Renal and Respiratory Pathophysiological Challenges of High Altitudes, Acclimatization and Possible Methods of Treatment with a Minor Focus on Eth...
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Introduction to High Altitude Stress
High altitude stress is a pathophysiological effect that occurs to 25-85% of humans7 who increase their altitude without acclimatization. Going from sea level to the top of Mount Everest yields a drastic drop in the partial pressure of oxygen as the pressure goes from 149mmHg at base camp to 43mmHg15 at the summit as seen in Figure 1. Focusing primarily on the renal and respiratory physiology, increasing elevation rapidly (thus experiencing hypoxia) can result in a variety of physiological effects to the body, such as high blood cell concentrations, production of proteins, and two main forms of edema. These physiological conditions can greatly affect the renal and respiratory systems by altering renal plasma flow (RPF) in the kidneys, oxygen carrying ability in the blood and diffusion-perfusion relationship in the lungs. Through the use of acetazolamide, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and other preventative measures, these pathophysiological effects can be dealt with appropriately. The consumption of alcohol at high elevations is for the most part negative, however in moderation; there may be a possible beneficial result. Researching the process of acclimatization, pathophysiological challenges and treatment options are useful in preparing for the expedition, helping make educated deductions on the safety of alcohol consumption at the summit of Mount Everest, and allow for insight as to whether alcohol could have any negative interactions with the treatment options.
Renal System Acclimatization, Prophylaxis, and Treatment
The human body’s ability to acclimatize is dependent on several factors such as individual susceptibility, the rate of ascent, and the altitude...
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