How To Acclimatize and Deal with Mountain Sickness in Leh Ladakh


Mountain Sickness is a serious issue in Ladakh and I have been a victim of it. So from my experience and the problems, I faced mountain sickness in Leh Ladakh. I have mentioned all the reasons Why mountain sickness happens and how to get rid of it and acclimatize your body.

While preparing for the Ladakh trip, the most important thing is to prepare your body and acclimatize to the heights. Since most of the locations in Ladakh are above the height of 10,000 feet, you may suffer some of the symptoms.

The symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness in Leh Ladakh are:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Problem in breathing

Ladakh is beautiful and breathtaking, but travelers face severe problems due to high-altitude and you cannot enjoy to the fullest due to these problems.

Some people deal with them easily while others may suffer from them.

If you are arriving there directly via air, then you are going to face severe problems and your body may require several days to recover. 

Which is Better – Arriving Ladakh Via Air or Via Road?

Mountain sickness is common during the Ladakh trip if you arrive directly to such a height especially via airplane or via road without stopping in middle and having some rest.  The more the altitude the more is the risk of getting severe sickness.

If you have  a previous record of mountain sickness then it is advised that you should consult a doctor and think before you step out for Ladakh trip.

Causes of Mountain sickness in Leh Ladakh

the main cause of Mountain sickness in Leh Ladakh is due to its altitude and decrease in air pressure with a lower oxygen level.  A human body needs time to adapt and acclimatize itself to the environment, and since while traveling in Ladakh the environment and the altitude keep changing rapidly,  this may lead to acute mountain sickness.

Great physical efforts like hiking trekking, mountaineering or any kind of physical activity in those places may also lead to mountain sickness.

Want to know – Is Ladakh Safe?

The Danger of Acute Mountain Sickness – AMS.

We have already mentioned the symptoms of Mountain sickness,  some other symptoms of Mountain sickness.

Additional symptoms of Mountain sickness

  • Bleeding of nose
  • Swelling of feet and face
  • Stomach disorder
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Nausea
  • Mild sleepiness

Depending on person to person the symptoms may vary.

Some people may experience Mild symptoms while other people main experience life-threatening symptoms.

While I was traveling to Ladakh we were a group of 15 peoples,  and 6 people from our group showed symptoms of Mountain sickness.  I was one of them and my symptom was continuous vomiting which occurred after I had my lunch, and after few hours I started having stomach disorder,  while 3 of the members from my group had serious issues with oxygen level and they had to be supplied oxygen for a day.

How I faces Acute Mountain Sickness

Here is the Best List of Tourist Attractions in Ladakh.

Mountain sickness symptoms usually last for a day or two you are sometimes for a week if the person’s immune system is weak. 

But if you are having the mountain sickness + problem in breathing+ and less amount of oxygen in your body,  then you should definitely consult a doctor or an Army Hospital.

Medicines for Mountain sickness in Leh Ladakh

Diamox –  As I have also mentioned Diamox in my YouTube video,  Diamox is not a cure but it’s prevention and helps your body to fasten the process of acclimatization.

Diamox should be used as a preventive medicine which means you should start taking this medicine before you start your trip to such high altitudes.

Diamox should be taken near about 125 – 250 mg twice a day, and some of its side effects are

  •  Frequent Urination
  •  Nausea
  •  Vomiting
  •  Tingling  in hand and feet
  •  Others

Other than Diamox you should also carry portable oxygen cylinders which will help you recover from acute mountain sickness.

“ If your sickness is not lowering even by the use of medicines,  it’s better to give up the idea of moving further and descend to the lower altitude so that your body can recover”.

If your problem is getting serious you should visit the nearest hospital or any Army medical camp.  Just ask the local or any army and they will help you out.

How to Get Acclimatize?

If you are arriving Leh via Air,  then at least give rest to your body for a day or two so that your body can acclimatize to the altitudes. 

If you are arriving via Road then do not exert your body and do not post your body to its limit.  Get enough sleep and good food and do not force your body to do extra physical activities. Since you are traveling via road which means the altitude will gradually increase,  this will provide your body to Naturally acclimatize.

“ Precaution is Better than Cure”

Know the List of Things you Must carry to Ladakh.

Acute mountain sickness you should follow this following thing.

  • If you are arriving LEH via Air, have a rest for at least two days before exploring out
  • Avoid overexertion
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Do not spend too much time at passes
  • Keep your body hydrated
  • If you have blood pressure then regularly monitor it.
  • Avoid junk food and have light proper food.

What are Mountain Passes in Ladakh? 

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