Dehydration in Tahoe
January 4, 2017
Lake Tahoe has plenty to do for everyone, all year round. But spending time in the high-mountains can also dehydrate you faster than you may think. Here are a few of the most common causes for dehydration in Tahoe:
The altitude causes the kidneys to diurese — meaning excrete more fluid.
2. Dry climate
The low humidity causes insensible water loss, which means losing water through evaporation off your skin and in the air you breathe.
3. Increased cardiac output
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Your heart has to work harder to compensate for the decreased oxygen.
4. Acute Mountain Sickness
AMS causes symptoms of anorexia and nausea, which means you don't feel like hydrating yourself.
Alcohol is also a diuretic, and people tend to consume it when they are on vacation.
6. The Hypoxic Ventilatory Response
You breathe faster due to the lower oxygen — which increases your insensible losses.
Staying hydrated in Lake Tahoe takes constant effort. You need to drink an extra 1.5L of water at Tahoe elevation compared to sea level, and that is just at rest. Now increase that if you are going boating, skiing, mountain biking, hiking or doing any of the other activities there are to enjoy in Tahoe.
If you are going to drink alcohol, you need to increase your water intake even more.
Stay on top of your hydration and you will stay out of trouble. However, if some of those factors catch up with you and you have headache, nausea, weakness and fatigue as a result of dehydration, then just give us a call. You don't want to miss out on your precious time in Tahoe!
Targhee Oeveraas is an emergency physician in Tahoe and CEO of H2uP. She can be reached at 530-675-4287 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.