Dizziness, tingling hands, headache, yawning

Options
Went on a beautiful hike yesterday. I drank plenty of water (a bottle and a half). I had eaten my usual breakfast (two slices toast and an egg). I also had a little snack of nuts before we began. It was very warm (for the PNW) -- around 82 degrees.

About halfway through my hike (steady uphill for 3.5 miles) I was seeing stars, my hands were tingling, lots of yawning and a brutal headache. Headache lasted until this morning.

I rested, drank water, drank more water, rested again. I ate a big sandwich at the top. I made it to the top just fine, but have never had these symptoms on a hike before.

What do you think? Dehydration? Despite all that water?
«1

Replies

  • Alisonswim46
    Alisonswim46 Posts: 208 Member
    Options
    Need Electrolytes? Next time when it's hot and you are hiking instead of just water use something like a NUUN in your water.
  • DX2JX2
    DX2JX2 Posts: 1,921 Member
    Options
    Did drinking more water make you feel better? If so, dehydration. If the sandwich made you feel better, then you've probably been running too lean on your calorie targets to support that kind of effort.
  • 7elizamae
    7elizamae Posts: 758 Member
    Options
    The tingling and dizziness lasted until I rested at the top. I felt fine after I ate and headed downhill -- other than the stupid headache (which I still have this morning).

    I never eat much on a hike, but have never felt quite that crummy. I walk about five miles every day, but not in heat, and not steadily uphill.

  • 7elizamae
    7elizamae Posts: 758 Member
    Options
    Joenali wrote: »
    Need Electrolytes? Next time when it's hot and you are hiking instead of just water use something like a NUUN in your water.

    Good idea. Thanks!
  • HeliumIsNoble
    HeliumIsNoble Posts: 1,213 Member
    Options
    There's more to staying safe in the heat than just drinking enough.

    That could have been an electrolyte imbalance (when you sweat, you lose water and salts, and drinking water only replaces the water). Or it could have been early stages of heat stroke, which is like the opposite of hypothermia, but seems far less well-known as a danger.
  • joeybrid
    joeybrid Posts: 65 Member
    Options
    You were probably hypoglycemic aka low blood sugar. Guessing you didn't have much carbs before bed the previous night? 2 pieces of toast isn't much
  • Gisel2015
    Gisel2015 Posts: 4,146 Member
    Options
    What about altitude; how high were you after a 3.5 miles hike? It could have been a combination of low electrolytes, a breakfast too light, and heat exhaustion; but the yawning could be do to not enough oxygen getting to the brain.
  • AgentFlex
    AgentFlex Posts: 211 Member
    Options
    Keep an eye on the symptoms if they start to happen more frequently. Could definitely be dehydration, lack of carbs, etc. That said, I had similar symptoms once and it led down a long road of medical tests as they got more frequent, then worse over time. Initially I thought it might be dehydration. I would never speculate that you have what I did, but if it persists, see a doctor.
  • 7elizamae
    7elizamae Posts: 758 Member
    Options

    Thanks for the links.
    I remember now I felt better after soaking my hands in one of the very cold glacier-fed streams we crossed. I guess it could have been the heat.

    I've never had this happen before. It was our first big hike of the year...and I'm pushing 50. It used to be much easier!
  • 7elizamae
    7elizamae Posts: 758 Member
    Options
    Gisel2015 wrote: »
    What about altitude; how high were you after a 3.5 miles hike? It could have been a combination of low electrolytes, a breakfast too light, and heat exhaustion; but the yawning could be do to not enough oxygen getting to the brain.

    We hiked to about 6000 feet. So, I suppose that may have contributed to the yawning (which was driving me nuts). I'll be more conscious of all this the next time.

    Don't know if this is exacerbated by aging...but I never felt this way when I was younger. Really, that motivates me to stay fit and at a healthy weight.
  • Gisel2015
    Gisel2015 Posts: 4,146 Member
    Options
    @7elizamae
    Reaching a high altitude in a short period of time doesn't allow the body (red cells increase in order to recruit and carry more oxygen molecules), to adapt to the condition, unless you already live or hike at high altitudes. On top of that, it seems that dehydration is also exacerbated by the altitude and the exertion of the hike.

