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


Preventing Mountain Sickness

A mild case of altitude sickness very closely resembles a hangover, another reason not to drink alcohol the first day or two after your ascent to a ski resort. Alcohol causes dehydration, which worsens altitude sickness. It's important to drink plenty of nonalcoholic and decaffeinated beverages to stay well hydrated. Your urine should be plentiful and clear.

One of the primary causes of altitude sickness is a rapid ascent combined with overexertion. If you experience symptoms of headache, nausea and shortness of breath, stop. if your symptoms get worse, begin to descend immediately to prevent the serious stages of altitude sickness from developing.

A slow ascent is one way to prevent mountain sickness, but this may not be practical if you're flying to a ski resort. Because overexertion is a main cause, it's a good idea to take it easy for a few days until your body can acclimate. Stay well hydrated and don't drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages until you feel comfortable with the altitude and amount of exercise you're doing.

A diet high in carbohydrates (7Oto 80 percent) helps increase blood oxygen levels and alleviates some of the symptoms. A high-fat diet does the opposite. Make sure you consume plenty of iron for several weeks before your ascent. Consider taking an iron supplement if you have arty doubts or are staying at a high altitude for several weeks.

If you have experienced altitude sickness before or are going to travel under circumstances that may predispose you to it, ask your physician about acetatolamide, a prescription drug that may help prevent it. However, taking this drug is no guarantee you won't get sick and there are potential side effects.

Make your trip to the mountains enjoyable. Take it easy the first few days, stay well hydrated, get plenty of rest, eat well and don't kill yourself on the slopes. If you start to experience headache, fatigue, nausea or shortness of breath, it's time to stop, rest or descend.

Injuries occur more often when you're tired, so if you can't decide whether to make that last run, have a cup of hot chocolate by a fire instead. The mountain will still be there tomorrow.

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About the authors: Carol L. Otis, M.D., is Chief Medical Advisor to the Sanex WTA and UCLA student health physician. Roger Goldingay is a former professional soccer player. They are married and the co-authors of The Athletic Woman's Survival Guide.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
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