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#102568 - 09/06/08 04:04 PM On preventing medical emergency problems
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
OK, I realize we "over the hill" folks can get a bit morbid - witness the preceeding post on "Where I Want to Die".

It got me to thinking in Ski Patroller mode again. When I go on a backpacking trip, a high altitude ski or hike (9,000 ft. +) I take steps to help my "aging jock" body.

You may not agree with all or any of this but it helps me.

1. Exercise regularly i.e. 5 to 7 days a week, at least one hour. Wear out, don't rust out.

2. Take Ginko Biloba 3 days before going to altitude & during altitude exposure. The U.S. Olympic Training Committee tested this and found it reduces and often eliminates altitude-related headaches and nausea. Anything that can stave off altitude sickness is good.

3. I take 81 mg. of aspirin every day since I was 55.

4. At altitude or on strenuous terrain I take 4 "NO2" tablets morning and 4 in the afternoon, always at lest 1/2 hour before or after eating. These are found at GNC stores and are nothing more than 8 hour time-release L-Arginine tabs. Somewhat like Cialis, but much milder, they help the body create more nitric oxide (not nitROUS oxide) which is a vaso-dialator, opening up blood vessels, arterioles and capillaries to transport more blood and, thus, more O2. This stuff, "NO2", works well... but it is kind of 'spensive. If you need more O2 this makes a difference. The number (dosage) of "NO2" tabs depends upon your weight. Read the directions.

The daily aspirin prophylaxis I consider to be the most important factor listed.
Of course some of you may be on a much stronger blood thinner like PLAVIX. In that case don't take aspirin with it.

What I am saying is anything that helps your body without bad side effects is likely helping avoid a cardiac infarc, stroke and maybe reducing the severity of HAPE or HACE at high altitudes.

Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#102569 - 09/06/08 05:09 PM Re: On preventing medical emergency problems [Re: 300winmag]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6517
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
The daily exercise is the most important thing. Use it or lose it!

I'd like to caution about aspirin and other blood thinners. Do not, repeat, DO NOT take any blood-thinning medication such as aspirin without consulting your doctor. Insist on a blood coagulation test! If I take even a small dose of aspirin, I start bleeding from the capillaries within my eyes. I still think that frequent use of aspirin may have been partially responsible for the detached retina I suffered 10 years ago, but that's definitely a non-medical opinion. But I haven't taken aspirin since and the folks at my HMO's anti-coagulation clinic agree that I shouldn't take it. If you've ever had an ulcer or any other kind of stomach or intestinal bleeding, you don't want to take aspirin either. Not everyone needs a blood thinner; for some it can be dangerous.

You need always to remind your doctor or dentist if you're taking aspirin or other blood-thinning medication if they order any kind of surgery. (Don't expect them to remember it--you need to take charge of your own medical care.) Even a simple tooth extraction can lead to excessive bleeding if you don't go off such medication 2-3 weeks beforehand.

I've seen a number of references about the Ginko Biloba, mostly that it's ineffective, but I plan to try it the next time I go to high altitude. Can't hurt, might help. Far better, though, to plan a routine of climb high, sleep low for the first several days at high altitude.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#102570 - 09/26/08 06:52 PM Re: On preventing medical emergency problems [Re: OregonMouse]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Good points OM, especially with the aspirin remarks. Asprin can be harmful to the liver over long periods of use. I'm talking Tylenol and those types, don't know about baby asprin. Hmm, I have a detached retina too and never related it to asprin use (before I heard of liver damage and stopped using it).

300winmag, you made some intersting points with the no2 use. It is pricey but for extreme trips at altitude for folks from lower altitudes it might make sense after a doctor chat prior to the trip.
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#102571 - 09/26/08 11:57 PM Re: On preventing medical emergency problems [Re: Earthling]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6517
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I understood it was acetaminophen (Tylenol) that affects the liver. Of course aspirin can cause bleeding anywhere if overused. Actually, any OTC medication can cause big problems if overused!

I hope you're feeling better soon, Earthling!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#102572 - 09/27/08 06:15 AM Re: On preventing medical emergency problems [Re: 300winmag]
Pika Online   content
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1759
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I'm in my early 70's. My regimen is similar to part of yours. I take an 81 grain aspirin tablet every day in addition to a multivitamin and saw palmetto (BPH is a separate issue from altitude acclimation). I also get at least an hour of aerobic exercise six days per week. That is pretty much it for my regimen.

