Will DNC attendees suffer from altitude sickness?

BlogHer Original Post

Congratulations, you're going to Denver for the DNC! While you're making lists of things to pack, thinking about all of the great people you're going to meet, and dreaming about the stories you're going to write don't forget to prepare for altitude sickness. Even if you've never experienced it before you will want to be prepared, just in case.

What is altitude sickness?

Air sickness is a pathological condition that is caused by acute exposure to low air pressure.

Right. That's helpful isn't it? Maybe a look at the symptoms of altitude sickness would help?

Headache is the most common symptom of acute altitude sickness, but affected persons may also experience:
fatigue, and
sleep disturbances.

From that same article, I find it interesting that people under 50 years of age are more likely to have altitude sickness.

The travel doctor has some information that may help prevent altitude sickness. Here are the high points, in my below sea level opinion. (Oh wait, I don't live below sea level anymore. Whatever):

* Do not overexert yourself for the first 24 hours. Light activity is better than sleeping the entire time, though.
* Stay hydrated!
* Avoid tobacco, alcohol and other depressant drugs including, barbiturates, tranquillisers, sleeping pills and opiates such as dihydrocodeine. These further decrease the respiratory drive during sleep resulting in a worsening of symptoms.
* Eat a high calorie diet while at high altitude.

If you have experienced altitude sickness in the past, you might consider talking to your doctor before you head to Denver. Diamox might be in order. This is a pretty serious drug with some difficult side effects so discuss all options with your doctor.

The DNC Disruption blog recommends arriving in Denver a day or two early, to help you acclimate before the events begin. That seems like expensive, but good advice.

The Denver Post nicely informs us that use of Viagra can help with altitude sickness.

If you have heart or lung disease, talk to your doctor before leaving for the DNC. If you are prone to edema, bring some compression socks along with you.

I know there are some Denver bloggers lurking, do you have some tips that you can share? How about those of you who have experienced altitude sickness, what works and what doesn't?

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