We don’t know where this false assumption came from, but likely from the fact that caffeine is a mild diuretic (makes you pee). The concern is that it could dehydrate you and contribute to altitude sickness. This concern is unfounded unless you drink pots of black sludge coffee a day and little else. In reality, caffeine stimulates your brain, kidneys and breathing, all of which are helpful at altitude. And for those people who drink several caffeinated beverages a day, stopping abruptly can cause a profound headache.
Taking Diamox to prevent AMS will not mask symptoms. It works on the same pathway that your own body uses to help you acclimatize. It is a carbonic anhydrate inhibitor that makes you urinate a base chemical called bicarbonate. This makes your blood more acidic and therefore stimulates breathing thereby taking in more oxygen. It speeds up your natural process of acclimatization and if you stop taking it you will not have rebound symptoms. It is one of the main medicines doctors use to prevent and treat acute mountain sickness (AMS).
Physical fitness offers no protection from altitude illness. In fact, many young fit athletes drive themselves too hard at altitude prior to acclimatizing thinking they can push through the discomfort. They ignore signs of altitude illness thinking it can’t affect them because they are fit and healthy. Everyone, regardless of fitness, is susceptible to AMS.
Staying hydrated is important at altitude. Symptoms of dehydration are similar to AMS. In reality you only need an additional litre to a litre and a half of water at altitude. Too much water is harmful and can dilute your body’s sodium level (hyponatremia) causing weakness, confusion, seizures, and coma. A good rule of thumb to assess for hydration is to check your urine. Clear urine indicates adequate hydration, dark urine suggest dehydration and the need to drink more water.
Several studies have shown that children have similar rates of altitude illness as adults. No evidence exist that children are more susceptible to the altitude. If your child is otherwise healthy and the basic rules of acclimatization are followed they will likely do well at altitude. Children do get altitude illness and the main challenge in those very young is that they can’t communicate their headache and other symptoms. Excessive crying in a baby the first 1-2 days at altitude could be altitude illness. Children with AMS bounce back quickly with treatment as do most adults.
RajaTours Tanzania team is happy to inform you about new Kilimanjaro rescue.
Kilimanjaro SAR as the emerging new company provides evacuation service and medical emergence. They provide an emergency medical service to ensure your safety while hiking Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru with helicopters that can be deployed within 5 minutes. They ensure a quick response and guarantee your safety regardless the season.
Their helicopter will pick you up from the designated area on the mountain, where their medical team will immediately start an in flight medical treatment. Upon landing at Moshi Airstrip there will be transport, to take you to a place of local residence. If so necessary for further medical attention upon landing, you will be taken to their modern private High Altitude Medical clinic ideal for Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).
Kilimanjaro SAR operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Extremely fast, unique and hustle free way to end your epic adventure after conquering Africa’s highest peak.