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Medicine


 

Antibiotics

There are several kinds of antibiotics for different kinds of infections. The downside with antibiotics is that they affect your climbing performance while you are on them. Also, they kill the natural germs in your intestines and make you prone to food poisoning. They are, however, very effective for the Khumbu cough, serious diarrhea and infections.
 

Aspirins

Many climbers pop some aspirins for the altitude headache. The best way to treat that headache though is to drink it away! Simply drink until itís gone. The headache is a very good measurement on when your body is saturated with liquid. Taking aspirins will only kill the symptoms of what the body is trying to tell you - that it needs fluid.

Last year, on acclimatization, we climbed to camp 1, then straight to camp 2 and stayed there for ten days. This was only possible due to our large fluid intake.

We did take aspirins some nights to get rid of the Cheyenne stokes (irregular breathing at night). The aspirin thins the blood and seems good for circulation. Some climbers take a baby aspirin daily thorough the entire climb. But you need to take them as an additional help to your body - not to replace low fluid intake and covering up possible AMS.

Tylenol and the like will be milder on your stomach, but lacks Aspirins blood thinning benefits.

 

Sleeping pills

We donít use them, since they suppress respiration at night.

One medical research has shown though, that the benefit of getting good nights sleep could outweigh the side effects of sleeping aids on alpine climbs. Some climbers we know uses tranquilizers at night and wouldnít go climbing without them.

Since a disturbed breathing pattern at altitude at night feels quite dangerous to us, we still canít recommend them. Yet again though - after a sleepless night at C3 just before summiting last year, we canít be too rigid about the subject.

Stressed by some technical problems in the internet experiment, Tina didnít sleep during the entire night at C3. Obviously not a very good situation if you have another 30 hours without sleep ahead of you, including 20 hours of tough summit climb. Well, she found the strength to do it after all and quickly too. Sleeplessness doesnít have to be as debilitating as one might suspect.

Today though, thinking back, she figures that it actually might have been helpful to have a weak sleeping pill at hand that last night. 

 
   


 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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