IV hydration and altitude sickness woman backpacking through Colorado

How IV Hydration Can Help Combat Altitude Sickness in Denver

Whether you’re a local or are visiting for leisure or work, no one wants altitude sickness in Colorado. Mobile IV Hydration is a fast and effective way to combat the symptoms of altitude sickness in your home, office, or hotel AirBnB in Denver.

What Is Altitude Sickness?

Altitude sickness, also called high-altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness, is a temporary condition that can develop in individuals who travel to high altitude environments. This condition happens when a person exerts themselves at a higher altitude than they are accustomed to before acclimating to the environment.

Why do high altitudes affect the body? There are lower oxygen levels and lower air pressure at high altitude levels. Even though your body increases your breathing and heart rate to oxygenate your blood, your body is still working with less oxygen than it is used to. When your blood oxygen levels become too low, you can develop altitude sickness.

Since Colorado has the highest overall elevation of any state, it’s no surprise that altitude sickness is a common occurrence. In fact, 50% of people in one study developed mountain sickness above 8000 feet. Anyone – especially people who are not acclimated to high-altitude environments – can get mountain sickness. Your age, gender, training, and fitness levels do not necessarily decrease your chances of developing this condition.

High-altitude environments are generally considered to be above 8000 feet. The average elevation of Colorado is 6800 feet, with over five-hundred mountain ranges above 13,000 feet in elevation.

The biggest risk factor for altitude sickness is your rate of ascent compared to your overall altitude. People who have previously had altitude sickness are at a higher risk of developing this condition. People who live at lower elevations are also at a higher risk.

There are many ways that acute (sudden and temporary) mountain sickness can manifest, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe.

  • Mild altitude sickness is characterized by nausea and/or vomiting, headache, fatigue, a lack of appetite, weakness, and insomnia. These symptoms generally go away on their own within a couple of days.
  • Moderate altitude sickness includes the same symptoms as mild; however, they may not improve with medication. Moderate mountain sickness can also include symptoms such as disorientation and ataxia (a decrease in or loss of coordination).
  • Severe altitude sickness includes conditions such as high-altitude pulmonary edema (where fluid gathers in the lungs) and high-altitude cerebral edema (where fluid gathers on the brain). Both of these types of altitude sickness require an immediate descent as well as medical attention. Severe altitude sickness is characterized by a shortness of breath at rest, coughing, a bluish skin color, frothy and/or bloody sputum (mucus from the lungs), confusion, or loss of consciousness.

Altitude sickness is temporary since your body’s cardiovascular system quickly adapts to exercising and working in the low-oxygen environment. Although mild altitude sickness generally resolves on its own within a couple of days, severe symptoms require an immediate descent. A person whose symptoms are mild but do not improve with rest must also promptly descend to a lower altitude.

Low blood oxygen can contribute to more problems than just altitude sickness. You can learn more about how low blood oxygen affects the body here.

The Connection Between Altitude and Dehydration

So, how does hydration play into high-altitude environments and mountain sickness? First, let’s talk about altitude and dehydration.

Higher altitudes cause you to dehydrate faster, often without realizing it. When you are at a higher altitude, your hunger and thirst decreases. The less you drink, of course, the easier it is to get dehydrated.

If you are visiting Colorado, there’s a good chance you will be hiking or climbing. When you are exercising, your body will use water that much faster. Dry mountain air and often-cold temperatures at higher altitudes can lead you to become dehydrated without realizing it. On top of that, your fluid metabolism changes at higher altitudes, causing both dehydration and a loss of overall water in the body.

Hydration is always essential, but especially so at high altitudes since it is so easy to become dehydrated without realizing it. Water hydrates your body and keeps your organs and cells running normally. Hydration also flushes out the cell-damaging free radicals produced by exercise. By removing these free radicals, hydration plays a large part in promoting muscle healing and repair after a long day in the mountains, which is especially important during high-altitude performance.

Water also increases the volume of blood to oxygenate. By drinking water – or getting a hydration IV – you can increase your blood oxygen levels to help you recover from altitude sickness faster.

IV Hydration and Altitude Sickness

Although it is easy to get dehydrated at high altitudes, it is just as easy to stay hydrated. That said, one of the most common symptoms of altitude sickness is nausea, and no one wants to drink a glass of water while they’re feeling nauseous.

That’s where IV hydration and altitude sickness intersect. IV hydration is ideal for staying hydrated when you are nauseous. IV therapy is administered directly into your bloodstream, bypassing your stomach for fast and thorough hydration.

Although IV hydration may not be able to prevent altitude sickness, it can help you recover faster and improve how you feel. For example, you can opt for add-ons such as anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory medications to help improve your symptoms and your comfort. Many of our IV formulas contain essential vitamins to boost your immune system’s function, helping you feel your best and stay healthy for the rest of your trip.

Treating Altitude Sickness

IV hydration is not the only way to treat altitude sickness. These tips can help you get back on your feet fast so that you can enjoy your trip to Colorado.

  • First and foremost, get some rest and give your body time to adjust to the higher altitude. Most people will find that symptoms will go away on their own.
  • Avoid alcohol during recovery just like you would with any other illness.
  • Don’t overexert yourself while you are recovering, since doing so can make symptoms worse and prolong your recovery.
  • Use painkillers and anti-nausea medication to help improve your symptoms while you rest.
  • If your symptoms are severe, it’s important to descend to a lower altitude and seek medical attention promptly.
  • If your symptoms are mild but do not improve with rest, descend to a lower altitude.

When it comes to altitude sickness prevention, planning your trip with enough time to get acclimated to the environment is your best bet. Gingko biloba supplements may also reduce your risk of developing acute mountain sickness, but the evidence here is inconclusive.

Mobile IV Hydration Treatment for Altitude Sickness

No one wants to visit a clinic when they’re traveling. That’s why Drip Hydration is your mobile solution for IV hydration and altitude sickness. We bring IV therapy directly to homes, AirBnBs, hotels, and resorts in Denver.

IV hydration therapy generally takes 30 – 45 minutes for immediate relief from altitude sickness symptoms. Our anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory medications can improve your recovery while add-ons such as B12 shots can improve your mood and your energy levels. Mobile IV therapy in Denver can help you get back to feeling great and enjoying what Colorado has to offer.

Have questions? Want to know more about IV hydration and altitude sickness? Want to have your appointment in a truly unique location? Give us a call! We’ll be happy to answer anything you would like to know.

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