CIDP and Colorado
AnonymousApril 11, 2010 at 5:31 pm
We are planning a visit to Colorado in July and I am wondering about the altitude and what effect it will have on my CIDP, I know it is harder to breath and you get tired out. I want to stay at an altitude that is easier on my breathing. We will be near Denver and I know that the life style is alot different than where I live, which is in Michigan. They do a lot more walking and are outside more, in Michigan it is so gloomy and it seems lately the barometric pressure has been terrible for pain. Does anyone have any ideas for a easier visit with the altitude?
Clare in Michigan
AnonymousApril 11, 2010 at 8:22 pm
I grew up in Illinois, but have lived in Colorado and Utah for over 30 years now. I’d like to give some advice, which I routinely give to visitors from the midwest, and, unfortunately, some don’t take seriously.
HYDRATION!!! Make SURE you drink a LOT of water while you’re in Colorado, whether you are active or not. The humidity level in the midwest is a lot higher than in the west, where it is commonly only 10% or so. You can lose a LOT of water just breathing! That’s not a joke…you can google it. I’ve heard that on hot days, in upper elevations, you can lose up to a liter an hour just through normal respiration. In the midwest, where it’s more humid, you don’t lose as much; here there’s little moisture in the air to help keep you hydrated. People don’t believe us until they suffer the effects.
I’d start drinking extra water a couple of weeks before your trip, then make sure you have a water bottle with you at all times. Most of my visitors that have had “altitude sickness” could have avoided a lot of it if they’d have taken that warning seriously.
I’ll let others address the specific CIDP concerns, as others will be more experienced with that. But, as general rule, I’ve not seen too many visitors bothered by coming to Denver or Salt Lake City, as they’re both 5200 feet or less. If you go “up in the hills”, though, I’d be careful with exertion. Aspen and Vail are about 9000-10,000 feet above sea level; that’s quite a change from Michigan. I’d also try and schedule any “higher elevation” excursions for later in your visit, once you’ve acclimated somewhat to the difference in Denver.
The other warning…sunscreen! You can burn much more easily at higher elevations because there’s less “stuff” between you and the sun. One thing you’ll notice is how much “blue-er” the sky is…that’s because of the lack of moisture, etc., in the air. I’m constantly amazed when I go back to the midwest at how “hazy” the sky looks; it’s like an “overcast” day here usually.
Have a great time…the west is a beautiful part of the world!
Just my two cents’ worth…
April 11, 2010 at 8:39 pm
Where in Illinois?
April 12, 2010 at 8:33 am
Peoria is far from me. You were a country boy!
April 12, 2010 at 10:18 am
Relax Elmo, I was just mentioning that Peoria is far from me. Actually, I am currently in the suburbs not far from Joliet, I was born in Chicago though. I take it you don’t like us Chicagoans. Well I love Chicago it is so diverse and exciting. Joliet is totally different now. Tons of Casino boats. We go to an airsoft/paintball field in Joliet. There is a really neat science museum there too near the casinos in this old building. At Halloween time, they use the old prison as this awesome haunted house, if you ever come back to visit family in the Fall, you should check it out.
April 12, 2010 at 11:03 am
Clare, I was in Angel Fire NM last July (~ 8600 feet elevation). We’ve been there many times in the past, but this was the first time since I’ve been dx’d with CIDP. I had no issues with the altitude (except those Elmo warns about … there’s not much air up thar!) We went for walks every day, some rather lengthy and not trivial elevation changes. I acclimatized quickly and didn’t have any problems with O2. In fact when we returned my stamina and lung capacity at sea level were AMAZING. So I hope you have a great time and follow Elmo’s advice.
April 13, 2010 at 11:08 am
Welcome to Colorado.
I was diagnosed in Colorado in 1994, treated in Colorado (just had IVIG yesterday) and live at 7600 feet. I have not noticed any difference in my CIDP either here at home or several weeks at sea level. DO TAKE ELMO’S ADVICE SERIOUSLY.
Have a great visit and do come up to the mountains.
April 13, 2010 at 11:43 am
Hey, so did the Sox!!! I am a south sider, always from the wrong side of the tracks!! Jessica, where did you go to HS? I went to Mcauley, yes an all girls Catholic school. I know you guys might find this hard to believe,(not..) but in my senior year yearbook I was elected most likely to rebel.
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