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Ans And Altitude


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As I"m desperately struggling to get back my health so that I can function upright. and get back to some of the activities, personal and professional, that I love, the following opportunity came up.

I'm a researcher/teacher, and one of the perks and necessities of this type of work is travel to conferences and for research.

I've just been invited to be on a panel at a conference in April that is right up my alley. I really want to say yes.

I'm a little hesitant, though, as my health has not been improving, and right now there is no way I could do it. And it's in Denver. I have no idea how I'll react to the altitude. (I live at a pretty low elevation, and over xmas, going as high as 2000 feet in Maryland made me pretty sick. And Denver is about 6000 feet.)

I can tell the organizer yes now, knowing I might have to back out--always disappointing and annoying. If I can't go, I can still write my paper/presentation, and have someone else deliver it-- not ideal, but done. But I love conferences. I love going to new places and getting jazzed about both my research and other people's research. Not being able to travel easily has been one of the hardest things for me. I used to travel a lot and easily.

What do you guys think? Am I setting myself up? I really want to do it--just don't know if I'llbe up to it.

Anyone here live in/travel to high-altitude places?

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Guest tearose

Before I understood POTS and what was happening to me, we visited family in Denver.

I was so tired and needed to sleep so much more! I felt terrible in flight but that was before I used compression stockings.

I do feel it took about four days for my body to adjust even though I was still more tired.

I think you should try and go!

I would insist on going at least two-three days ahead of the start up. Give yourself time to adjust. Hey, you won't know if you don't try. Worst case scenario, you'll have to go find a "compression chamber" :o

Okay, all kidding aside, really think of how you will handle an emergency and if you figure this out, you can go with peace of mind.

I would probably try thinking of as many ways to compress as possible. That is just me. When I am compressed, I am more human.

best regards,


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I somewhat recently had issues going from Ohio to Tennessee altitude wise. It was Nashville and not the mountains too. For me it was more of a migraine problem and just overall feeling like crud. Also, heat intolerant. But for me it was a culmination of things- the 6-7 hour drive (I drove), diet, hydration (did pretty good), sleep, and it was cold out, but the heat inside places would trigger symptoms. Also, we were at the Opryland Hotel, so it is very hot and HUMID. My biggest trigger may have been the "probable" artificial sweetner in the coffee I drank for energy- I didn't know what was in it...

But, it was a conference and I really was only able to go to things that first night of the four day event. It was super annoying, but there was not much I could do...

I would say that giving yourself time to acculmate would be a good idea. Also, talk with drs. if they have suggestions, possibly increase or decrease meds?, and overall work to limit symptoms best as possible. I think it would be good to at least try and go. Is there someone that would be along with you that understands your medical conditions?

I wish you the best of luck!

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We just visiting Colorado Springs and Estes Park and Denver. I live at about 1,000 feet. One good thing was the heat in CO is a dry heat so I could tolerate that much better. I agree - give your body a few days to adjust. I did okay unless I was trying to walk more quickly. I did find I was tired, but that could have been the 2 hour time change too. It was hard to breath as deeply as I normally can, but as long as I knew I had to move more slowly I really enjoyed the trip. I do think if I had to be functioning for work I would have wanted a few days to just hang out, relax and let my body adjust.

Good luck and keep us posted.


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I too have an increase in symptoms at high altitudes. I live at about 400 ft, and I notice a big change in how I feel at about 4,000 ft.

I agree with what others have said - try the conference, just plan ahead. Get there a few days early, drink a lot, rest a lot, and make sure you have a chair to sit in when you present!

Also, I've noticed that for me the biggest "problem" symptom at high altitudes is tachycardia - and my doc told me if I'm traveling to some place high it's ok to take more of my beta blocker for a few days. If you know which symptoms are worse when you're at a high altitude (migraine, heart rate) maybe discuss with your doctor taking a little more of the corresponding medication while you are in Denver.

Good luck!


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