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Altitude sickness

Altitude Sickness, often known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), is a particularly important medical consideration while trekking in Nepal. Altitude Sickness means the effect of altitude on those who ascend too rapidly to elevations above 3,000 meters. Anyone may be affected by AMS regardless of strength or physical fitness. The initial symptoms of AMS are as following:
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia/Sleeplessness
  • Persistent headache
  • Dizziness, light heaviness, confusion, disorientation, drunken gait
  • Weakness, fatigue, lassitude, heavy legs
  • Slight swelling of hands and face
  • Breathlessness and breathing irregularity
  • Reduced urine output

These symptoms are to be taken very seriously. In case of appearance of any of the above symptoms any further ascent should be reconsidered. More serious problems can occur which can even cause death sometimes within a few hours. The main cure for the Altitude Sickness is to descend to lower elevations immediately. Acclimatization by ascending to no more than 300 to 500 meters per day above 3,000 meters and the proper amount of rest are the best methods for prevention of AMS.

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