A common illness that many climbers of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, experience is altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS).
The air gets thinner as climbers reach higher altitudes, making it harder to supply the body with enough oxygen. Numerous symptoms, such as headache, exhaustion, nausea, and dizziness, may result from this. Altitude sickness can worsen and even pose a life-threatening risk if untreated.
The quick ascent to very high elevations is one of the main causes of altitude sickness. The impressive 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) that Mount Kilimanjaro rises above sea level makes it a popular destination for climbers who hope to complete the ascent quickly. The body may be put under a lot of stress during this quick ascent, increasing its susceptibility to altitude sickness. Climbers are less likely to experience symptoms if they take their time and let their bodies adjust to the altitude.
Without website navigation, your visitors can’t figure out how to find your blog, your email signup page, your product listings, pricing, contact information, or help docs.
Lack of oxygen is another factor that can cause altitude sickness. Because there is less oxygen in the air at higher altitudes, the body has a harder time functioning. The body speeds up breathing to make up for the lack of oxygen, which can cause symptoms like shortness of breath and an accelerated heartbeat.
Altitude sickness symptoms can differ from person to person, but some of the most typical ones are as follows:
- Headache: One of the most typical signs of altitude sickness is a dull, throbbing headache. It frequently sounds like a “throbbing” headache, and nausea and vomiting are possible side effects. Climbers may feel weak and fatigued as they struggle to get enough oxygen into their bodies. As their bodies adjust to the altitude, many climbers experience nausea and vomiting.
- Dizziness and lightheadedness: Climbers may feel dizzy and lightheaded as their brains struggle to receive enough oxygen.
- Shortness of breath: Climbers may experience shortness of breath and a rapid heartbeat as their bodies attempt to make up for the lack of oxygen.
How to avoid
It’s crucial to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro gradually to avoid getting altitude sickness. Instead of trying to reach the summit in a short amount of time, this means taking your time to adjust to the altitude.
Your body needs more time to get used to the thinner air the lower the elevation you are at.
Make sure you are properly hydrated as this is another way to avoid altitude sickness. Drink a lot of water to stay hydrated because as you climb higher, your body will lose more water through breathing and perspiration.
Altitude sickness can also be avoided by taking drugs like acetazolamide and dexamethasone. These drugs function by hastening the body’s acclimatization, but they must only be used under a doctor’s supervision.
- Advertisement -
Before attempting to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, it’s important to see a doctor, especially if you have a history of altitude sickness or other medical issues.
Necessary safety measures
Be sure to take the necessary precautions to avoid altitude sickness as you get ready for your climb. This entails building up to the climb gradually, staying hydrated, and seeking medical advice before starting. Furthermore, it’s critical to recognize that each person has a unique body, so what works for one person might not be effective for another. It is crucial to be aware of your own body and symptoms and to modify your climb as necessary.
A good guide and crew are essential for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro because they can help you monitor your symptoms and give you advice on how to avoid altitude sickness. It is essential to trust them and maintain open lines of communication with them because they will be able to give you the oxygen and medications you need if you experience symptoms.
In conclusion, climbers of Mount Kilimanjaro may experience a serious condition known as altitude sickness. However, it can be avoided with adequate planning, a slow ascent, and careful observation of symptoms. It is imperative to descend to a lower elevation as soon as you can and seek medical help if you do experience altitude sickness symptoms. Always seek medical advice prior to starting the climb, and have faith in your crew and guide while climbing.