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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    San Antonio Heights, CA (Upland)
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    1,068

    High altitude sickness days AFTER being at high elevation?

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    I live in Southern California. I went to Tahoe for a week and rode my bike several times. I rode strong and hard. I came home and about three or four days later started feeling very lightheaded whenever I'd get up from a sitting or lying down position. I couldn't ride nearly as strong. I figured it would go away after a day or two, but it kept going on. My sister and I decided I was probably low on iron and anemic, but I'm wondering if it was the high altitude. Sort of a delayed high altitude sickness or something. Does anyone have any experience with this? I did start feeling this way a day or two after starting my period, but that's not typical for me and my period wasn't heavier than usual ... although it did come later than usual and I read that high altitude can do that.
    GO RIDE YOUR BIKE!!!

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Marin County CA
    Posts
    5,958
    I've done a fair amount of riding at higher than Tahoe elevations, and I have never heard of delayed onset altitude issues. Sounds more like possible overtraining or fatigue. When you get someone suffering from true altitude sickness, it generally resolves when they get to lower elevation. We have had participants we have coached for Death Ride with elevation issues at the tops of the passes which resolve when they descend. That's fairly common.
    Sarah

    When it's easy, ride hard; when it's hard, ride easy.


    2011 Volagi Liscio
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,403
    I've had altitude sickness ( hiking 14-ers) and what you describe does not sound right, plus the delayed onset just seems weird. You might have some other recovery/nutrition issues.
    2015 Liv Intrigue 2
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    1,061
    A friend owns a rental house in Breckenridge, CO (house is at 11,000 ft overlooking the slopes). Her manager had a book that she left for guests including the dangers of altitude sickness. She ended up firing the manager (for other reasons) and gave me the book to revise. She wanted to altitude sickness taken out because "she didn't want to scare people." I tried to explain it to her and she didn't understand. By coincidence, her next renter ended up at the hospital and was on oxygen the rest of their stay (a week!) So you don't want to mess around with it! If you really thought it was altitude sickness you should go to the hospital to be sure.

    Were you wearing a heart rate monitor? I once tried to run on the treadmill in Breck by using my HR monitor. I thought I would just take it slow. I couldn't even get up a jog without setting off my high-end alarm. I haven't had altitude sickness, but I have frequent headaches and sleep a lot when I'm there. I've also discovered it makes my digestive problems worse.

    My sister-in-law moved from Missouri to Colorado. She is a runner and cyclist. She said it took about 6 months for her workouts to feel "normal" at altitude.
    "Well-behaved women seldom make history." --Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    '09 Trek WSD 2.1 with a Brooks B-68 saddle
    '11 Trek WSD Madone 5.2 with Brooks B-17

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,608
    Hi Jiffer,

    for what its worth, I have never heard of delayed altitude sickness. And I grew up around 6,000+ feet elevation and regularly went hiking at over 11,000 feet elevation. I loved back packing at that elevation. Also went skiing 20+ days per year. Top of the run was 11,000 feet plus.

    Typical problem people have at altitude are: dizziness, dehydration, headache, bloody nose.

    Going from "flat land" to 5,000-6,000 feet elevation, your resting heart rate will be quite a bit faster and your exertion level will be significantly higher to attain the same performance level. I think you just over did it at Lake Tahoe. Drink more water than usual. Better yet more juice to replenish loss of electrolyte.

    TrekTheKaty,

    your friend should have information regarding common altitude related issues and not necessarily call it altitude sickness.

    first: Your physical conditioning at sea level have very little or no correlation with your chance of getting altitude sickness.

    second: common problems experienced are headache. Drink lots of water and if you are tolerant to aspirin take some aspirin .

    Third: your tolerance to alcohol will be significantly reduced so drink far less. Alcohol also will make you more susceptible to altitude related problems.

    fourth: It may be advisable for guest to stay in Denver for a day before going to Breckenridge. Even a day at Denver (5280 feet elevation) will make a big difference.

    The information should be provided to the guest to avoid the discomfort and make their stay in Breckenridge more enjoyable.
    Last edited by smilingcat; 08-03-2010 at 08:11 AM. Reason: new info

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,310
    I get altitude sickness at low altitude (5,000 feet) and higher altitudes. Had a very mild case in New Mexico this time, we were at 8,700+ and hiked to 11,000. Mainly I just had no energy this time. The last time we went I had a case that was almost so bad I was going to go to the little clinic in the town, I took almost the entire week to acclimate. I have had some form of altitude sickness three times and never brought it home. I get headache, nausea, can hardly eat which only makes it worse, dizziness, obviously short of breath and fatigue. Every show or article I have read on altitude sickness recommends the first course of action is to descend to lower altitudes.

    I agree, you probably overworked your system and now it it trying to recover. My heart rate goes through the roof at altitude, I really have to pay attenion to my monitor or else I will be wiped completely out.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    1,061
    Thanks smiling cat. It's hard for us flat-landers (500 ft elev, here) to describe. I'll check the book and update. She just had a friend staying at the house with her get sick. We take the 6:00 am flight to Denver and drive straight up to the house. However, I think some of the renters do spend the night in Denver. I've tried those silly altitude vitamin packs and I swear they work!
    "Well-behaved women seldom make history." --Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    '09 Trek WSD 2.1 with a Brooks B-68 saddle
    '11 Trek WSD Madone 5.2 with Brooks B-17

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    northern california
    Posts
    1,460
    The treatment for altitude sickness is descending, so what you have isn't altitude sickness. I second what some of the others said, you may have overdone it and it's catching up with you now.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,576
    Do you have any swelling in either leg? Thickened ankle(s), socks leaving marks and dents? Any pain or aching in either calf or the back side of either knee? Do you feel short of breath at all?
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,336
    I went to Breckenridge a couple of winters ago and had the worst migraine of my life. I get migraines, but never thought the altitude would affect me (smugness on my part!)

    Our friends did warn us when we first met up with them to drink loads of water, but it didn't really seem to help me. After 3 days I was okay, thankfully.

    Maybe you ended up with some sort of inner ear infection?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    1,061
    I drink so much water that I spend the whole trip in the bathroom. We quit skiing at Breck and go to Keystone because the bathrooms were down a flight of stairs--not fun in ski boots
    "Well-behaved women seldom make history." --Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    '09 Trek WSD 2.1 with a Brooks B-68 saddle
    '11 Trek WSD Madone 5.2 with Brooks B-17

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,213
    It sounds like you had something, but it wasn't altitude sickness.
    Each day is a gift, that's why it is called the present.

 

 

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