Ginkgo biloba decreases acute mountai... [Wilderness Environ Med. 2007] - PubMed - NCBI
Ginkgo biloba decreases acute mountain sickness in people ascending to high altitude at Ollagüe (3696 m) in northern Chile.
Moraga FA, Flores A, Serra J, Esnaola C, Barriento C.
Laboratorio de Fisiología, Escuela de Medicina, Universidad Católica del Norte, Coquimbo-Chile. [email protected]
Wilderness Environ Med. 2008 Spring;19(1):51.
To determine the prophylactic effect of Ginkgo biloba (doses 80 mg/12 h, 24 h before high-altitude ascension and with continued treatment) in preventing acute mountain sickness (AMS) at 3696 m in participants without high-altitude experience.
Thirty-six participants who reside at sea level were transported to an altitude of 3696 m (Ollagüe). The participants were divided into 3 groups and received G biloba (n=12) 80 mg/12 h, acetazolamide (n=12) 250 mg/12 h, or placebo (n=12) 24 hours before ascending and during their 3-day stay at high altitude. The Lake Louise Questionnaire constituted the primary outcome measurement at sea level and at 3696 m. A Lake Louise Self-Report Score greater than 3 was indicative of AMS. Oxygen saturation, heart rate, and arterial pressure were taken with each evaluation for AMS.
RESULTS: A significant reduction in AMS was observed in the group that received G biloba (0%, P<.05) comparison with the groups receiving acetazolamide (36%, P<.05) or placebo (54%). No difference was observed in arterial oxygen saturation in the G biloba (92+/-2) vs the acetazolamide (89+/-2) groups. However, a marked increased saturation in arterial oxygen was seen in comparison with the placebo group (84+/-3, P<.05). No statistically significant differences were observed in mean arterial pressure or heart rate.
This study provides evidence supporting the use of G biloba in the prevention of AMS, demonstrating that 24 hours of pretreatment with G biloba and subsequent maintenance during exposure to high altitude are sufficient to reduce the incidence of AMS in participants with no previous high-altitude experience.
I'm not a medical professional and the following comments should not be considered medical advice. Please consult your medical professional for specific information.
I've used DR. prescribed Diamox for altitude sickness/symptoms in the past. Diamox worked OK when taken as directed. Too high of a dosage and I had tingling in the fingers/extremities. With Diamox my required water consumption at altitude increased significantly. At the time I used Diamox I was is good physical condition from cycling and Rugby, but I just had issues adapting to altitudes above 10,000ft.
I tried several natural remedies with little success. Reading earlier posts I should have tried Ginkgo Biloba, but did not.
Since relocating my residence to 7500Ft elevation I've not used any medications for altitude sickness. For the past 10 years, I have had no altitude sickness symptoms at altitudes less than 13,000ft (haven't done much work above 13,000ft in past 10years).
I am an MD and although High Altitude Medicine is not may area of practice it is an area of interest as I do a lot of hunting and mountaineering at altitude. As mentioned above the main prescription medicine used to treat AMS (acute mountain sickness) is Acetazolamide (Diamox). It is widely used in the mountaineering community. It acts as a mild diuretic which causes the kidney to excrete bicarbonate. This causes a the pH of the blood to decrease (acidify). The body reacts by trying to get rid of CO2 by mild hyperventilation and thus improves oxygenation. It is not a "cure: for altitude symptoms but rather helps improve acclimatization. It is usually started 1-2 days before the trip and continued while at altitude. You will need to see a doctor to get a prescription and to make sure the medication is appropriate for you.
Check out oxygen for energy .com basically canned oxygen. Not sure how much it will help for sure,but I purchased some nd brought it with me. Everyone agreed it worked. Every time you get short of breath just use it. Worth a try. Ps also really helps with hangovers.
Thanks everyone leaving in the morning, i talked to my doctor and she didnt care for the side effects so didnt prescibe to me. Ill take it easy and drink plenty of water. Let you now in 10-12 days how it went.
Mike, hope your hunt went well. I also have had trouble with altitude sickness. I am a Colorado native, but live at about 4000 ft. I hunt elk at 8000 to 10000 ft. I also use Diamox, and consider it a life saver. Previous to using it, I would spend the first day and a half with an absolute horrible headache, and dry heaves. This medication has worked wonders for me. The key is to drink as much water as possible while at elevation. I have also experienced the tingling in my finger tips. It also make carbonated drinks taste so bad, I don't even know how to describe it.
Water is the key. I usually carry almost 2 gallons for a day at 9000 feet. Drink a lot before you leave in the morning and always throughout the day.....even if you don't feel thirsty.....but you probably will.
i had a friend that would come from Alabama to hunt elk and he suffered pretty badly the first few days. Someone told him to take rolaids and it did seem to help. not sure of the reason but he swore by them. it would be wortha try.AJ