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High altitude has long been known to have effects on humans High altitude is classified as being between 1500 meters to 3500 meters above sea level very high altitude is classified as being between 3500 meters to 5500 meters while extreme altitude is anything above 5500 meters Wilkerson 1 At sea level oxygen in the air is at approximately 21 and barometric pressure is 760mmHg when altitude increases to 5000 feet barometric pressure now becomes 483mmHg with 40 fewer oxygen molecules per breath Curtis 2 With this being the case oxygen density is going down while carbon dioxide levels are increasing both of these things combined forces the heart rates along with exhalation rates to increase in order to rid itself of increased amounts of carbon dioxide that are being inhaled When carbon dioxide levels are higher in the body it produces more sodium bicarbonate in the bladder the body must increase bladder activity to rid itself of these compounds Inc reased appetite is another effect high altitude has on a person your body must increase its appetite because it is working harder to get oxygen through out your body that it requires more energy intake in the form of food Eccles 2 The key to being healthy at high altitudes is giving your body time to adapt to lack of oxygen this process is acclimatization Wilkerson 2 As read earlier acclimatization is change in the body due to decrease in oxygen levels the first thing that happens to the body once one goes to altitude is heart rate and respiratory rate speeds up at rest to try and offset the lower partial pressure of oxygen but no matter how fast your breath normal levels of oxygen will never be gained Dietz 2 The body in response to lower oxygen levels increases depth of respiration and pressure in the pulmonary artery which forces blood into portions
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