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Coyotewoman
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184 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have any experience dealing with this?I live in NorCal at about 300 feet.In the summer as we turn into a pressure cooker here in the valley (100+ temps not unsuall)riding and hiking in the Sierras that are only 1 to 2 hours away max is the way to go:cool: .And it is some awesome riding and hiking.
I get severe nausea and headache after any acctivity that raises my heartrate at altitude.Epecially above 7000 feet.Less at 5 to 6. Mountain biking and hiking are the worst,rarely with skiing or snowshoes(I ski too slow :D )Sometimes a bit of a headache with them but not like the other activiities.It comes on the worst after I have stopped riding or hiking.Its really a bummer to have a great day and then finish off being sick:bluefrown: Also scary,I did a hike about a week ago from 8 thousand feet to about 9 five and had the worst bout yet.A couple of bad moments trying to drive home.As most of my riding and hiking is solo this is a major issue.
I know alll about staying hydrated,and I can't afford to make all my trips up to the hills more than 1 day to "acclimate" to the altitude(really have not done much multi day biking at altitude so don't even know it it would help).I have heard about certain supplements and ginger for the nausea but I hope some of you very experinced and serious riders can help.Is there anything avaliable? By script maybe?Help please!
 

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Banned
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4,137 Posts
Ibuprofin works wonders for preventing and lessening the effects of altitude sickness in many people, but you should really talk to your doctor if you are having as much of a problem as you are describing.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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38,852 Posts
You might have some other condition that is contributing. I do all rides above 6000, and I regularly go flying up past 12,000. Some of the people I take flying do not have much experience at high altitude, but if you're doing this regularly and having trouble each time, I'd suspect some other condition contributing.
 

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never ender
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1,314 Posts
Your doctor may be able to help if your altitude sickness is being worsened by something else, but even so, you need to be able to change your routine to allow you to acclimate better. Driving from sea level to 8+ thousand feet and then going for a bike ride is a real killer no matter what, and a 2 hour drive in an air-conditioned car is a lousy way to prepare for any activity. Ideally you should at least spend one night at altitude before going out...acclimation has a lot to do with how much oxygen your blood is ready to carry, and sleep helps a lot. So does eating...altitude can suppress your appetite, so sometimes you may be heading out a few hundred calories short of what you really need in your stomach. Hydration is important too, of course, but since it's so obvious some people over-hydrate, which is bad news as well. Sleep, though, is one of the most important factors and also the thing that people overlook the most...if you can possibly get away with driving up the night before, camping out, then driving back after the ride, you should do it.
 

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I can only offer sympathy, I also suffer above 9000.

We are off to Machu Pichu in October to do the trail. One of my companions thinks it's all a bit of a laugh and that altitude sickness is rare, he thinks we should just fly from Lima stay overnight and start walking !

Having had the experience of altitude sickness on the rim of the Grand Canyon two years ago, the thought of a week at that altitude is worrying me as I now know I can get it. They reckon that chewing the local Coca leaves helps.
 

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icanseeformiles(andmiles)
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241 Posts
Just a guess, buy are you hydrating properly? I teach skiers above 10k in the winter, many from sea-level, and many of the symptoms that flatlanders associate with altitude sickness is actually dehydration.
 

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Your bike is incorrigible
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3,179 Posts
From experience, I've learned that there is really only one solution: get in better cardio shape. I used to get sick above 9,000 when I was younger and not in good shape. Then I lost a lot of weight, did a lot of cardio activities, and my threshold increased to about 13,000. Even in the best shape, though, I couldn't go to 14,000 without becoming nauseous and dizzy.

Someone else said that driving from sea level in an air conditioned car was probably not the best way to prepare. I agree with this. You really need to acclimate. It would be better to find something at a little lower altitude and then build your way up, getting both used to the altitude and in better shape.
 

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Coyotewoman
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184 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks

Thank you all for the imput!:thumbsup: I will check that out Impy.I do know that cardio fitness,hydration,food and rest all contribute to a better experience,never hurts to be reminded,more motivation!I will talk to a doctor about this.Sometimes it seems like their answer to any problem your having with a activity is to just stop doing it!Thats not going to happen!:nono:
 

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Don't be a sheep
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3,442 Posts
fat_weasel said:
Ideally you should at least spend one night at altitude before going out...acclimation has a lot to do with how much oxygen your blood is ready to carry, and sleep helps a lot.
Actually, this is the worst thing you can do. It takes 2-3 weeks for the body to get acclimated and you will feel the worst after about a day or two. Racers who are from lower levels will wait till the morning of the race to drive up to altitude and race as the body hasn't had a chance to respond to the change and screw up your system. You'll still feel like you have one lung but the body will react better.
 
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