Skin and Hair
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or treat any condition, and should not replace the care and attention
of qualified medical personnel. Use the information on these pages
at your own risk, and, as with any information pertaining to health,
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changes that might affect your overall health.
at High Altitudes
can affect a number of existing illnesses, and seem to encourage
a particularly hardy strain of 'flu and common bacteria.
Any time you move to a new
climate, or a long enough distance that you are exposed to
a new germ pool, you'll experience a greater number of minor
illnesses during the first year than you will later. I don't
know if it is my own interpretation or not, but up in the
Rockies at least, there seem to be a few particularly nasty
strains of flu, stomach bugs, and colds. It takes tough people
to live here though, so maybe it took a tough bug to stick
altitude can positively or negatively affect a range of diseases,
including circulatory and pulmonary disease, and diabetes.
Usually, the major affect is when changes occur - It may be
more difficult for someone with chronic illness to adapt to
control with diabetes needs to be carefully monitored when
changes occur, and for about a month afterward if the change
is permanent. High altitudes can affect your body's use of
carbohydrates, especially at first.
to high altitude involves changes in your blood, and for some
people who already have abnormalities, it can cause unusual
problems. My mother, for some reason, tends to develop blood
clots extremely easily at higher altitudes - more so than
at lower altitudes.
of the general climate differences which tend to be prevalent
at high altitude, you have to be a bit more careful when you
have a cold, cough, or other lung infection, to insure that
you wear proper protective clothing on cold days.
have raised seven kids so far up here, and all of them are,
for the most part, healthier than average. They weather common
illnesses easily, and even our son who is on chemo for leukemia
is astonishingly healthy. He has had just two infections,
and no serious side effects from the chemo, through the two
and a half years of his treatment that have been completed
so far. Our first year up here was pretty rough, though we
did not have to take anyone to the doctor for anything other
than one minor ear infection. The kids just had a lot of petty
illnesses that seemed to hit them very hard. Since then, we
get just one potentially serious round of 'flu per year, and
while they tend to last about a week, the kids rarely even
get colds the rest of the time.
Editorial Comments throughout this site written by Laura Wheeler (with occasional sarcastic remarks by her son, David). Laura is a 10 year resident of Medicine Bow, Wyoming, where the altitude is greater than the population. Medicine Bow is at 6200+ ft above sea level, and boasts a total of 297 residents from the last census. Laura is an experienced technical, health and family writer.