Planning an adventure at a high-altitude destination can be an exciting experience, but it can be difficult for individuals who suffer from migraines. High-altitude levels can exacerbate the symptoms of migraines, making it important for individuals to be prepared if they choose to take on an adventure in these areas. Here’s what you need to know and do to prepare for a high-altitude adventure if you suffer from migraines.

Understand the Impact of High Altitudes on Migraines

High altitudes (usually considered to be above 2,500 meters or around 8,200 feet) can have a significant impact on people who suffer from migraines. Studies have shown that exposure to high-altitude environments can trigger or exacerbate migraines in some people. The cause of migraines at high altitudes is thought to be related to a decrease in oxygen levels, air pressure, and dehydration. These factors can lead to an increase in cerebral blood flow and the production of vasoactive substances in the body, both of which are known to trigger migraines.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration is a common trigger for migraines, and it’s even more important to stay hydrated when you’re at high altitudes. The decrease in humidity and increase in dry air at high altitudes can cause the body to lose fluids more quickly than normal. It’s important to drink plenty of fluids, particularly water, during your high-altitude adventure to keep yourself hydrated and prevent dehydration. Try to drink at least eight glasses of water a day and avoid drinks that can dehydrate you, such as alcohol and caffeine.

Monitor Your Diet

If you are planning a high-altitude adventure and you suffer from migraines, it’s important to monitor your diet. Some foods and beverages can trigger migraines, and it’s important to avoid them while at a high altitude. Common migraine-triggering foods and beverages include chocolate, cheese, processed meat, red wine, and caffeine. Instead, try to eat light, healthy meals that are rich in vitamins and minerals, such as lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables.

Get Plenty of Rest

It’s important to get plenty of rest before and during your high-altitude adventure if you suffer from migraines. Lack of sleep can be a trigger for migraines, so it’s important to make sure you get at least eight hours of sleep each night. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day to establish a regular sleep routine. If you find it difficult to fall asleep, try relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, before bed to help you relax and unwind.

Pack Medications and Other Essentials

If you suffer from migraines, it’s important to pack the medications and other essentials you will need to help you manage your symptoms during your high-altitude adventure. Consider packing over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, to help relieve migraine symptoms. Also, consider packing items, such as an eye mask, earplugs, and a neck wrap, to help you relax and unwind in the event of a migraine. It’s also a good idea to have a list of emergency contact numbers and a copy of your medical history in case you need medical assistance while at a high altitude.

Stay Mindful of Your Surroundings

When you suffer from migraines, it’s important to be mindful of your surroundings in order to help prevent or manage your symptoms. It can be difficult to avoid triggers while at a high altitude, but it’s important to do your best to limit your exposure to known triggers, such as bright lights, loud noises, and strong odors. Try to take breaks and find a quiet, dark area to rest and rejuvenate if you feel a migraine coming on. It’s also a good idea to take regular breaks to stretch and move around to help prevent muscle tension and headaches.

Have Emergency Plan in Place

If you suffer from migraines, it’s important to have an emergency plan in place for your high-altitude adventure. Make sure you know where the nearest medical facility is, and have a plan in place to get there quickly in the event of a severe migraine. It’s also a good idea to have a reliable means of communication, such as a cell phone, and a list of emergency contact numbers in case you need to contact someone for assistance.

Enjoy Your High-Altitude Adventure

It’s important to remember that you can still have a great time on your high-altitude adventure, even if you suffer from migraines. Take steps to prepare before you go and listen to your body while you’re there to help manage your symptoms. Remember to take breaks, stay hydrated, and get plenty of rest in order to enjoy your adventure to the fullest. With the right preparation and the right mindset, you can have an amazing time on your high-altitude adventure.