How Diamox Deals With Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

How Diamox Deals With Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

Category Acute Mountain Sickness Hape And Hace Altitude And Health

By Arjun Majumdar


Sometimes an unnecessary debate is on between purists and non-purists about acclimatization on a high altitude trek.

Acute Mountain Sickness

high altitude sickness

along with headache

A headache at an altitude is not normal


Anyone can get AMS

90% of the blood’s carbon dioxide exists in a chemical called bicarbonate. This carbon dioxide after travelling through your blood is exhaled by your lungs. Diamox forces the kidneys to excrete bicarbonate from your body (when you urinate).

Your body doesn’t like that. It


the bicarbonate to exhale carbon dioxide through your lungs.

When Diamox forces you to excrete biocarbonates, your blood, which is used to a certain level of acidity, becomes more acidic. When the blood gets acidic it believes that it has more carbon dioxide in it. So the body gets rid of this excess carbon dioxide in a simple way. It starts to breathe deeper and faster, getting rid of the carbon dioxide, and also taking in more oxygen.

In effect, the increased oxygen speeds up the acclimatisation process. It also greatly reduces you of any symptoms of altitude sickness. Which is why Diamox works best when you start on it a day or two before you get to high altitudes. 

It does not cure anything

no circumstances should you climb higher if your symptoms still persists


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Arjun Majumdar

Founder, CEO, Indiahikes

About the author

An entrepreneur by profession and a trekker by passion, Arjun started Indiahikes in 2008 with a vision to explore and document new trekking trails. He wanted to solve problems in the mountains and implement sustainable ways of trekking. His biggest dream was and still is that Everyone Must Trek, because Trekking Transforms Lives. Today, Indiahikes takes over 20,000 trekkers in the Himalayas every year and has changed the face of trekking in India.

Arjun is deeply respected for his expertise on trekking trails and entrepreneurship. He has written extensively for Discover India magazine and is a TedX speaker. He frequently talks at institutions about his journey, but his favourite topic is always the impact of trekking on the human mind, body and spirit.

Watch his TEDx talks here -
TEDx Sayajigunj University on how Trekking Impacts The Mind, Body and Spirit
TEDx IIM Bangalore on 3 Unusual Lessons In Entrepreneurship
TEDx IIM Sambalpur on Why Children Must Trek