In the Heights: Using IVs for Altitude Sickness

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In the Heights: Using IVs for Altitude Sickness

Tired athlete runner exhausted of cardio workout breathing hard

Arizona has a lot of majestic landscapes to explore. The Grand Canyon, of course, but also the hiking trails of Humphreys Peak, the breathtaking vistas from Agassiz Peak, the red cliffs of Sedona, and popular Camelback Mountain. But it’s hard to enjoy all the beauty of Arizona if you feel nauseous or short of breath. 

It can be uncomfortable dealing with altitude sickness in Phoenix, Tucson, and other well-known destinations in the state. If you find yourself grappling with this issue, you want relief that will get you back up on your feet. IV therapy is an ideal solution because it provides fast, effective relief of altitude sickness symptoms.

Mobile IV Nurses is a leading provider of IV treatment for altitude sickness throughout Arizona. For instance, even though Phoenix’s elevation is relatively low, traveling to any of the city’s surrounding mountain ranges may make you feel ill. We understand how easy it is to get sick while adjusting to changes in altitude and how destabilizing it can be. That’s why we provide relief with IV therapy.


The higher the elevation, the lower the available oxygen levels and air pressure. That makes you more likely to suffer from altitude sickness. Some factors that increase your risk:

  • Traveling too quickly from sea level to a high altitude
  • A history of altitude sickness during past travels
  • Not enough time spent getting used to the conditions at higher altitudes
  • Alcohol or substance use
  • Medical issues with your heart, lungs, or nervous system

You also may be more likely to get sick at higher altitudes depending on your age, weight, and blood pressure.

Altitude sickness is often referred to as acute mountain sickness, or AMS, which is the most common form of this illness. Unsurprisingly, AMS is a progressive problem that gets worse the higher up you go in elevation. In Sedona, Arizona, altitude sickness may not be an issue in the town itself. But go up nearby Wilson Mountain, and the change in elevation (from 4,350 feet to 7,122 feet) may leave you feeling queasy.

AMS intensifies for many people once they pass 10,000 feet in elevation. That means if you’re tackling the trail at Humphreys Peak, the highest point in Arizona at 12,633 feet, you have a greater risk of altitude sickness. You may also be more susceptible to two other, more serious forms of altitude sickness. High-altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) can cause dangerous fluid build-up in the lungs, while high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE) leads to brain swelling. 

AMS moves from mild to moderate to severe in intensity. The most advanced cases of these conditions require medical attention because they can be dangerous to your health. That’s why it’s important to address altitude sickness as soon as possible.


In Arizona, altitude sickness is a common concern. Even though the Phoenix, Arizona elevation isn’t as high as other areas, traveling to higher points can easily make you start to feel symptoms. Keep an eye out for the following indications that you might be sick:

Early, mild symptoms:

Moderate symptoms:

  • Uncoordinated, unstable movement
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing, especially during physical activity

Severe symptoms:

  • Brain fogginess
  • A cough that may produce blood
  • A tight feeling in the chest
  • A bluish tint to the skin
  • Loss of balance
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fluid in the lungs

These severe symptoms may require a doctor’s visit or a trip to the hospital emergency room. Don’t reach that point; address altitude sickness symptoms when they’re mild so you feel better. If you find yourself in locations such as Sedona, the Grand Canyon National Park, or Tucson, altitude sickness relief is close at hand with mobile IV treatment. 


If you feel woozy or have a headache coming on while going up Camelback Mountain, for instance, return to the lower Phoenix altitude as soon as possible. This will make it easier for your body to return to normal. 

Once you’re safely down, take time to rest. Limit your physical activity—that means avoiding exercise, but you may also want to avoid too much standing or walking. If you’re struggling to breathe, you may need supplemental oxygen until you can lower your respiratory rate. It may take up to 36 hours for symptoms to subside. If you see a doctor for your altitude sickness, you might get a prescription medication to relieve the physical effects of your illness. 

If it’s hard to shake those symptoms, and you’re worried they’ll get worse, try IV therapy. An IV for altitude sickness can bring much-needed relief. IV therapy helps alleviate symptoms related to altitude sickness, and it also offers a fast infusion of fluids, which can ease any dehydration caused by your illness. 

