馃槱Why do I feel short of breath at high altitudes?

Discover information about a very common inquiry.

12/7/20232 min read

The cities at high altitudes like Toluca, which is located at 2600 meters above sea level, are the highest capital city in Mexico and North America.

馃椈How does altitude affect me? The higher we go, the less oxygen is available in the atmosphere. This is the basic reason why it's harder to breathe and there's a shortness of breath, especially when engaging in physical activities. Headaches and dizziness may also occur.

馃寠 People born at high altitudes versus people born at sea level:

Individuals born at high altitudes have a chronic adaptation, often both genetic and acquired, to these circumstances. The body adapts by increasing the number of red blood cells to transport more oxygen. However, poor physical condition can exacerbate this situation, resulting in more sedentary behavior and greater difficulty in exercising. When a person living at sea level moves to a city like Toluca, they require at least 6 months of physiological adaptation until the body generates red blood cells and adapts. Of course, the better the cardiopulmonary capacity, the better and faster the adaptation.

馃挃 Cardiopulmonary disease and altitude:

As mentioned above, taking care of the heart and lungs is essential to avoid symptoms at high altitudes. The greater the pulmonary and/or cardiac dysfunction, the more severe the symptoms at high altitudes. Even patients with heart failure may have a higher chance of decompensation.

馃挕 It is important to consult your cardiologist for a detailed clinical evaluation馃┖ and identify what is happening.

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