNT

Very Active Member
Messages
1,177
Update:
Acetazolamide prescription seem to work, but still not 100%.
We started the medication 2 days before as prescribed. And drank a lot of fluids every day. We camped below 10k. Day one we drove up to a little over 12k. My daughter and friend stayed at the truck and I hiked up about another 1k or more in elevation. That night at camp my daughter was feeling a little nauseous. She thought it might of been just the rough ride.

When we found the Mtn. Goat I wanted we were around 11k and would have to gain 1,300 feet in a very short distance so I had my daughter stay at 11k. Glad she did because coming off the mountain in the dark with headlamps was VERY tricky. And I would of been to worried about getting her off the mountain safely.

Once my friend and I were off the mountain he told me he started getting slightly nauseous half way up and all the way down.

We all felt the medication worked. You just need to still watch for symptoms and drink plenty of fluids. Also, we all felt we slept better with the medication.
 
Last edited:

blueman

Member
Messages
25
I had 2 family friends that burned 8 points on an early CO rifles tag get altitude sickness this past week and had to quit hunting because it got so bad. Definitely not something you want to mess with
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,389
I had 2 family friends that burned 8 points on an early CO rifles tag get altitude sickness this past week and had to quit hunting because it got so bad. Definitely not something you want to mess with
Waited that many years and didn’t prepare for high altitude. Live and learn.
 

Click-a-Pic ... Details & Bigger Photos
Top Bottom