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Altitude Effects


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Hello,

I love to snowboard with my boyfriend, however I have Cluster Headaches. We typically go to Lutsen Mountains on the Minnesota Canadian border, not very much of an elevation change, at all, but still fun.

We wanted to try Steamboat Springs Colorado instead this year for the incredible views, breathtaking beauty, and amazing slopes. The elevation there though is 7-10,000 feet. They warn against potential altitude sickness, so obviously the change will be noticeable.

The question is, have any of you experienced CH sufferers had any issues or experience with altitude triggering, or aggravating CH.

I know it says altitude can effect CH on the websites about CH, but I need to talk to people with real experience. I don't want to spend a $1000 (a lot of money for me) and plan an amazing week and a half get away only to have to fly back two days later due to thin oxygen making my vacation unbearable.

I will be off cycle when I go, however, I get CHs year round, just not as frequent, or as strong (mostly). I have had no problems flying, however the cabins are pressurized, and atmosphere controlled.

I am able to ride roller coasters, so the motion of snow boarding won't effect me, though standing up to quickly hurts like hell, go figure.

Anyways, anyone with experience with this, if you could let me know, relay any warnings, I'm looking to book this ASAP, but not without some good advice and research first.

Thank you,

Danielle  :)

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More often than not a change in climate can give CH a break.

I have skiied lutsen. Not quite like steamboat but just as pretty and fun all the same

The adrenalin rush can "instantly" abort a CH on the hill if you do get a hit. 

Go for the trip. Make all the best of it.

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I'm new here (and unfortunately to CH as well), but my personal experience says GO, and enjoy Steamboat. I live in PA at about 1000', and in July (which, come to find out, was mid-cycle for me) I spent four days climbing Mt. Rainier. Oddly enough, I didn't have a single CH during the climb. Now, this is before I knew what a "cluster headache" was, but it was still a nice break.

As with all activities at altitude, stay well hydrated. The first mistake we flatlanders make in the mountains is dehydration.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I actually gave a presentation of Changes in Latitude and Changes in Altitude at one of the cluster conferences (of course with Jimmy Buffet’s “Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude” background music embedded in my PowerPoint presentation!)

I thought my move closer to the equator and to 5000 ft above sea-level was a contributing factor to my multi-year remission. I even had a clusterhead or two come and stay – one for a month – and the altitude did not seem to help them radically. (Of course that could be a result of copious amounts of tequila, cerveza  and Latina swim-suit models!) <g>

There is no hard evidence that cluster headaches are helped by high altitudes or proximity to the equatorÂ… but conversely, no evidence that it is counter-indicated or harmful, either.

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I thought my move closer to the equator and to 5000 ft above sea-level was a contributing factor to my multi-year remission. I even had a clusterhead or two come and stay – one for a month – and the altitude did not seem to help them radically. (Of course that could be a result of copious amounts of tequila, cervezaand Latina swim-suit models!) <g>

I stayed with Xeno for four weeks.  I was hit pretty hard for the first 25 days, probably from the copious amounts of the above mentioned reasons. ;) 

Three days before my flight back, I went pain free and much to my euphoric surprise, remained that way for 6 months. :)  That is the longest pain free remission I have had since being diagnosed primary chronic 10 years ago. :-?

To this day, I don't know exactly what caused my remission.  If Xeno ever opens his CH clinic, I may have to repeat the experiment, minus the copious amounts of entertainment.  :o

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Quick changes such as air travel can trigger clusters, if you are in cycle.

That said, flying to and landing in Denver at its altitude might be one of the safer places to land IMHO.

Physically speaking, you should be good to go.

On the spiritual side, don't let cluster fear guide your life any more than necessary. Its one thing to pass on a dinner or movie. Its another to pass on a trip that leaves plenty of opportunity to enjoy life.

Our best memories are only moments in time. Its not usually "that week on the Islands." Its more likely to be, "that moment on the beach on the island."

Go and find that moment!!

Bob

Send us a postcard

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