High altitude and APS

Hey all. Just wanted some opinions/thoughts. I'm possibly taking a 6 hour road trip to Denver Colorado soon and I'm just wondering if I should be concerned with the high altitude and its affect on my blood. I'm already a little nervous about altitude sickness, but I'm not sure if there's an increased risk of a clotting event. I have never had a clotting event, currently taking 81mg aspirin. Any thoughts? Thanks, Jess

14 Replies

  • I live in Denver and was recently re-diagnosed with APS. Long story but 4 hematologists haven't agreed. But my stroke specialist and my current hematologist think I do, so we are going with it. I'm on Plavix/baby aspirin and have been neurologically symptomatic since moving here in Nov. 2014. No more strokes, but definitely episodes that have mimicked strokes and new deficits that haven't gone away. I was symptomatic before moving here though, so I won't blame the altitude. I just don't think I'm on the proper anticoagulant yet, and haven't started Plaquenil yet. I can say I've been more symptomatic since moving here though.


  • Hi, I urge you to speak with your main doctor about this, I will also add that whether I am flying or on a long car journey, I still wear surgical stockings and also do the relevant leg exercises, as at times we travel very long distances....

    I enclose this for you, but still the best advice will be off your consultant/GP altitudemedicine.org/altitu...


  • Thanks for the comments. Think I'll call my new GP just to have piece of mind. My boyfriend wants to take me to Red Rocks ( he lived in Denver for a while ) and I'd hate to miss out on some awesome opportunities.

  • I agree totally with Mary.

    Compression stockings do wonders while flying or driving long distances and have the added bonus of keeping you warmer at high altitudes!

  • This is from Google:

    Denver is nicknamed the Mile-High City because its official elevation is exactly one mile (5,280 ft or 1,610 m) above sea level, making it one of the highest major cities in the United States. This height is very different to flying!

    How is your general health?

    Please do check with your doctor and be prepared for the height.

  • I live in Boulder and have APS, while my neurologist thinks altitude isn't a serious issue, I do get serious headaches from the altitude changes when going over mountain passes and staying in the mountains...just fyi...do ask your doc

  • I have been to Colorado with APS and did fine. I am on a blood clotting med though (Xarelto) I did take an extra day to acclimate at a lower level but that was at the Denver level. I went to Breck which is 12,000 feet.

  • I live south of Colorado Springs and have APS. I have not noticed any problems for myself. My son, who was born and raised here and lives here now, got High Altitude Pulmonary Edema while camping in the mountains last year...at about 13,000 feet altitude. We live at a slightly higher altitude than Denver. If you are not going up into the mountains (I don't think Red Rocks is in the mountains, relatively speaking) I think you will be fine. But it is always best to check with your doctor! Hope you enjoy your trip!

  • Can taking a few more baby aspirin hurt? ask your MD......this is what I do when I fly

  • Hi, I have had several tia's with altitude flying and driving. I usually take aspirin daily but with travel I take zaralto for 3 to 4 days and have had no other events with travel. Perhaps talk to your doctor about a prescription blood thinner for travel. It also reduced the migraine headaches I get with altitude as well.

    Hang in there!


  • Xarelto

  • Hi,

    I just went to Breckenridge, Co in December (10,000 ft) and was a little worried also but I didn't have any problems. I was mostly worried because my platelets are always low and I wasn't sure if that would be a problem. I checked with my doctor and she told me not to worry. I made sure my INR was around 3. I had not been skiing since I was diagnosed with APS ten years ago but decided to wear a helmet, be extra careful, and go for it. I'm glad I did. It was so much fun. We have to be careful with our disease but can't allow it to take away all out fun. :)

    Hope this helps

  • I went to Imlil in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco, which is roughly the same elevation as Denver, and I had no problems.

    We then hiked up Jabal Toubkal (the second highest mountain in Africa at 4000m). Once I went over 2,200m, which is the recognised elevation that altitude sickness kicks in, I got it really bad. My whole body swelled up, like I'd been blown up like a balloon, which then constricted my veins. My head was pounding. It was unpleasant. I couldn't go further than 2,300m.

    However, I decided to the exactly the same trip two years later, after much weight loss, and much running and exercise. In a state of heightened fitness, I had zero problems, enjoyed every moment, and even ran down the mountain trails.

    Perhaps, weight and physical fitness has something to do with it.

  • My Colorado trip is winding down and it was wonderful! The only thing I felt,is some slight breathlessness (like I worked out) when we walked around Garden of the Gods but as soon as I stopped to rest, I was fine. What I did notice is due to the dry air my nostrils burned a lot at first but that quickly went away. So glad I made the trip. Colorado is a beautiful place!!

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