    I live at sea level so when going to states like Colorado or Utah, I need to stay for few days in towns at 3000 or 4000 feet above sea level so I don't get totally crash by the high altitude. I also noticed that as I get older, things get worse :'(

    Beautiful picture and place. Well done!
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,499 Member
    Options
    Elevation might have been a problem. Combined with that an anemia is also a possibility. Yawning is a typical symptom of iron deficiency (ferritin is the right blood test) or vitamin b12 deficiency. Tingling: I would also guess electrolytes. Salt, sugar might be options. In my case it's usually low magnesium or calcium, especially if it's hot and I'm hiking. But everyone is different.
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,728 Member
    Options
    There's a lot of symptoms there. It may be more than one cause.

    Many people(myself included) get tingling and slightly swollen hands when running/walking in the heat.

  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,522 Member
    Options
    Yes, this has happened to me. I'm in mid 50s and I can say that us oldies are not to go on big hikes if we haven't been doing significant aerobic exercise leading up to it.

    It's a good thing to discuss with your doctor to rule out the bad stuff. They may send you for an exercise cardiogram.

    We also need adequate carbs (complex) beforehand and possibly (sugar) during. I've been carying Gu lately. It's easy to carry and definitely gives you a boost when you're hypoglycemic. And electrolytes. You can get electrolyte tabs for your water bottle.

    Better luck next time!

  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,485 Member
    Options
    Same thing happened to me at the Singapore Zoo.
    High heat, for me, and walking for about 3 hr after a good breakfast and sipping on water.
    Luckily I had one of those emergen-C packs in my bag ( vitC and electrolytes), emptied it into my water bottle, drank it down and I was fine within 5 min.

    I was sweating profusely because of the humidity and my hands were coming out in a red spotty heat rash.

    I carry the emergen-C because I have a low salt tolerance (can't stand the taste) and have found in warmer climates than the Canadian side of the PNW I can get slightly out of kilter with my electrolytes. I just drink one in the morning when I am in the Caribbean and have had no probs with strenuous activity. Just never thought of taking one for a stroll around a zoo.

    Cheers, h.
  • WendyLeigh1119
    WendyLeigh1119 Posts: 495 Member
    Options
    Sounds like you need more salt.
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
    Options
    were you [back]packing anything? i ask because some of those symptoms sound a lot like the kind of thing i sometimes experience if i'm poking my head too far out in front of me and stressing my cervical/thoracic spine. not to mention backpack straps causing the finger tingle depending on where you have them. if so coming downhill would probably have positioned you more naturally in a more alignment, so there's that too.

    on the other hand, it's much better to assume dehydration/elevation and address those things, than to be experiencing them and blow them off with an arcane chiropractic hypothesis. glad you recovered.
  • 7elizamae
    7elizamae Posts: 758 Member
    Options
    were you [back]packing anything? i ask because some of those symptoms sound a lot like the kind of thing i sometimes experience if i'm poking my head too far out in front of me and stressing my cervical/thoracic spine. not to mention backpack straps causing the finger tingle depending on where you have them. if so coming downhill would probably have positioned you more naturally in a more alignment, so there's that too.

    on the other hand, it's much better to assume dehydration/elevation and address those things, than to be experiencing them and blow them off with an arcane chiropractic hypothesis. glad you recovered.

    This was just a day hike -- so no 40 lb pack. And, for once, I wasn't carrying anything -- my husband had the pack. That is part of why I was so baffled by how I felt.

    Here's one more pic to prove it was worth it:

    1gfls6ukrfel.jpg

    We're heading out again next week, so I'll be having a bigger breakfast, packing something with electrolytes (I like the EmergenC idea), and going a bit slower. I've realized that I may have been going faster than usual trying to keep up with my teenage boys who were also on the hike.