AMS, also known as Acute Mountain Sickness is one of the Giant problem while you do trek in Nepal. Many people suffer from this Sickness.

Having a lack of Oxygen in your body and after that losing your normal Body condition can be very dangerous in the Mountain . While the atmosphere will always have 21% oxygen the driving pressure decreases the higher we go. At sea level the driving pressure forces sufficient oxygen into the capillaries of our lungs giving saturation of oxygen in the blood and throughout the tissues. However, as we start to ascend an ever decreasing driving pressure also implies an ever decreasing oxygen level, giving less oxygen into the capillaries of our lungs and subsequently less oxygen in our blood and tissues. Up to an altitude of around 8,000 feet the driving pressures should be high enough to provide sufficient oxygen levels. When entering terrain of 8,000 feet and higher pathophysiological changes may start to manifest due to lack of oxygen.

AMS is the most common of the three altitude illness conditions and is normally the predecessor of the two other and more serious conditions. AMS consists of headache plus any one of the following symptoms in varying degrees.

The initial symptoms of AMS are as follows: 

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia/sleeplessness
  • Persistent headache
  • Dizziness, light headedness, confusion
  • Disorientation, drunken gait
  • Weakness, fatigue, lassitude, heavy legs
  • Slight swelling of hands and face
  • Breathlessness and Breathing irregularity
  • Reduced urine output
  • Irritability & weakness

How can We prevent AMS:

These following points are very important for prevents the AMS.

  • Need to have Awareness about AMS before starting your Trek.
  • Go up slowly. While walking above 2500m elevation, ascend 300m per day.
  • Take rest 1 day after every 3 to 4 days walking.
  • Drink a lot of fluids (3 to 4 litter water per day).
  • Avoid hypothermia.
  • Do not carry more than 10 kg in your pack.
  • Do not use alcohol, sleeping tablets, or smoke.