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Tips for dealing with Altitude Sickness

  • Published on Sep 05, 2016 Experiences
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Soroche or Altitude Sickness occurs because the body is not used to high altitude pressure and this condition may appear mostly in people who do not live or are not acclimatized to areas with more than 2500 meters above sea level, generating problems for body’s adaptation to this new environment and causing discomfort and distress during travel.

Learn about the symptoms of soroche

Symptoms may vary depending on the physical condition of the individual. Some may not notice it; however, others may feel soroche symptoms from the first day they arrive or in the following days, so you’d better take into account the symptoms when suffering from altitude sickness.

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  •  Phsysical exhautation
  • Shaking
  • Digestive disorder
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath

Being aware of these initial symptoms is very important. If the symptoms persist in the following days, you should see a doctor as soon as possible to avoid health complications.

How to avoid soroche?

If you travel to the city of Cusco, you should take into account that the altitude is 3399 m.a.s.l. so we recommend the following to avoid soroche:

  • Acclimatize yourself: It is necessary that you avoid any activity that requires physical effort during the first days of travel as your body needs to acclimatize to the new altitude so you can enjoy the trip in the following days without any problem.
  • Avoid heavy meals: Before traveling, you should avoid eating food that is difficult to digest. You should have a soft diet.
  • Pills for soroche or altitude sickness: They are very effective and you don’t need a prescription to acquire them. You should take them before going up and reaching the destination. The intake of these pills should be every 12 hours; they help you improve blood circulation and respiratory capacity. Sorojchipills and Diamox are the most commonly used.
  • On the trip: You should ingest lots of water as high altitude may dehydrate you. It is advisable to drink 4 to 5 liters of water a day, plus eating food that fills your body with energy such as Andean grains (quinoa and kiwicha), fruits, jams, cereals, etc.
  • Chew coca leaves or eat coca leaf candies: Once you’ve gotten to your destination, it is advisable to chew a coca leaf and keep it in your mouth. You only have to swallow the liquid it secretes.  Conversely, people who don’t like coca leaf flavor may try coca leaf candies.

The soroche is not a good travel companion for any high altitude destination but it may be avoided by following our instructions, so you can enjoy your trip to Cusco and learn all its cultural and historical richness and enjoy all the adventures and sports that await you in this beautiful city.  It is important to prevent and be prepared to deal with this altitude sickness.

Learn with us 10 things to do in the City of Cusco.

Sources: Diario del viajero, Bitácoras de viaje, Viajero peruano.

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