High altitude affecting gastrointestinal system?? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-17-2020, 09:27 AM   #1
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Question High altitude affecting gastrointestinal system??

A few years ago we were at 10,000 ft for a few days, causing great discomfort to my GI system. As soon as we descended, there was great improvement. Getting ready to go again (not quite so high), and I have asked my dr for a treatment to take with me; no response from him and we are leaving tomorrow.
Has anyone else experienced this and what did you do proactively or as treatment after symptoms appeared?
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Old 06-17-2020, 09:32 AM   #2
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Bob, was it a lot of pressure from gas? You don't describe the symptoms. I have had discomfort due to gas expanding when flying ( the cabin isn't pressurized to sea level ). If that is the problem you can try GAS-X or some other similar product to see if that helps.
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Old 06-17-2020, 02:48 PM   #3
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Hi Bob,

I've lived in the mountains of CO above 9,000ft. What you've experienced is altitude sickness. At our ski resort we would always tell tourists to Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! I had it once real bad above treeline at 12,000ft. I was paralyzed for 6 hours in my tent while I rode out a thunderstorm. Scary, but it hasn't happened since. My wife used to live in Leadville at 10,400ft. We drank more water daily at these elevations than I'v ever had to in WA.

Here's a good article to be prepared.

https://www.onemedical.com/blog/live...%20four%20days.
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Old 06-17-2020, 07:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Alex Adams View Post
Bob, was it a lot of pressure from gas? You don't describe the symptoms. I have had discomfort due to gas expanding when flying ( the cabin isn't pressurized to sea level ). If that is the problem you can try GAS-X or some other similar product to see if that helps.


I believe you might have been experienced a bit of altitude sickness... my 1st time to Denver put me in hospital.... and I worked into kidney stones
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Old 06-17-2020, 10:13 PM   #5
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Had that issue in Peru when we went to Lake Titicaca (12,500 ft) and our guide advised LOTS of water, and no booze for a couple of days before we went up from Machu Picchu (8000 ft.) Helped me somewhat, and wifey had no problem. Varies greatly by individual, it seems.
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Old 06-18-2020, 10:42 AM   #6
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Up on Sandia Crest in the Sandia mountains facing Albuquerque the first time, 10,600 feet, I had to stop on the trail and take a knee for a while.
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Old 06-18-2020, 11:00 AM   #7
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I have lived in Leadville for many years and taught at the college up there. The most important thing we tell students and parents who come up for the first time is to drink lots and I mean lots of water. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. It's like a mantra. Not only because of the altitude but it is very dry up here as well. Realize all the bathroom trips are going to use more toilet paper

If possible take a few days to gradually come up to elevation. No alcohol for the first few days because breaking down alcohol in the body requires a lot of water which can negate the goal of keeping hydrated. There are several types of high altitude sickness and several symptoms. I haven't heard of GI symptoms but dehydration can cause all kinds of problems including bloating and joint pain. So once again start sucking down water and take it easy. If you start feeling really bad take rest, relax and don't try any serious physical activities.
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Old 06-18-2020, 11:19 AM   #8
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I have to agree with Alex. My wife and I carry a few Tums for gas and Advil for the knees when we're going up high. I have had two bouts of altitude sickness and gastric troubles wasn't a problem. Dizziness, nausea, short breath were the scary things with being high up in elevation. First time was when I climbed Mt Moran in the Tetons without acclimating enough and then again on Mt Elbert (near Leadville). When I came down from Elbert I was almost unaware of what I was doing. Fortunately Jane was there. The other thing we've discovered is that both types of problems affect us differently at different times; always unexpected.
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Old 06-18-2020, 01:37 PM   #9
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Don't know about altitude sickness, but I've had two long flights (I think they keep cabin pressure equivalent to 10,000 feet) where I had moderate to considerable cramping and gas pains. I learned not to eat certain foods the day before or the day of flying.


