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My (failed) attempt at a SHR section.
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Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Eat more carbs on 09/11/2013 18:29:20 MDT Print View

Problem solved. The high route is not the place to skimp on food.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"My (failed) attempt at a SHR section." on 09/11/2013 19:08:59 MDT Print View

"Problem solved"...umm, I'd still suggest going in for that cardio work up. Not painful--no pain at all!--not expensive. Certainly good for peace of mind and crossing things off the list of possible causes.

I'm no doctor, but your lack of certain symptoms of altitude sickness gives pause. And you mentioned a racing heart. At least run the description of your symptoms that you gave in your second, more elaborate post, past a doctor or cardiologist. What's to lose?
We're just a bunch of people on the internet.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: "My (failed) attempt at a SHR section." on 09/11/2013 19:52:15 MDT Print View

Thanks Jeffrey, I couldn't agree with that advice more. There are plenty of cardiological issues that can crop up when the body is under duress (long hikes, altitude, insufficient caloric intake, heat, etc) that you won't find at any other times. It has the potential to be life threatening (the single most common initial symptom of cardiac problems is sudden death. Seriously.), so just rule that out before you head back out there. By far the most likely scenario is dehydration and insufficient caloric intake, but goodness gracious you don't want to miss something important.

Be persistent. See a cardiologist.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: "My (failed) attempt at a SHR section." on 09/11/2013 20:00:29 MDT Print View

""Problem solved"...umm, I'd still suggest going in for that cardio work up. Not painful--no pain at all!--not expensive. Certainly good for peace of mind and crossing things off the list of possible causes.

I'm no doctor, but your lack of certain symptoms of altitude sickness gives pause. And you mentioned a racing heart. At least run the description of your symptoms that you gave in your second, more elaborate post, past a doctor or cardiologist. What's to lose?
We're just a bunch of people on the internet."

Whether or not he needs to go to a doctor...... 2500 calories, when it is a mix of carbs, protein and fats is wholly insufficient for a trip like the high route especially if one is not trained to optimize fat as fuel . Another approach to going to a doctor.... Take a similiar hike and eat more carbs, especially carbs. It will answer the question.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: "My (failed) attempt at a SHR section." on 09/11/2013 20:35:11 MDT Print View

I originally planned this trip to be at relaxed place averaging about 10 miles per day. Once we hit the high country we planned to stop at a lake every night and eat plenty of fish to fill that gap. I still think that's a reasonable plan if you aren't hiking all day. Our re-route to loop back didn't take us by many lakes so I went a little hungry at times.
The problem is fitting all of that food into a bear canister while taking the route at a slower place. When I try the route again I'm going to carry a canister to avoid a ticket but not constrain my food to the canister.


A couple years ago I planned a 5 day trip out of Mineral King. It took me most of the day to hike the few miles up to Monarch Lake. It was miserable. The week before I did a 20 mile day hike at sea level so it's not like I was out of shape.
When I started up sawtooth pass it really hit me. I kept pushing (not a good idea) until I started to faint while scrambling over rocks. I slipped and nearly hurt myself. I sat there and for a moment I didn't know where I was and why I was there. After that I immediately bailed back to my car. It took me 2 years to attempt another 10k+ trip.

I'm going to see a cardiologist.

Edited by justin_baker on 09/11/2013 20:40:59 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: "My (failed) attempt at a SHR section." on 09/12/2013 11:23:48 MDT Print View

Justin, hopefully you can figure this out as you are (and will) be missing some fantastic places to hike. I can't help but to think dehydration and lack of calories with a little altitude sickness might be the cause of this. Just my 2 cents.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
My (failed) attempt at a SHR section. on 09/12/2013 16:27:29 MDT Print View

Hope you are able to get to the bottom of this. It is my understanding that dehydration can lead to electrolyte imbalance and can cause a fast / irregular heart beat.

Did you have a good sun hat? In some of the pics it looks like you are using a make shift hat made from clothes.

Disclaimer: I am not a Dr and I don't play one on TV.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"My (failed) attempt at a SHR section." on 09/12/2013 16:47:19 MDT Print View

nm

Edited by book on 09/12/2013 16:49:26 MDT.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Re:"My (failed) attempt at a SHR section." on 09/13/2013 14:58:36 MDT Print View

"I'm going to see a cardiologist."

