Fix Altitude Sickness by Henry’s Law

Hi, We’d like to intro­duce our friend, and ene­my, William Hen­ry, as in Hen­ry’s law. Hen­ry is why lots of folks get sick when they go cer­tain places. Ever hear of alti­tude sick­ness?

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 pres­suretotal 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.

Vascular Structures

Vas­cu­lar Struc­tures

The Factors

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.

Your Answer


Con­tact Us Now

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 ExtremeO2.




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    • Judy Shurley on July 3, 2013 at 6:35 pm
    • Reply

    I am just real­ly curi­ous if you are aware of some peo­ple behav­ing on the side of “crazy” due to alti­tude sick­ness! I have been known to think the hotel room I was in was tilt­ed and kept insist­ing it was, with feel­ings of hav­ing to leave it — sim­i­lar to feel­ings of closto­pho­bia (sp), extreme­ly dizzy and so sick at my stom­ach I could not eat any­thing. Could not lay down — had to “try” to sleep propped up on pil­lows. End­ed up being put on a plane and sent back home! So much for my get-away!

    Thank you for your help in this mat­ter.


    1. Hi Judy:
      Since alti­tude stress is inflam­ma­tion in the vas­cu­lar sys­tem and since the inflam­ma­tion often reduces blood flow to regions of the brain — per­cep­tion & and cog­ni­tive irreg­u­lar­i­ties, includ­ing depres­sion and anx­i­ety, are pos­si­ble symp­toms.
      Mark Squibb

    • memhim on July 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm
    • Reply

    Can some­one expe­ri­ence tired­ness and fatigue a week after being in the moun­tains?

    We went to Switzer­land and were up and down the moun­tains on a dai­ly basis. Now we are back home, but I still feel very fatigued.

    Thanks in advance for your time

    1. Yes. The trav­el + alti­tude con­sti­tute a stress event. When the event push­es the body into a fatigue pat­tern, then the fatigue can per­sist until it resolves. Please see The com­bi­na­tion of effects estab­lish a “chron­ic fatigue” con­di­tion which may per­sist indef­i­nite­ly.
      Either extremeo2 or liveo2 will like­ly pull you out of it.

  1. I have had alti­tude sick­ness sev­er­al times. I have heard that one can rent oxy­gen can­is­ters to take to vis­it high alti­tudes in South Amer­i­ca. If I take the drugs that help pre­vent it and car­ry oxy­gen with me is it like­ly I can avoid alti­tude sick­ness this time?

    1. As for rent­ing oxy­gen can­is­ters — this is VERY unlike­ly to resolve the prob­lem by itself. The oxy­gen can­is­ter deliv­ery sys­tems, 2–10 Liters Per Minute, lack the abil­i­ty to increase blood oxy­gen par­tial pres­sure to reverse the inflam­ma­tion that hypox­ia caus­es.

      If you want, you could rent a can­is­ter, and pack one of our LiveO2 res­pi­ra­tor assem­blies. When you get there, use the can­is­ter to fill the LiveO2 reser­voir & do LiveO2 pro­to­col under load. Since LiveO2 kit assem­bly weighs about 6 lbs, and would take up a frac­tion of a suit­case. You could rent/buy an oxy­gen can­is­ter onsite to fill it. This would let you get enough oxy­gen to reverse the inflam­ma­tion.

      Here’s a link to the LiveO2 upgrade which you can fill with either an oxy­gen can­is­ter or an oxy­gen con­cen­tra­tor.

      Here is a pro­to­col. For the high alti­tude all you need to do is dis­con­nect the oxy­gen sup­ply from the mask — since you’re in a HA envi­ron­ment.

      As for “drugs” the only drug that I’ve ever heard to have an effect is via­gra, a vasodila­tor rumored, increas­es vas­cu­lar dimen­sions enough to main­tain oxy­gen deliv­ery dur­ing high alti­tude exer­tion.

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