What Causes Altitude Illnesses :
The primary cause of altitude illnesses is going too high too quickly. Given time, your body can adapt to the decrease in oxygen at specific altitudes. This is known as acclimatization and generally takes 1 to 3 nights at a given altitude.   


Prevention of Altitude Illnesses:
Prevention of altitude illnesses falls into two categories, proper acclimatization and preventive medications. Below are a few basic guidelines for proper acclimatization. Start below 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) and walk up.    

  •  Do not over-exert yourself or move higher for the first 24 hours.   
  •  If you go above 10,000 feet (3,048 meters), only increase your sleeping elevation by 1,000 feet (305 meters) per day and for every 3,000 feet (915 meters) of elevation gained, take a rest day.     
  •  If you begin to show symptoms of moderate altitude illness, don't go higher until symptoms decrease     
  •  If symptoms increase, go down, down, down!    
  •  Keep in mind that different people will acclimatize at different rates. 
  •  Stay properly hydrated.
  •  Take it easy; don't over-exert yourself when you first get up to altitude.    
  •  Avoid tobacco, alcohol and other depressant drugs including, barbiturates, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills.     
  •  Eat a high carbohydrate diet while at altitude.    


Preventive Medications  (requiring prescriptions):


* Diamox (Acetazolamide) changes acid balance which allows you to increase breathing and improve oxygen uptake - the same mechanism as in normal acclimatization , but  faster

* Dexamethasone (a steroid) is a drug that decreases brain and other swelling, helping to reverse the effects.

 

This is a comment placed on Tripadvisor on July 14th ,2011 by Travcarib  Washington DC :

"We were supposed to do the hike but I unfortunately got pretty sick while in Cusco and was unable to go on the hike. It was very disappointing, but once I got down to Urubamba and Machu Picchu I felt so much better. I will say that make sure you really take Altitude into consideration."


For more info go to : http://ismmed.org/index.php/normal-ac...

or : http://korta.nu/cdcalt