Should I use Diamox on the Everest Base Camp trek
Should you use Diamox on the Everest Base Camp trek?
This question divides opinion in the trekking world. In my opinion, I highly recommend, and I say this to all of our customers, that you don’t use Diamox on the trek to Everest Base Camp.
There are numerous reasons for this but the main reason is that it can sometimes hide the symptoms of altitude sickness. Now if you take a step back and think about this for a second, you don’t want to be hiding those symptoms. If you have altitude sickness then you want to know so you can do something about it right?
Additionally, there can be some pretty awful side effects when taking Diamox that can make you sick and massively lethargic. When you’re at high altitude, you need all the energy you can. It’s a huge challenge and there are people out there who suggest you do take Diamox and that’s great, but I believe personally that there are other ways to manage your body at high altitude.
I filmed a video and wrote a post about this HERE where you can learn ways to reduce the effects of getting altitude sickness but the main way of keeping altitude sickness at bay is by drinking sufficient water and making sure you’re hydrated.
You want to be aiming at 4-5 litres of water per day.
This may seem like it’s alot of water to drink but if you break it down into segments. Plan to drink 1 ltr in the morning before you leave the tea house. Then you can drink 2-3 litres during the day and then drink 1 litre at night. You will be surprised how effective this is by making a conscious effort to drink more water. It really works!
So that’s one of the ways that can help you instead of using Diamox.
Number 2 is going at a steady pace. Now our guides who are very experienced will manage the pace for you but it’s good to know what sort of pace you should be going at. You’re in the most beautiful part of the world, take your time, take plenty of pictures, Have a cup of tea, have a cup of coffee, sit down, chat.
The pace you want to be aiming for is where you can hold a conversation and walk at the same time. There’s going to be parts of the trek where this will be almost impossible as it’s pretty steep but generally, you want to be able to chat the same time as you’re walking. If you feel that you’re struggling to chat on the flat parts of the trek then it’s likely you’re walking too fast.
Our guides also carry with them, oximeters and heart rate monitors so they gauge how your body is dealing with the altitude. They’re very experienced and that’s one of the reasons we have a very high success rate in getting people to Everest Base Camp. This due to the fact that our guides know how to manage everything to do with altitude and look after you and make sure you’re trekking in a safe manner.
In case of emergencies our guides do carry Diamox as a last resort and is only used in extreme circumstances but over the last few years, we’ve only used it once or twice. So hopefully that gives you an idea and opinion that you don’t really need Diamox.
As I mentioned, just enjoy yourself and have a great time and you will get to Everest Base Camp.