FAQ Category: MOUNTAIN FAQS

Should I take birth control pills at altitude ?

Yes, if you need them for contraception or menstrual regulation to prevent excess bleeding. There is no evidence that it is harmful to take them at altitude, although on theoretical grounds, estrogen-containing oral contraceptives may increase the risk of blood clots higher. Certain individuals with a history of blood clots or a family history of…

Is consuming alcohol bad for acclimatization at altitude ?

Probably. The early symptoms of altitude illness resemble those of a hangover. By imbibing, it may be difficult to tell whether you are suffering from altitude illness or from the effects of alcohol. Alcohol depresses respiration during sleep. Avoid alcohol until you are well acclimatized and not going higher.

I’m going to altitude with a commercial group that is carrying a hyperbaric bag. Doesn’t that lessen my chances of having problems with serious altitude illness ?

No. It is unclear whether a group carrying a hyperbaric bag is less likely to have problems. Among trekkers to high altitude destinations in Nepal, those traveling independently are less likely to experience a fatality resulting from altitude illness. Such people may be more flexible in their schedules and less likely to be influenced by…

What is the finger test for altitude ?

The finger test is a term refereed to in measuring the oxygen saturation of the arterial blood using a device called a pulse oximeter in which a sensor is attached to the end of a finger. The reading represents the percentage of hemoglobin that is saturated with oxygen in the arterial blood. As one climbs…

I’m going to altitude. Should I take Acetazolamide to prevent altitude illness ?

No, unless you have predictably and repeatedly had altitude illness before and are contemplating another venture up high, or if you are on specific time-cramped itineraries or flying to high-altitude destinations such as Lassa, Tibet. Use of this agent in our pharmaceutical culture is becoming more common. One individual said, “I feel totally diamoxalized” on…