Good choice. My friend has Afib (Atrial Fibrillation) and he has those exact symptoms when it occurs. It's not predictable. Some trips he has no problems. Others he will be fine for a few days and then it kicks in. I'm not trying to diagnose your situation, just presenting something that confirms some previous recommendations and your choice. My understanding is that Afib is not common in younger people but it does happen. I hope you can find out what it is and get it taken care of. Good luck.

Bogs and Bergs
(Islandized) - F

Locale: Newfoundland
Re:"My (failed) attempt at a SHR section." on 09/13/2013 15:24:31 MDT Print View

Also, get your B12 levels checked. People with pernicious anemia don't absorb B12 properly, no matter what they eat. Low levels can cause all kinds of trouble for the nerves and muscles - tingling or numb extremities, flutters in the heart (or bladder, or gut, any part of the autonomic nervous system) - but the first sign of trouble is usually inexplicable exhaustion and the feeling of having no energy reserves at all. It's an easy, cheap thing to fix, as long as you don't mind needles. :)

steven franchuk
(Surf) - M
Re: Re: Re: My (failed) attempt at a SHR section. on 09/13/2013 22:52:25 MDT Print View

"But I would also strongly encourage you to get a cardiology work up. No, they don't need to bring you to altitude, but an EKG, echocardiogram, holter monitoring, stress test, etc can bring out activity-related issues. There are some very serious congenital cardiac conditions that don't show up until the heart is under stress (which would be exacerbated at altitude) and you would be smart to make sure this isn't the case."

Justin I know how you feal, because I have been there. In scouts I would frequently get sick on the first day of a hike but then rapidly get better and would be fine for the remainder of the hike. Since this was in the cascade mountains in Washington state altitudes were generally lower.

After collage I started day hiking in Yosemite and then backpacking. At lower elevations I would get sick but then quickly get over it. However once I started increasing the altitude it got worse. Sometime I was fine but other times it was bad on one trip when I was above 8,000feet I was constantly nauseous and it didn't clear until I dropped below 8,000 3 days later It was a very difficult hike. I talked to my doctor a few times about it and had some tests but nothing was found. I tried diamox but it just made things worse. I also tried supplements, more exercise and diet changes out nothing seemed to work. Sometimes I was fine. Othertimes I had to abort trips.

In the end I stopped talking to my doctors about (a big mistake) it and just stopped trying hiking at altitude.

4 years ago I was rushed to the hospital with a stroke. It didn't last long and left no long term problems. It was quickly followed by subsequent smaller ones. The doctors stopped the strokes with blood thinners and then started looking for the cause. 3 days and several tests later. I was diagnosed with a Atrial Septa l defect. A common birth defect. About 5% of the population has it but Most don't show any symptoms (or at least ones doctors would quickly recognize). I did either unless I stressed my body significantly. which means I had no symptoms at the doctors office, only on the trail.

Basically as long as my pulse was not reasonably low I was ok but as it increased my heart became increasingly ineffective at delivery oxygen to my body. Altitude just made it worse. My stomach would often not work well if at all and I was frequently light headed at altitude. Increasing food consumption and only made things worse and when you are not feeling well water consumption goes way up. Long Rests also didn't help me adapt.

After the defect was correct (the operation only lasted an hour and left no scar). I initially had a great deal of strength after the surgury and altitude no longer had any significant effect on me (at least for a while, it didn't last). I am now getting back into hiking and am really enjoying it.

See a cardiologist and your regular doctor and continuously work with them to figure out the problem.

Desert Dweller
(Drusilla)

Locale: Wild Wild West
SHR on 09/13/2013 23:14:18 MDT Print View

And have a thorough blood work up. Talk to older family members if you can about possible family history with illness. I didn't find out my family had kidney problems till I did! Very scary, but some families keep rather closed mouth about possible congenital things.

One thing that helps me drink more is the bladder bag and tube arrangement. I hate having to deal with it but it helps me drink more, and I live where it's over a hundred degrees a lot. Often I find myself emptying the bag quicker than I thought I would.
You are strong, young and very lucky.