Altitude Sickness (Mountain Sickness)


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Comment from: Full Time RVer, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 27

I have always suffered from altitude sickness. I grew up and lived at sea level and even a trip to the mountains at about 5,000 ft would be hard for the first couple of days. My symptoms have always been shortness of breath, queasy stomach and anxiousness. Most times I would get a migraine. (I suffer from migraines anyway and altitude migraines are bad!) After retiring we started travelling full-time, and in the summer of 2016 we were in Colorado, Pikes Peak at 14,115 ft and the Rocky Mountain National Park at over 12,000 ft. Ugh! Travelling around in Colorado meant going over mountain passes at 11,000 ft and above, and the first couple of times I felt real bad. I told my husband if I threw up or passed out to just leave me alone and get us over the mountain! I read up on altitude sickness and heard of one study that reported that sumatriptan (a migraine medicine) helped with it. Well, I have a supply of sumatriptan so I took one when we went to Pikes Peak and when we went to the Rocky Mountain National Park I took one. It really helped! I could enjoy the ride and the scenery with just a little light-headedness! Please note sumatriptan must be prescribed by a doctor; you can't just purchase one or more at a pharmacy.


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