The rest of this article will describe why you get altitude sickness — and better yet how to get rid of it in about 15 minutes without going home or ending your vacation…
Henry’s Law describes how much oxygen dissolves into water – and this determines when, how and why you get altitude sickness.
Vulnerability comes from
- Altitude – reduces oxygen partial pressure so less oxygen dissolves in your body’s water;
- Dehydration – concentrates salts & waste body fluids which limits how much oxygen your body’s water holds;
- Aerobic Capacity – determines the respiratory turbulence to waste ratio for hypoxic triggered inflammation – which determines how good your body is at pushing oxygen into your body’s water;
- Cumulative Effect – which determines how much metabolic waste gets stuck in your body’s water to progressively reduce oxygen the longer you stay at altitude with altitude sickness…
Altitude sickness is a medical mystery because medical knowledge doesn’t factor the role that oxygen dissolved in body fluids plays in inflammation. Hypoxic, low oxygen, inflammation affects a medically un-noticed tissues that have one thing in common. These tissues don’t get their oxygen from red blood cells – they absorb it from body fluids, or water.
Altitude sickness occurs when these tissues swell because they can’t get enough oxygen because the body’s fluids can’t hold enough to keep them going. This is why we mentioned our friend Henry Law governs your vulnerability to altitude sickness. It tells much oxygen will go into your body’s water based on partial pressure, total dissolved solids and respiratory turbulence that control how much oxygen resides in your fluids. When this level gets too low inflammation starts and things go downhill.
The biggest category of cells that swell are called the endothelium – which is the inner skin inside your vascular system. When these swell – your arteries and capillaries get smaller – so the lack of a little oxygen – causes chokes that block blood flow which causes the lack of a lot of oxygen from narrowed pipes.
Each of the factors we mentioned earlier directly or indirectly relates to an influence on body fluid’s ability to contain dissolved oxygen.
Altitude determines the partial pressure of oxygen. Lower oxygen pressure reduces the natural pressure that forces and retains oxygen in body fluids. The higher you go, the less pressure, so the less oxygen. Less oxygen causes more inflammation.
Dehydration determines the salt and waste present of body fluids. As these solutes increase, less molecular space for oxygen, so the amount of oxygen body fluids carry decreases. The more salts and waste in your blood, from dehydration, from drinking, or toxins, the lower the dissolved oxygen, so the greater the inflammation.
Exertion Level – This is a fitness factor. Very strong athletes able to hold high pulse rates and hard breathing generate greater respiratory turbulence. This turbulence forces more oxygen into blood – individuals who are more fit tend to get more oxygen, and generate less metabolic waste. This efficiency balance favors more fit individuals. Lesser fit individuals will produce more lactate during exertion, which creates solutes, which in turn reduce dissolved oxygen.
Cumulative Effect – Sludge from poor metabolism caused by Altitude Sickness causes more sludge, lactate and dehydration. Since the sludge is in the water – the sludge from poor metabolism reduces dissolved oxygen. This causes progressive worsening of the inflammation and distress.
Altitude sickness persists until the balance changes enough for the body to reestablish equilibrium – which generally means increasing dissolved oxygen concentration – usually by reducing altitude or descending.
Altitude related inflammation is driven by a threshold. And the big issue is the progressive nature. May Colorado skiers have had vacations shorted because their bodies were unable to adapt – because one, or more of these factors combined – usually after a few drinks triggered dehydration and triggered inflammation which they not naturally resolve because of the cumulative effects.
Our users report hyper-saturation with LiveO2 or the athletic version of ExtremeO2 durably fixes altitude sickness by restoring dissolved oxygen levels – even without returning to a low altitude. These systems use respiratory turbulence and extra oxygen to increase plasma oxygen to over 12 cc/L (over 4x normal). This level, Manfred von Ardenne, clinically reverses the inflammation that is altitude sickness. No users have reported a return of symptoms.
So if you’re planning a high-altitude vacation – or aren’t enjoying your current one, contact us. It usually takes about 15 minutes to durably (several days or more) resolve altitude related discomfort with LiveO2 or Extreme O2.