IV fluids are rich in vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes the body needs to function properly. The fluids get to work immediately because they are infused into the bloodstream. It may take longer to feel relief from typical oral medications used for altitude sickness because they have to travel through the digestive system before being absorbed into the blood. This is one reason why IV therapy is growing in popularity as a treatment used for several health conditions, including altitude sickness. 


Of course, taking the proper precautions against altitude sickness can help you avoid any problems so you can enjoy your day in the mountains and hills of Arizona. Here are some simple strategies to take before and during your adventures:

  • Don’t rush yourself: Be smart when planning your schedule. Build in a rest day when you first arrive at a location with high elevation so your body can acclimate to the thinner air. Then you’ll be better prepared for vigorous activity.
  • Watch what you drink: Plan to drink plenty of water at higher elevations because dehydration can go hand in hand with altitude sickness. Drink at least 11 to 13 cups of water each day and even more if you’re going to be exercising in hot weather. Conversely, avoid alcohol consumption as much as possible, but if you do imbibe, don’t drink too much. Alcohol has a diuretic effect that depletes the body’s fluid levels. This can lead to dehydration, which amplifies the symptoms of altitude sickness such as fatigue, headaches, and dizziness.
  • Snack smartly: High elevations and low oxygen levels can sap you of energy and drag you down. Fortify yourself with healthy carbs that are a powerful energy source. Pack portable snacks such as veggies, whole grains, and, of course, trail mix!
  • Listen to your body: Don’t try to power through the pain if you’ve got symptoms of altitude sickness. You may think you can just tough it out until you feel better, but AMS can get worse if you don’t stop it in its tracks. Got a headache? Take a water break. Losing your energy on the mountain? Find some shade and eat one of your snacks. And if the altitude sickness signs still persist, that’s your body telling you that it’s time to take care of yourself. Slowly make your descent and try to get to a location with a lower elevation if possible. Make sure you’ve got someone who can help you out if you start to have trouble walking or moving on your own.


Mobile IV Nurses is a trusted IV service provider in Arizona. We specialize in mobile IV therapy, which means we administer treatments in your home, hotel room, office, or other convenient location. Registered nurses and paramedics perform all treatments, adhering to the highest standards for safety and patient care.

When you schedule altitude sickness IV therapy with us, we’ll talk to you about your symptoms and health history so we can find the right treatment for you. In many cases, we recommend the Myers’ Cocktail. This popular IV drip counteracts the symptoms of altitude sickness by increasing energy and eliminating fatigue. This is achieved with a precise combination of vitamin B12B Complex vitaminsvitamin C, magnesium, zinc, and the antioxidant glutathione

Struggling with the queasiness that’s all too common at high altitude? You can add an anti-nausea medication such as Zofran to help you feel better. All of our drip IV bags are customizable so you get the vitamins, minerals, supplements, or medications that your body needs. 

Once you choose an IV treatment, the Mobile IV Nurses medical professional will gently insert a needle into your arm and attach it to a tube leading to the drip IV bag. You just need to relax and be comfortable during the infusion; we’ll monitor you carefully during treatment to ensure everything goes smoothly. When the IV session is over—typically after 30 to 45 minutes—the needle is removed, and a bandage is placed on your arm. Some people report feeling a noticeable difference in their symptoms right away. We recommend that you take it easy and regain your strength until you feel stronger. 


Do you feel low at high elevations? Contact Mobile IV Nurses for help. It’s easy to get symptom relief for altitude sickness in Phoenix, Flagstaff, Sedona, Tucson, or another location thanks to our multiple service areas throughout the state. We also offer various pricing packages that meet every need and budget. All of our drip IVs use high-quality, medical-grade ingredients and our years of expertise guarantee you’ll get trusted, reliable service, making us the leader for mobile IV therapy in Arizona. 

If you want the best possible treatment for altitude sickness, call on Mobile IV Nurses. Schedule an appointment with us today so you can get back to exploring and enjoying the great outdoors.

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