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Old 06-05-2011, 05:11 PM
annedocuk annedocuk is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: London
Posts: 60
Effect of altitude on MS

Does anyone know the effects of altitude (so low oxygen) on MS? Can not find the answer and am shortly travelling to Quito. My husband also has great hopes of dragging me up by train to Machu Picchu next year, but I'm not sure...after all they treat MS with high concentration oxygen tanks don't they? Might the opposite cause problems?
Old 06-05-2011, 10:52 PM
opiegirl opiegirl is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Colorado
Posts: 263
I live at almost 7,000ft and have no bad effects from high altitude. However, I have fit and healthy friends and family come visit and they experience altitude sickness, so I think it varies from person to person.

A friend told me her MIL gets something from her Dr. to take several weeks before coming to the mountains to avoid altitude sickness but I am not sure what it is. You may want to ask your Dr. about it.

Also, drinking a lot of water and staying hydrated is important.
Have fun on your trip.
Opiegirl, Dx 1991
Have never used DMD's.

LDN 9/2011-9/2012 & just started again 6/14
Estriol 9/12-present
Still Hopeful.
Old 06-05-2011, 11:01 PM
jackjackson jackjackson is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Denver
Posts: 38
I live at 5000 feet, but frequently travel higher. Last weekend I rode my bike over two 10,000ft passes. I don't say that to brag, just to say that the altitude doesn't bother me.

As opie said, there is plenty of things to do to prepare for the altitude that everyone should do.

I wouldn't think that your MS would cause any problems. There is a lady with MS that climbed Everest recently.
Old 06-06-2011, 12:35 AM
owlnona owlnona is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 439
I think everyone is different,why don't you ask your Neuro My neuro has a fit every time I even fly. Eachone of us is effected so differently by our MS.
I wanted to fly to Europe to see my son & I thought my Neuro was going to have a Stroke right in front of me.
He said "Give me his phone # I'll call him & you can talk as long as you like". I thanked him & went home & called my son & gave him the bad news.
Keep us posted God Bless Nona Judy
Old 06-06-2011, 08:03 AM
onlyairfare onlyairfare is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,129
I live at over 7,000 feet and go back and forth to work at 5,000 feet - I never notice any difference with my MS. Well, other than it is much hotter at 5,000 feet and I am heat intolerant.

I have family members living at sea level and at 3,000 feet, and I don't notice any problems visiting them either. Most commercial aircraft are pressurized to around 6,000 feet, so since I don't have problems where I am living at 7,000 feet, no problems with the plane either.

If you are not used to higher altitude, be sure to drink lots of water and take it easy the first few days at the higher altitude. That means - don't go for a big hike up to Machu Pichu your first day! I can't hike because of foot drop and leg weakness, but it wouldn't be the thin air stopping me.

If you have underlying heart or lung problems (usually not related to MS), then the thin air at higher altitude may cause you trouble. But as far as I know, that's because of the heart trouble, or lung disease like emphysema, not MS. Even though I have bad asthma, I'm fine at altitude so long as I take my meds.

I hope you have a wonderful trip! I've been to Quito, it's beautiful there in the Andes!

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