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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 26383
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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I know that past the age of 85 a change in altitude can "mess"

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I know that past the age of 85 a change in altitude can "mess" with an older person more than it would to a much younger person, however can you please tell me HOW common it is for someone older (88 years old) to still be ill from altitude change after 2 weeks of trying to readjust? (she went up in altitude for 6 days and has been at sea level for 2 weeks). Also, she throws up about once a day every other day and still feels nausea most of the time. Other than feeling just so very sick all of the time she doesn't show any other signs of a problem; no fever, normal BP, gums and lips aren't white even though her face is, not falling or passing out, no trouble breathing, etc.

How high an altitude change, and when did she start getting sick?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
It was from the bay area to Lake Tahoe, Ca here was an altitude change of about 6,000 feet or so. She was sick when she was up there and was very very sick when she came back
Any problems with bowel movements or abdominal pain?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Sorry, I'm at work, so this will be the last time I can respond. She has been throwing up about once a day, or every other day, and feels very nausieous almost all day. Her bowel habits are normal. She also is stage 2 altheimers. Thanks!

Well, two weeks should be long enough to adjust from altitude sickness, but I don't think this is the problem here. She needs to see a doctor about this for some studies since she may have H pylori infection or a problem with gastric reflux or it could be a thyroid condition or something called gastroparesis--slow stomach emptying.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you very much
You're quite welcome, but please remember to rate my service to you.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your earlier help! Can you please also tell me, literally, how "common" is it for someone over the age of 88 to feel the effect of a high altitude change for a prolonged period of time after having just changed altitudes? Aprox 90%? Would you say 80% is "probably accurate? (Not that they "could", but about how many probably literally "do"? How common is this effect expected to be?) Thank you!
Well, to answer that, can you tell me what medical conditions she has?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
For this particular Q, I would really just like an answer not for her specifically, but one that would apply to any/all elderly people over the age of 88 in "general". Aren't "most" people of that age effected when changing drastic altitudes? And if we were to put that into the context of an approximate percentage, what percentage would represent what you feel is most likely accurate? Also, may I add, if the elderly person "were" to have altheimers, would that in any way, have any additional effect, or in any way "contribute to" the person feeling nausious or vomiting? Thank you!
So we're now talking about an elderly person who may get high altitude sickness in any way and not just with nausea?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Sorry, didn't realize it would ever exclude nausea. so, yes, evTn without nausea. thanks
Well, for overall chances with elderly people, about 10% would have some effects of altitude illness, but it wouldn't usually last more than about two weeks. A patient with Alzheimers, because of the lower oxygen tension, could have disorientation and exacerbations of the Alzheimer's for at least a month.
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