Visitors often experience love at first sight for Park City’s 7,000 feet of breathtaking elevation. However, it may take a little longer for the rest of their body to adjust to the new altitude.
Dr. Kristian Kemp, medical director at the Park City Hospital, suggests talking to your doctor before visiting high altitude areas. Symptoms of acute mountain sickness (AMS) may include “fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches, and sometimes vomiting.” It may also cause restless or disturbed sleep.
Exercise before your trip may help to prevent AMS. According to Kemp “Strong cardiovascular and pulmonary systems will lessen altitude’s effects.” Taking Acetazolamide, a diuretic two weeks before your trip may also help the body adjust and avoid symptoms. Ondansetron may be recommended to alleviate nausea related to high altitude.
Nurse manager of the Vitamin Bar, McKenzie Johnson, has seen clients suffering from high-altitude issues. “They may have wicked headaches, nausea, vomiting, or shortness of breath. We do a health history to determine if their symptoms are altitude related or something they need to check out with Instacare.”
If determined by Vitamin Bar’s physician Derek Johnson to be treatable, clients skin is numbed and then administered an IV containing fluid and electrolytes.
A list of other optional ingredients may also be suggested such as: selenium, B-complex and corticosteroids. Their helpful staff can also visit clients’ homes or handle group sessions.
The Vitamin Bar can reserve a portable oxygen concentrator for house calls and clients’ vacation rentals. “Some of the homes are up high, and the oxygen helps to give a boost.”
A visit to lower elevations like Salt Lake City at 4,226 feet, and drinking electrolytes may also be beneficial, according to both Dr. Kemp and Johnson. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!