I shouldn't laugh, but my BIL said he was on a flight once where he thought his backside was going to explode. He had eaten a large number of certain fastfood burgers the night before and paid the price.
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Old 06-18-2020, 01:42 PM   #10
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My dad was in the Air Force (now retired) and they were told to fart if they had to when flying to prevent discomfort due to the change in altitude. As a result, he would let one rip whenever he needed to at home with no company much to the chagrin of my mother who was raised as a genteel southern lady.
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Old 06-18-2020, 03:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Adams View Post
.... when flying to prevent discomfort due to the change in altitude ....
Reminds me of a (true) story before I retired:
  • Out of town consultant who had worked with us for several years flew in for a series of project meetings
  • On his last day, I took him to lunch at a local chili parlor
  • I asked him what he thought
  • He replied that it was different but he liked and enjoyed it
  • I replied: wait until your plane gets above 10,000 ft.
  • Next day I answered my phone to a series of expletives
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Old 06-18-2020, 04:00 PM   #12
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I spent a week in Telluride Colorado and if I ate dinner late, say 8 PM, I couldn't sleep and i felt like my brain was scrambled. I finally figured out that the blood was working on the digestive tract instead of the head.

If i ate a few hours earlier, i was fine.
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Old 06-19-2020, 03:21 PM   #13
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high altitude sickness

I was advised by an instructor at an extreme mountain climbing school to hydrate, no alcohol, no caffine, drink decocainized coca tea for a couple of days before a high altitude hike.

Out of our group of 12, I was only one able to hike to top of a peak with no altitude sickness problems, whereas others were unable (headaches, stomach upsets) after drinking alcohol the night before, and coffee in the morning.
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Old 06-21-2020, 01:29 AM   #14
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Stomach trouble is definitely an early/minor symptom of altitude sickness for some. I tend to skip the stomach issues and jump to the massive headache.
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Old 06-21-2020, 07:37 PM   #15
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Old Timer's Advice ...

I've been to and have spent time at high altitudes
many times without any side effects. I give the credit
to an old timer that once told me ...


For at least two days before ...
1. Eat no spicy foods
2. Drink no alcoholic beverages
3. Stock up on water and drink a LOT when you get there.


Works for me.


.
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Old 06-21-2020, 07:58 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by jcj380 View Post
Don't know about altitude sickness, but I've had two long flights (I think they keep cabin pressure equivalent to 10,000 feet) where I had moderate to considerable cramping and gas pains. I learned not to eat certain foods the day before or the day of flying.


I shouldn't laugh, but my BIL said he was on a flight once where he thought his backside was going to explode. He had eaten a large number of certain fastfood burgers the night before and paid the price.

In the 20th century I read and my altitude measuring watch confirmed that commercial planes typically pressurize to 6K feet. I doubt that it has changed but really don't know.
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Old 06-24-2020, 11:16 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Alex Adams View Post
Bob, was it a lot of pressure from gas? You don't describe the symptoms. I have had discomfort due to gas expanding when flying ( the cabin isn't pressurized to sea level ). If that is the problem you can try GAS-X or some other similar product to see if that helps.
This has certainly been my experience. In fact, early in my career, I led a number of group ski trips to high-altitude resorts in CO, and many of our group members experienced what we jokingly referred to as alti-tooties!
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Old 06-24-2020, 11:44 AM   #18
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Agree with the majority ... early altitude sickness. Hydration is key, but the most important preventive strategy is giving your body time to acclimatize... go up in altitude gradually. Spend a couple nights at 7,000 - 8,000 ft range before you go up to 10,000. Or camp lower and go higher for day trips for a couple days, before you overnight higher. It depends too what elevation you’re coming from... sea level to 10,000 ft, most people will feel some effects, usually mild. But if you’ve been staying at 5,000 ft for several days for instance, and go to 10,000, unlikely to feel as much difference. Your body will adapt to the lower oxygen levels (which is the cause of the symptoms) if you give it a little time. If you experience headaches or breathing problems though, you must go down lower. But as someone has already said, each individual is different, and not everyone responds the same way each time they go to altitude, so next time you could have more problems, or none.

But enjoy the mountains!
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Old 06-24-2020, 12:11 PM   #19
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Too late for the OP for this trip, but everyone going to relatively high elevations should ask their doc about a prescription for diamox (Acetazolamide). It does not magically prevent altitude sickness, but it aids in short term acclimatization by stimulating breathing which generally results in better/more sleep. Dehydration and poor sleep are the basis in most moderate altitude sickness situations.
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Old 06-24-2020, 01:32 PM   #20
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only by eating dry beans not fully cooked at that altitude.

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