If you are planning to Climb Kilimanjaro, We highly recommend reading our altitude sickness (Acute mountain sickness guide) to be familiar what it is, its cause and prevention.
It is an illness that ranges from a mild headache and weariness to a life-threatening build-up of fluid in the lungs or brain at high altitudes. Acute altitude sickness is the mildest and most common form. Because more people are traveling to areas of high elevation like climbing kilimanjaro.
Altitude sickness symptoms occur when the rate of ascent into higher altitudes is too quickly that the body doesn’t get time to acclimatize. Altitude sickness generally develops at elevations higher than 8,000 feet (about 2,400 meters) above sea level and when the rate of ascent exceeds 1,000 feet (300 meters) per day.
The following actions can trigger altitude sickness:
One way to avoid altitude sickness is allowing the body to get used to the altitude slowly (Acclimatization)
Acute altitude sickness may be associated with any combination of the following symptoms:
People with acute altitude sickness often attribute their symptoms to other causes such as an uncomfortable bed, bad food, or a hangover. However, it is important to recognize that these symptoms may indicate a high altitude illness which are High altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) and High altitude cerebral edema (HACE).
High altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) fluid build up in the lungs, An advanced form of acute altitude sickness, causes the following progression of symptoms:
Onset of HAPE can be gradual or sudden. HAPE typically occurs after more than one day spent at high altitude.
High altitude cerebral edema (HACE) is fluid build up in the brain. It can begin with confusion.
Both HAPE and HACE are potentially fatal but are thankfully extremely rare during a well planned Kilimanjaro climb.
***In cases of HAPE or HACE ,immediate descent is a necessary life-saving measure (2,000 – 4,000 feet [610-1,220 meters]). Anyone suffering from HAPE or HACE must be evacuated to a medical facility for proper follow-up treatment. ***