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Health Advice & Altitude Sickness In Nepal

The astounding Himalayas attracts a lot of hikers and trekkers but they fail to recognize the risks of acute mountain sickness or the altitude sickness in Nepal that occurs in high-altitude treks. The symptoms and intensity of this sickness vary from person to person. Some may experience mild symptoms of altitude sickness while some have adverse and life-threatening symptoms.

But with proper precautions and safety measures, you can prevent and treat altitude sickness. Before you embark on a trekking journey in Nepal, there are a few things that you need to understand about altitude sickness. We will discuss altitude sickness in Nepal, its precautions, and its treatments in detail in this article, make sure you stick to the end. 

What Is Altitude Sickness?

Altitude sickness is an illness that a lot of trekkers and mountaineers fall prey to especially above the altitude of 8000ft. The symptoms of altitude sickness include headaches, vomiting, difficulty sleeping, and fluid in the lungs also known as pulmonary edema. These are the symptoms of minor altitude sickness.

Altitude sickness in Nepal can be fatal as well and the symptoms include; breathlessness even while resting, severe headaches, the onset of pink frothy liquid around your mouth and nose, and loss of coordination. 

Symptoms Of Altitude Sickness In Nepal

The symptoms of altitude sickness arise around 12-24 hours after arriving at a higher altitude. Some of these altitude sickness symptoms are elaborated on in detail so make sure you read the article till the end. 

Mild And Intense Headaches

If you are facing mild or even intense headaches out of the blue then it could be due to altitude sickness. These symptoms will subside if you take enough rest and let your body acclimatize by staying at the same altitude. Don’t push yourself too much and listen to your body.

Fatigue And Loss Of Appetite

Experiencing fatigue and a loss of appetite can be another major symptom of altitude sickness. While on an elevated trail, if you are experiencing a massive loss in your appetite and chronic fatigue then we recommend you to take proper rest because it might result in something severe. 

It is normal to get tired and even exhausted while on the trek as you are walking continuously for 6-7 hours but if you constantly feel fatigued and have low energy levels even after resting then it could be due to altitude sickness.

Shortness Of Breath And Dry Cough

Other major symptoms of altitude sickness in Nepal are shortness of breath and dry cough. If you are facing shortness of breath and dry cough then it is your body’s way of telling you to slow down and let your body adapt to the altitude. If these symptoms arise then it is crucial to take rest immediately. 

These symptoms will settle down once your body adapts to the higher altitudes. You can get rid of it by resting well and eating properly. 

Dizziness And Insomnia

You might also face dizziness and insomnia while trekking to a higher altitude, this could be due to altitude sickness. The symptoms differ from person to person some might feel headaches, loss of appetite, and fatigue while others can feel dizziness and insomnia as well. 


Nausea is an uneasiness in the stomach that accompanies the urge to vomit. Nausea is another symptom of altitude sickness. Hydration, good food rest, and sound sleep will help you fight this symptom easily. 

How to Prevent Altitude Sickness While Trekking in Nepal?

Altitude sickness in Nepal is the negative side of trekking on the spectacular Himalayan trails. Numerous explorers fall prey to altitude sickness which makes it difficult for them to travel further. However, if you follow some preventive measures then you can easily prevent altitude sickness while trekking in Nepal. You can follow this elaborate list for reference to prevent altitude sickness. 

Elevate Slowly

Trekking on the Himalayan trails continuously for 6-7 hours every day is a challenging task in itself. Adjusting to the higher altitudes makes this experience even tougher so it is crucial to pace yourself and elevate slowly. This will help your body get accustomed to the higher altitudes and will help prevent altitude sickness. 

Stay Hydrated

It is very important to stay hydrated while trekking to higher altitudes. You can successfully complete a journey only if you are fit and healthy and challenging treks demand your body to be hydrated. This will help prevent altitude sickness and also fight the minor symptoms of altitude sickness. 

Eat Properly

Be sure to avoid junk food, alcoholic beverages, smoking cigarettes, and other unhealthy meals. If you eat good food it will help you complete the challenging treks effortlessly. On the other hand, if you consume unhealthy meals then you might have to severely suffer the side effects. Eating healthy food will help prevent altitude sickness in Nepal. 

Ascend 100m In One Day

If you do not have prior experience in trekking then it might be challenging for your body to adapt to the higher altitudes. So ascending 100 m in one day is a good start. This will give you enough time for your body to adapt to the higher altitudes. This way you can prevent the severe symptoms of altitude sickness. 

