Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

Altitude Adjustment

How To Avoid Feeling Low When In High Places.

If you enjoy skiing, climbing or mountain biking, chances are you'll spend some time at high altitude. But while dashing down the slopes or scaling new heights can be the ultimate experience in excitement, your body may react with less enthusiasm than your mind.

If you're a flatlander, you may find yourself gasping for air at 8,000 feet or higher - the higher you go, the less oxygen the atmosphere contains. In addition, a decrease in barometric pressure makes it more difficult for your body to absorb the oxygen that is available.

As a result, your body is less able to transport oxygen through the bloodstream and you may develop a condition called altitude or mountain sickness.

Symptoms can be mild - headache, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite and shortness of breath. Or they can be quite serious, such as swelling in the lungs and brain, that can result in death if not properly and quickly treated.

Symptoms may not appear for hours or even days after you reach high altitude. However, if you're visiting a cold climate, exerting yourself and suffering dehydration from dry mountain air, altitude sickness can become serious quite rapidly. The decreased oxygen flow may compound the problem by affecting the brain, resulting in poor judgment and an improper decision to continue skiing, cycling or climbing.

Shortness of breath is often a preliminary symptom of altitude sickness, and 8,000 feet is high enough for it to develop. The most common symptom is headache. While you may not notice any symptoms at rest, this can change quickly when you begin even moderate exercise.

Recognizing and treating symptoms early is the key to preventing the more serious aspects of this problem. The faster you ascend, the less chance you give your body to adjust.

Given the complicated nature of altiitude sickness, how can you tell if you are susceptible?

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
Common Medical Problems
Dental Health
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Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

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