ⓘ Mountaineering and health ..

Acetazolamide

Acetazolamide, sold under the trade name Diamox among others, is a medication used to treat glaucoma, epilepsy, altitude sickness, periodic paralysis, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, and heart failure. It may be used long term for the treatment of open angle glaucoma and short term for acute angle closure glaucoma until surgery can be carried out. It is taken by mouth or injection into a vein. Common side effects include numbness, ringing in the ears, loss of appetite, vomiting, and sleepiness. It is not recommended in those with significant kidney problems, liver problems, or who ar ...

Altitude sickness

Altitude sickness, the mildest form being acute mountain sickness, is the negative health effect of high altitude, caused by rapid exposure to low amounts of oxygen at high elevation. Symptoms may include headaches, vomiting, tiredness, trouble sleeping, and dizziness. Acute mountain sickness can progress to high altitude pulmonary edema with associated shortness of breath or high altitude cerebral edema with associated confusion. Chronic mountain sickness may occur after long term exposure to high altitude. Altitude sickness typically occurs only above 2.500 metres 8.000 ft, though some a ...

Chronic mountain sickness

Chronic mountain sickness is a disease in which the proportion of blood volume that is occupied by red blood cells increases and there is an abnormally low level of oxygen in the blood. CMS typically develops after extended time living at high altitude). It is most common amongst native populations of high altitude nations. The most frequent symptoms of CMS are headache, dizziness, tinnitus, breathlessness, palpitations, sleep disturbance, fatigue, loss of appetite, confusion, cyanosis, and dilation of veins. CMS was first described in 1925 by Carlos Monge Medrano, a Peruvian doctor who sp ...

Coriaria thymifolia

Coriaria thymifolia, known as shanshi, tutu-papa, tutu-heu-heu, toot plant, or ink plant is a shrub found in montane environments throughout the Americas and Pacific Islands. The plant bears dark blue, almost black, blossom-shaped clustered berries that resemble black liquorice. The fruit is widely known as toxic to livestock, with many sheep, cattle, goats, and in one recorded case even a captive elephant dying from "toot poisoning" in New Zealand, and cases of animal deaths also recorded in South America. In humans the plant reportedly has hallucinogenic, possibly deliriant, properties w ...

Effects of high altitude on humans

The effects of high altitude on humans are considerable. The percentage oxygen saturation of hemoglobin determines the content of oxygen in blood. After the human body reaches around 2.100 m above sea level, the saturation of oxyhemoglobin begins to decrease rapidly. However, the human body has both short-term and long-term adaptations to altitude that allow it to partially compensate for the lack of oxygen. There is a limit to the level of adaptation; mountaineers refer to the altitudes above 8.000 metres as the death zone, where it is generally believed that no human body can acclimatize.

Frostbite

Frostbite occurs when exposure to low temperatures causes freezing of the skin or other tissues. The initial symptom is typically numbness. This may be followed by clumsiness with a white or bluish color to the skin. Swelling or blistering may occur following treatment. The hands, feet, and face are most commonly affected. Complications may include hypothermia or compartment syndrome. People who are exposed to low temperatures for prolonged periods, such as winter sports enthusiasts, military personnel, and homeless individuals, are at greatest risk. Other risk factors include drinking alc ...