Altitude effecting hunger, tiredness?

I type this message after having just scrounged up more of whatever food I could find and feeling about ready to drowse off like a sloth.

Having lived in the low desert in Southern California for 18 years, I recently moved to another desert in northern Utah. However, this one is at an elevation of over 4000 feet.

I feel like since I’ve moved here a week ago that I’ve been doing nothing but perpetually feeling hungry and tired. And besides altitude, I have no idea what else could have this drastic a effect, or even what explanation there is for it.

Besides eating and sleeping–I feel like I’ve lost weight. And I’m not even exercising that much, although my diet is considerably more lean than what I grew up with.

Can anyone out there give me a clue?


Congratulations. Your body is attempting to acclimatise to a higher altitude. Other symptoms may include apathy, breathlessness and exhaustion.

I’ve heard that it’s fun to watch tourists from lowland areas go jogging in places like Denver. After a mile or so they tend to collapse and, in extreme cases, die.

I’ve never experienced the phenomenon. The only places in Britain above 3000 feet are the tops of mountains.

Before you go jumping to conclusions that it’s the altitude, you may want to consider how long you’ve been feeling that way. If it’s been more than a couple of days, I’d go see a doc. 4,000 ft isn’t all that high, and your symptoms sound a little harsh to me (of course I’m saying this as one who’s never been very affected by it).

No medical qualifications, here, just experience of altitude and moving around…

I agree that it’s unlikely to be an altitude issue unless your body is ‘unusual’ cos you’re not exactly up in the clouds at 4,000.

For problems like sleeping and over eating, I’d be tempted to think it’s related to a new location, new people…all that temporary stressful insecurity stuff associated with moving away from a familiar, comfortable environment… I’m sure things will settle down.

Temp constipation is also sometimes a sign - without putting too finer a point on it, the first major dump at a new locale is a good sign.

[[I’ve heard that it’s fun to watch tourists from lowland areas go jogging in places like Denver. After a mile or so they tend to collapse and, in extreme cases, die.]]

Albuquerque, New Mexico is a mile high - just like Denver. Tourists feel a little breathless sometimes, but we have visiting runners in lots of distance running events here who don’t seem to have problems.

I live in Denver…For a while I used to live at 9,000 feet. While most people can go from sea level to altitude no problem, some experience varying degrees of altitude discomfort/sickness.

I have no medical explanation, but a couple of tips: DRINK LOTS OF WATER, and watch alcohol intake. I’d imagine that your body will adjust shortly. A friend of mine got really ill…nausea, vomiting, etc on visiting here from L.A. He went to a doc & got something…perhaps only anti-nausea meds…but he did feel better after a few days.

When I moved from Cleveland (300 ft.) to Bozeman (.9 miles), it took me about three weeks to really acclimate. In the meanwhile, the main difference I noticed was that hills seemed steeper than they really were when I was on my bike: My leg muscles were getting tired much faster. Lethargy is certainly possible as a symptom of high altitudes.

Have you ever gone to the mountains at about the same height before for a few days or a week or so? If so, perhaps you can compare the symptoms somewhat?

Also, enjoy Utah! Spent my last vacation there.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor have I had any medical training.

I lived in Park City, Utah, which is at 7,000 and worked all day on the mountain which is at 8,000 or 9,000. I never even heard people talk about altitude sickness. I’m sure if I were ever to say something about it they would tell me to shut up and get back to work. I partied almost every night and consumed massive amounts of alcohol, and all I ever ate was macaroni and cheese and Top Ramen.

Maybe you should switch to a macaroni & cheese and Top Ramen diet. :wink:

Hmmmm, having lived at 6,400 feet all my life (except the stint in Grand Junction – a little over 4,000 and Littleton Colorado – about the same as Denver of 5,280) I have never known anyone that needed that much acclimation (sp) to our altitudes. Usually it’s those that go from sea level to our mountain towns that suffer major effects of altitude adjustments. Breckenridge, CO is about 9,600 feet above sea level. There is a little town just south of there that is at about 11,000 feet.

Generally, as stated, drink more water, limit alcohol intake and eat foods that are higher in water too.

Oh and if you get a chance, once you have gotten used to the “altitude” take one beer and head up to the highest peak you can. Talk about a cheap date! We used to go up to the Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb and take about half the beer we’d drink down here…serious buzz!