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ATHENA-NADINE SparkPoints: (20,812)
Fitness Minutes: (28,706)
Posts: 360
3/30/14 8:58 P

I agree. Please see a doctor. I moved from NYC to Denver 12 years ago and I never showed any signs of asthma until I moved here. I have never had altitude sickness, but there was wheezing, burning, and tightness in my chest. I went to the doctor and got an official diagnosis. When I first started doing anything strenuous (walking, hiking, skiing, bicycling) I had to use an albuterol inhaler beforehand to prevent issues. After a while, as I built up my cardiovascular system here, I've needed it less. I still bring it with me when I hike and stuff, because I can still have issues on an especially strenuous climb.

ZURICHMAN SparkPoints: (1,775)
Fitness Minutes: (1,919)
Posts: 363
3/30/14 8:28 P

I'm with Coach Jen on this on don't take any supplements until you go see a Dr. I have been to Colorado many times cycling and get altitude sickness every time I go there but that is only when I cycle over 8,000 feet. The fact that you are having trouble at 5,000 ft. and it's been around 3 months just doesn't sound right.

Good luck

SPARK_COACH_JEN Posts: 65,457
3/30/14 7:44 A

I agree that since it's been 3 months and you're still having trouble, you should talk to your doctor about it. I would not recommend taking any kind of supplements or taking any meds until you talk to your own doctor about what's going on (assuming you have a PCP.)

Coach Jen

SELENITYLUNARE SparkPoints: (16,509)
Fitness Minutes: (8,386)
Posts: 704
3/30/14 2:40 A

I have had this question posed to me many times since I am in Respiratory and typically perform Pulmonary Function Tests on individuals. They have noted great changes in their test results between the cities and the elevation is the key.

So, my trusty pulmonologist gave me some advice:

Drink extra water.

Take an iron supplement.

Take Gingko. It improves circulation so it increases the amount of oxygen delivered to the brain.

Take Diamox (it is commonly used for 'mountain sickness'). You should be able to go to a local clinic and tell them the situation and the doctor or PA/NP should be able to write you a prescription. There are also a couple other drugs like dexamethasone which is a corticosteroid to help with inflammation.

The main problem is the decrease in the oxygen in the air. You have like 18% less oxygen in the air in Denver than at sea level. It is honestly surprising you are still having difficulties with the change in altitude, though. I suggest you visit a doctor. But the Diamox is the most important recommendation I can make. Also, there are some forms of Yoga that can help you adjust. You should also take 10 deep breaths every hour or so. This will open up your lungs and increase the oxygenation in your blood due to the increase in ventilation. I know that sometimes people with lung problems like Asthma and COPD have great difficulty in the transition and that sometimes lung problems won't really show up until the change in elevation is made...

I wish you luck and hope you go to see your doctor. emoticon

3/30/14 2:26 A

we moved to Denver from sea level about 3 months ago. I started trying to jog walk to speed up getting used to thinner air and have noticed that it almost burns when breathing after like 10-15 minutes of excersize. I end up coughing pretty bad for 20 minutes after. Any suggestions on speeding up getting used to the change without the pain?

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