I recently hiked the JMT with no ill effects from altitude, even on the first few days of the hike. In my opinion, staying in shape is much easier than getting in shape for the older hiker.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#102573 - 09/27/08 01:04 PM Re: On preventing medical emergency problems [Re: OregonMouse]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
I'm working on it OregonMouse thanks for the thought <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> You're correct it is Tylenol and it's related type products that are damaging to the liver. Asprin just makes a 'bleeder' worse, and like you said needs to be prescribed after a doctor visit for each person case by case basis.

My grandfather used to walk 5 cit blocks a day until he passed at 96yrs old. I need to work back up to that from where I'm currently at because this Lyme is killing me slowly <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#102574 - 09/27/08 05:15 PM Re: On preventing medical emergency problems [Re: 300winmag]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
I was a red meat eating, cigarrette smoking , hard headed and hard working DA (that doesn't stand for district attourney) The thing I do to extend my life is Quit smoking anything. Stop eating red meat laced with fat and chemicals. Ride my bike 15 mi everyday attacking every hill I come to. Another big one is to let stress roll off your back. If you have a person that gives you problems in your daily life, it will cause stress. Nip that problem before it goes any further. Stress (the bad kind) will kill you as fast as any bad habit. the more in shape you are the more mental and physical stress you can tolerate. But don't tolerate it.
In essence Don't worry, be happy. Well, at least as much as you can.......
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Enjoy your next trip...

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#102575 - 09/27/08 08:41 PM Re: On preventing medical emergency problems [Re: chaz]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
If the govamint has it's way we'll all be riding bikes and eating less of everything...and they'll say it's part of their helath care plan <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#102576 - 09/29/08 12:10 AM Re: On preventing medical emergency problems [Re: OregonMouse]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Tylenol = Liver

NSAIDS = Kidneys and digestive tract (some are worse than others) and also act as blood thinners.

Aspirin is a blood thinner as well, and being an acid can cause erosions in the stomach.

None of these are harmless and should not be taken lightly.

MNS
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YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.

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#102577 - 09/29/08 07:54 AM Re: On preventing medical emergency problems [Re: OregonMouse]
dkramalc Offline
member

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 1070
Loc: California
Mouse - I recently met a nurse who suffers from normal pressure glaucoma which is not so slowly making her blind (hers is not reversible by lowering intra-ocular pressure); we were discussing increasing circulation to the optic nerve and I mentioned gingko. She said that she wouldn't take it because it's been shown to increase the chances of retinal bleeding. So if you're susceptible, you might want to research that before taking gingko. I've been taking it since before my last high-altitude trip in August (thought it might help my cold hands and feet in winter) but you just reminded me to go Google the bleed thing.

P.S. I just googled and found that gingko decreases platelet aggregation (which would slow clotting), and that it has been associated with a few cases of retinal bleeding when used in conjunction with anticoagulant therapy. I imagine that if you had any sort of hereditary clotting factor deficiency, it might also be a risk.
_________________________
dk

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#102578 - 09/29/08 05:09 PM Re: On preventing medical emergency problems [Re: 300winmag]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2796
Loc: California
How old do you have to be to qualify as an "aging jock"? Am I there yet?

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#102579 - 10/18/08 11:24 AM Re: On preventing medical emergency problems [Re: midnightsun03]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Good info Andi, Dramackl, and OM folks need to understand before consuming even simple meds. After all I've been through the past few months I can tell you take the least amount you can! Do no harm my butt!!
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#102580 - 10/21/08 04:42 PM Re: On preventing medical emergency problems [Re: Earthling]
BorealHiker Offline
member

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 75
Loc: The Third Maine
If only I lived in a more bike friendly region. Yes, I do have the carriage road system in Acadia National Park nearby for both hiking and biking enjoyment, but few, if any, will be able to use these to commute to work. The state roads even here in the sticks are filled with aggressive drivers, sadly, many of them our age.

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#102581 - 10/21/08 05:42 PM Re: On preventing medical emergency problems [Re: BorealHiker]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
I can't for the life of me ever figure out what the deal is about being an aggressive driver <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> Only gets one closer to death the way I see it <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> Ah Maine, land of great open roads worthy of enjoying a Sunday drive.
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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