Don’t Do Heavy Exercises At Higher Altitudes

Exercising while on a trek will help you immensely especially if you do warm-ups, simple exercises, and yoga. These simple exercises will also help prevent altitude sickness. However, avoid doing heavy exercises at higher altitudes this might result in shortness of breath, dehydration, and other symptoms of altitude sickness in Nepal.

Take Acetazolamide 250mg

Taking an Acetazolamide pill will help prevent altitude sickness altogether and it will also help you to cope with minor symptoms of altitude symptoms. So be sure to carry an Acetazolamide pill while on a Himalayan trail. Acetazolamide is the ultimate altitude sickness medicine.

Don’t Smoke, Drink Or Take Sleeping Pills

Be sure to avoid smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages, or taking sleeping pills. Consumption of these harmful substances will invite the symptoms of high altitude sickness or worsen the symptoms if you already have it. So be sure to avoid them at any cost. 

Treatments For Altitude Sickness In Nepal:

We discussed the symptoms and preventive measures of altitude sickness earlier. You can follow through with that list to prevent altitude sickness. However even after taking all the preventive measures you still can fall prey to acute mountain sickness. Here is an elaborative list of the treatments for altitude sickness in Nepal. 

Take Rest Immediately

Once you spot the symptoms of altitude sickness then the first step toward recovery is to take rest immediately. These symptoms are a wake-up call from your body to take rest. It is important to take rest immediately otherwise these symptoms can result in serious circumstances. 

Stay Hydrated

If you are facing the symptoms of altitude sickness then you must stay hydrated. This will help restore balance in your body and help you to fight altitude sickness. Vomiting can also cause dehydration so it is crucial to stay hydrated to avoid severe circumstances. 

Eat Properly And Listen To Your Body

Walking in the Himalayan trails for around 6-7 hours daily is extremely demanding and challenging for your body. Food is the fuel to your body so it is very important to consume foods that will support the challenging circumstances. The food that you get in the tea houses and hotels in Nepal like the Nepali Dal Bhat is quite appropriate food for trekking.

Make sure you avoid junk, alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, and foods that are harmful to your health, especially when you are facing the symptoms of altitude sickness. Proper food and rest can help you overcome these symptoms. If you don’t take care of what you eat then the symptoms might worsen and cause more trouble. 

Carry Medicines For Altitude Sickness

Carry your medicines to overcome altitude sickness. Here is a list of medicines that you can take if you are facing the symptoms of altitude sickness

  • Acetazolamide (Prevent and treat high altitude sickness)
  • Ibuprofen and paracetamols (To cure headaches)
  • Promethazine(For nausea)
  • Dexamethasone (Relieves inflammation)


The Himalayan trails hold enthralling adventures and challenges like altitude sickness in Nepal, However, the enticing view after the challenging climb is always worth it. To witness the pristine natural views, astounding landscapes, and appealing cultural harmony is worth every sweat and hardship.

There are numerous challenges along the way so it is better if you travel with a trusted trekking agency. If you are willing to trek to the mountains then you can rely on us for a smooth and effortless trekking experience. You can contact us here at the Hillary step trek and get in touch with our services. 


What Causes Altitude Sickness?

Altitude sickness is caused due to low oxygen levels in the air at altitudes above 2500 meters. This majorly occurs when the body does not have enough time to adjust to the low oxygen levels. 

What Does High Altitude Illness Do To Your Body?

When you have altitude sickness, your body is likely to feel weak and dizzy. You may also get headaches and feel nauseous. 

Is It Hard To Breathe Because Of Altitude Illness?

The major symptom of altitude sickness is shortness of breath even while resting. If you are experiencing these symptoms then you must be taken to a lower altitude. 

Do Healthy People Get Altitude Sickness In Nepal?

Yes, even a healthy person can get altitude sickness. If you are healthy and are not well experienced in walking in higher altitudes then you might get altitude sickness. 

Can I Prevent Altitude Sickness Naturally Without Taking Medications?

The best alternative to prevent altitude sickness naturally without taking medication is to travel to altitudes above 2500 gradually so the body gets used to the change in altitude.

Hillary Treks

My name is Hillary. Since completing the Government Guide Training from Nepal's Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (KEEP and HRA), I have been a specialist in mountain trekking and peak climbing. With specific expertise in the Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan regions, I have now been a trekking guide and tour operator in Nepal, and across the Himalayas, since 2012.

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