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Altitude Sickness


If you are driving from Berkeley over the Sierra Nevada, or visiting any other site at high altitude--generally above 8000 feet--without acclimatizing, you may experience Altitude Sickness, also known as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). blue line

Symptoms

The primary symptom of altitude sickness is headache. If you have a headache combined with any of the following symptoms while at altitude, you may have altitude sickness:
  • Lack of appetite, nausea, or vomiting
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Dizziness or light-headedness
  • Insomnia
More severe symptoms include fluid in the lungs and swelling of the brain. If these symptoms occur, go to lower altitude immediately.

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Preventing Altitude Sickness

Taking these steps can help to prevent altitude sickness:
  • Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water or Gatorade-type drinks. Go easy on the coffee as it is a diuretic.
  • Eat many small meals with high potassium content, e.g., bananas.
Dehydration and potassium deficiency may cause fainting or more serious injury.