Five Suggestions on Alleviating High Altitude Sickness in Tibet

Altitude sickness is a disorder caused by being at high altitude, where oxygen levels are low, without gradually getting used to the increase in altitude. It is also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), altitude illness, hypobaropathy, Acosta disease, puna, and soroche, which occurs at altitudes higher than 2,500 meters. Altitude sickness is considered as the biggest health risk for travelling to Tibet. Most people will experience differing degrees of symptoms upon their arrival in Tibet according to the ascent rate and individual physical condition. In the course of adaptation, symptoms usually decrease gradually. So there’s no need to panic or use an oxygen mask, or you could become addicted. In order to help you obtain a perfect holiday in Tibet, here we provide you some suggestions on alleviating high altitude sickness in Tibet. 

1. Drink Plenty of Water

The easiest and most effective way to against high altitude sickness is to drink lots of water. We suggest you to drink enough water to stay hydrated which is also beneficial to your skin due to the dry air and strong UV radiation. What’s more, the amount of hemoglobin will increase, resulting in increased blood viscosity, which is easy to form thrombosis, which may lead to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. So remember to drink a lot of water.

2. No Smoking/Less Smoking

Although there is no smoking ban in Tibet, you should smoke as less as possible during your Tibet trip. When you have just arrived in Tibet for the first or two days, it’s better not to smoke because it may make you breathe hard and get altitude sickness easily. In some certain occasions, smoking is not allowed especially after entering the monasteries. For more information, please read Can Travelers Smoke When Traveling in Tibet.

3. Pay Attention to Diet

Eat plenty of carbs, to aid ventilation and efficient use of oxygen, which can provide heat quickly increasing the amount of the exchange of oxygen. Two much meat will aggravate high altitude sickness. Vegetables and fruits are also very necessary. Tomatoes and grape tomatoes, consisting of rich vitamin C, are very helpful. But remember not to eat too much.

4. No Strenuous Exercise

To help yourself adapt to the high altitude, you are suggested not to run or walk fast. Avoid strenuous activity during your first day in Tibet. When arriving in Lhasa, walk slowly, take deep breaths. Take time to acclimatize. Put your both hands on hips to make the muscles of the arms, collar bones, shoulder blade, etc. above waists doing assisted respiration and strengthen the circulation of the respiration systems.

5. Avoid More Showers

High altitude itself is not the biggest threat to your health directly. In fact, it’s not to recommended to take a shower in the first day after your arrival. The reason showering not advised is because showering will put you at great risk of catching cold which is regarded very bad for your acclimatization and stay in Tibet. More hot showers will fasten the metabolism aggravating oxygen deficiency, which may lead to pulmonary edema.

Read more about Altitude Sickness in Tibet.