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About Altitude Sickness

The following information about altitude sickness is adapted from a brochure by Mogul Medical Urgent Care.  IT IS IMPORTANT TO READ THIS!

Altitude illness is usually preventable if you slowly ascend to high altitudes.  However, this is not always possible.  Those who proceed directly to, and sleep at, elevations above 8,000 (Casa de Toro is at 8,353 ft.) may encounter some of the following symptoms:

Mild Symptoms - These are like a hangover.  Take Tylenol or aspirin for a headache and Benadryl for nausea.
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Poor appetite
  • Run down feeling
  • Shortness of breath with exertion

Moderate Symptoms - These require medical attention.
  • Headache not relieved by Tylenol or aspirin
  • Vomiting
  • Raspy cough
  • Weakness
  • Balance/coordination problems - these are are highly predictive of a serious progression of the sickness; see a physician immediately!

Severe Symptoms - These can be life-threatening; GET MEDICAL HELP IMMEDIATELY!
  • Wet cough
  • Shortness of breath, even at rest
  • Disoriented, "Leave me alone."
  • Too weak to eat or get up
  • Lips and fingernails are blue

Here are some suggestions on how to acclimate to high altitudes:
Take it easy - It can be very tempting to jump right in to whatever activities you had planned to do while you are at Casa-de-Toro.  However, this can easily lead to overexertion and problems.  Stop your activity and take a break whenever you start to feel tired or have prolonged breathlessness.

High Carbohydrate Diet - Now is your chance to eat those carbs you might have been staying away from.  Increase your carbohydrate (e.g., pasta, rice, bread, etc.) intake to about 70% of your total calories while at the same time, reduce your fat intake.

Avoid alcohol, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills for the first two nights. These slow down your body's ability to adjust to the altitude. This is especially critical if you have any of the symptoms listed above.

Medication - There are prescription medicines that can prevent altitude sickness and speed up acclimation.  If you have any symptoms listed above and they get worse after the second night sleeping at the higher altitude, you might benefit from this medication.
Remember: Being in excellent physical condition has NO bearing on your ability to acclimate to high altitudes!  Be sensible and take it easy at first so you can enjoy the entire time you're at Casa de Toro!