Hypoxia and High Altitude

What is Hypoxia? What are the effects of High Altitude?

What is Hypoxia?

 Hypoxia is a condition in which tissues of a body do not receive enough oxygen. Hypoxia is caused by a decrease in the level of oxygen diffusion to tissues at high altitude. Symptoms of hypoxia include headache, nausea, insomnia, nosebleeds, shortness of breath, palpitations, weakness and impaired concentration. Hypoxia is a stimulus for the body to adapt to high altitude. During the adaptation process, various physiological changes occur in the body. These changes include an increase in respiratory rate and heart rate, an increase in the amount of hemoglobin and red blood cells in the blood, an increase in blood pressure and an acceleration of metabolism. Because of these changes, the body is able to carry and use more oxygen in high altitude than it usually needs at lower altitude. This process of adaptation to hypoxia is called acclimatization.

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 Hypoxia Effects. History of study 

It is known that for the first time in the world, research on high altitude (its effects and first applications) was carried out in the Soviet Union. However, after the Olympics held in Mexico City, the capital of Mexico, in 1968, the subject of training at high altitude was intensively researched and for the first time spread around the world. In this organization, which was located at an altitude of 2240 meters, the initial findings were obtained as a result of dozens of scientific studies. After the difficulties experienced by the athletes revealed the benefits of being in altitude conditions, its application in sports has become one of the important topics.

In recent decades, various physiological and biochemical studies have made it possible to investigate the transformations of numerous human body functions under the influence of natural and artificial hypoxia. At the same time, coaching practice has constantly sought to develop techniques for applying mountain conditions to improve athletic performance in competitions under normal conditions at sea level

Because training in the mountains is not always available due to geographical conditions and can be costly, there has been a need for systems that could simulate high altitude conditions. As a result, high altitude simulation systems came into play.

Although high-altitude systems are primarily developed for athletes, they are also used in wellness clubs and other areas. In addition to providing maximum fitness levels in a short time, its benefits have been proven in the treatment of many health problems, including accelerated weight loss, revalidation and acclimatization effects to prevent altitude sickness, and even serious diseases such as COPD.

Today, special high-altitude simulation rooms have become an application used even in the fields of health, sports, regeneration/recovery and military training of special forces soldiers to keep them ready for operations. The system works by fulfilling the high altitude conditions necessary for the production of erythropoietin, which has a natural doping effect for users or athletes.

how is eritopoietin produced

How High Altitude Affects the Body

When you physically ascend to a certain altitude, the amount of oxygen penetrating the lungs decreases due to the effect of decreasing partial pressure. The body starts to increase the hemoglobin level by producing EPO – Erythropoietin for self-protection. After staying in this environment for a certain period of time, the body acclimatizes to the altitude level (adapts to the environment) and increases the hemoglobin level in the blood to a sufficient level so that the blood can carry the amount of oxygen needed by the tissues. After this stage, when the body returns to sea levels or lower altitudes, where oxygen levels are higher, much more oxygen is transported to the tissues because of the high hemoglobin level in the blood. Due to the increased amount of oxygen transported to all body tissues it is possible to notice the following benefits: 

When returning to normal altitude after the session:

  • you get a natural doping effect,
  • there is an increase in energy level and metabolic rate,
  • the convalescence period is shortened, and the recovery times after injury are accelerated,
  • an increase is observed in mental skills, perception and focusing skills,

At the same time, high altitude systems are a unique treatment for many chronic health problems. It makes it possible to maintain and improve the fitness level during periods of disability. Oxygen perfusion contributes to measurable levels in the recovery speed of damaged muscle and connective tissue in injuries.

Being in a hypoxic environment will potentially help you go faster and further, get tired later, react faster, think sharper, feel stronger and be more focused.

High Altitude Systems

High Altitude and Sport

High Altitude and Health

High Altitude Application Areas