Mountain Sickness-AMS FAQs

For Tibet travel, you would worry about Tibet mountain sickness. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is an illness that affects people who climb mountains or travel above 2500 meters altitude. It often occurs when your body cannot adjust to a high level of altitude. Because most places in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) are higher than this level, Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), also called Altitude Sickness is the biggest health risk to tourists in Tibet. AMS is common at high altitudes due to the decreasing availability of oxygen. Most people will experience differing degrees of symptoms at high elevation.

Acute Mountain Sickness occurs when your body cannot get enough oxygen. Many people will experience mild AMS during the acclimatization process. At night, when our respiratory drive is decreased, the symptoms tend to get worse. So when you plan a Tibet tour, a suitable and reasonable Tibet tour itinerary will be important.

The symptoms include headache, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, disturbed sleep and general feelings of malaise.

It is common for people to experience mild symptoms of Mountain Sickness when they come to Tibet at fist. You need one to two days to get used to the plateau condition. As your body gets used to the altitude, they symptoms will go away. You can try to do some exercise before you come to Tibet. Normally people will take some medicine like Hongjingtian 10 days in advance to avoid Mountain Sickness. And another common recommended medicine would be Diamox which many foreign travelers prescribe it before coming to Tibet.

To travel to Tibet and explore Tibet, it is not always easy. To save some money for such a trip is one thing, another main point is that, due to the high altitude, if you already have a severe cold, a high fever, or you have Tuberculosis, pneumonia, serious tracheitis, bronchitis, serious heart attack and high blood pressure, you should not risk to go to Tibet because the Mountain Sickness will be extreme for you.

As many people mill more or less have Mountain Sickness, you should not run, leap or use your body heavily when you first come to Tibet because Mountain Sickness will not occur instantly when you arrive. It usually happen some time later. And you should stay hydrated because acclimatization is often accompanied by fluid loss. Avoid tobacco, alcohol and other depressant drugs. Prepare some AMS pills such as “Diamox” during the trip in case of strong symptoms.

For more details about a comfortable Tibet tour, contact our local Tibet tour agency now.

Tibet travel tips about the altitudes during Tibet travel. In Lhasa, the altitude is not very high, usually 3,658 meters (12,001 feet). The altitude is lower in Qamdo and Nyingchi for 3,202 meters (10,515 feet) and 3,000 meters (9,843 feet). On the way to the Everest Base Camp, the altitude will rise, it is 3,836 meters (12,585 feet) in Shigatse, 4,300 meters (14,108 feet) in Tingri, 4,040 meters (13,255 feet) in Gyantse and 5,380 meters (17,600 feet) in Everest Base Camp. Close to Mount. Kailash, in Darchen, the altitude is 4,575 meters (15,010 feet) but the altitude will rise at 5,210 meters (17,093 meters) in Dira-puk and 4,810 meters (15,781 feet) in Zutul-puk. In Dolma La, the altitude can be 5,570 meters (18,274).

Normally we do not suggest you drink any alcohol in the first or second day tour in Tibet because you need time to adjust to the high altitude. But if your body feels good and you really want to taste it in the following days, you can have a little bit. The Tibet highland barley wine is a light wine, with a low spirit of 8%. As you know, to have a Tibet highland tour, it is not always easy and only when your health situation is quite good, you may try some light alcoholic staff.

Definitely! We will carry oxygen cylinder for emergency issues. And local hospitals are ready to deal with any emergency cases. We will take good care of every customer during the tour. The rise of altitude is not immediate and it is a gradual process. So if you feel anything wrong, you can inform your Tibetan guide instantly and we may need to adjust the Tibet tour program and wait for you to feel better and take optional easier tour program accordingly. And if anyone feels very uncomfortable, we will let him stay in the relatively low altitude places and will catch him/her later when we finish the high altitude tour.