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#38084 - 06/28/14 10:35 AM Other recent SAR help neurologically impaired hikers
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 1025
Loc: Richmond, Virginia

Lots of focus on the recent death on Whitney. There were two other serious events. These two had neurological problems; one had seizures (likely a pre-existing condition), the other had AMS with disorientation (qualifies as HACE),

SARs on Whitney

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#38185 - 07/01/14 03:50 PM Re: SAR help neurologically impaired hikers, Aspartame? [Re: Harvey Lankford]
Darp Offline


Registered: 07/01/14
Posts: 21
Loc: Reno
Maybe I can be of assistance on this. After getting $30,000 of medical bills as a result (insurance covered 26,000)

I climbed Mt. Dana about 4 years ago. At the 12,000' level I became somewhat dizzy and more important was right on the edge of passing out. My vision darkened on outside. There was no good place to lie down, but I wanted to try that. As soon started lowering down knew for sure would pass out, so stopped.

Tried like 4 times. What worked best was, to keep going head down and forward. This lasted maybe 30-40 minutes. I did summit and felt better up there and made it down no problem. Another symptom was my right arm was not getting enough blood, it was half asleep.

Year later climbed Ruby mountains at 10,000' and same thing with arm, but the passing out part, was not as bad.

Then 6 months later was skiing at 8,000 and was afraid was going to pass out and fall off chair. Told ski buddies that and lowered the bar. After at top and resting a while was talking to one of them at peak and "whited out" Everything turned white, trees everything except dark jacket on who was talking with. Figured it out, my eyes were dilating against my will and was on edge of passing out.

Went to a doctor and he sent me to ER, they thought it was stroke or heart attack, 3 days later had $30k bill and they could find nothing wrong with me after zillion tests. BTW if you every watch your heart beat on sonar thing for 30 minutes it is so darn complicated its a wonder hearts last a week.

I told them it was not a stroke it was lack of blood getting to arm. Figured that out 2 hours after got out, had ski shoulder injury that crushed my rotator cuff tendon, artery runs same place. So at high altitude at extreme exertion the artery gets bigger and pinched by collar bone, which was moved by injury, one issue down.

The near passing out? Figured it out, common denominator is Aspartame. I avoid it but use cough drops at high alt for wet throat. Airline pilots are not allowed to drink aspartame sweetened drinks, their have been seizures at altitude. Aspartame passes the blood brain barrier.

I stopped all Aspartame and this problem has never happened again. After reading your post, thought this could be of value to you and others. Will post it separately with Aspartame in title.

Regards, Darp

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#38186 - 07/01/14 04:09 PM Re: SAR help neurologically impaired hikers, Aspartame? [Re: Darp]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7931
Loc: Fresno, CA
Wow!

> Will post it separately with Aspartame in title.

Please do. And... thanks

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#38187 - 07/01/14 04:11 PM Re: Other recent SAR help neurologically impaired hikers [Re: Harvey Lankford]
+ @ti2d Offline


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 836
Loc: Sheridan, OR
Stevia...natural...better for you.
_________________________
Journey well...

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#38189 - 07/01/14 05:30 PM Re: SAR help neurologically impaired hikers, Aspartame? [Re: Darp]
GandC Offline


Registered: 03/21/11
Posts: 252
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: Darp
Airline pilots are not allowed to drink aspartame sweetened drinks...


Do you have a source for this? I was a corporate pilot for years, and have a father and plenty of friends that currently fly for airlines, both majors and regionals, and plenty of them drink Diet Coke and other aspartame laced beverages.

Last I had heard, the FAA had no official stance on aspartame other than "it's probably not good for you."
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One day I'd like to hike the entire John Muir Trail and not leave a single footprint. -Randy Morgenson

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#38190 - 07/01/14 05:54 PM Re: SAR help neurologically impaired hikers, Aspartame? [Re: GandC]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7931
Loc: Fresno, CA
> Do you have a source for this?

Very interesting. Just for kicks, I Googled "pilots are not allowed to drink aspartame", and it came back with "About 307,000 results" shocked

But that doesn't make it true... Years ago, I was interested in microwave use to heat milk for a baby. Google came back with similar numbers where websites claimed it would harm the milk. But the baby doctor said it was ok, so I did, and baby grew up. grin

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#38191 - 07/01/14 06:05 PM Re: SAR help neurologically impaired hikers, Aspartame? [Re: Steve C]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1255
Loc: Atlanta
If you Wiki "aspartame controversy", you'll get a good general overview without the sensationalism. Apparently there have been a few intentionally malicious and fraudulent "clinical test reports" on aspartame in the past that seem to have muddied the internet waters. What a surprise.

Maybe Ken and Harvey can weigh in.

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#38193 - 07/01/14 06:55 PM Re: SAR help neurologically impaired hikers, Aspartame? [Re: Bulldog34]
Harvey Lankford Offline


Registered: 11/10/09
Posts: 1025
Loc: Richmond, Virginia
Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
If you Wiki "aspartame controversy", you'll get a good general overview without the sensationalism. Apparently there have been a few intentionally malicious and fraudulent "clinical test reports" on aspartame in the past that seem to have muddied the internet waters. What a surprise.

Maybe Ken and Harvey can weigh in.

This thread started with a legitimate medical report and has now deteriorated into unrelated anecdotes and hearsay. As Bulldog quips, "what a surprise." I have nothing else to say.
Should be locked.

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#38197 - 07/01/14 10:11 PM Re: SAR help neurologically impaired hikers, Aspartame? [Re: Harvey Lankford]
saltydog Offline


Registered: 02/03/11
Posts: 1566
Loc: Valley Ford CA!!!!
I'm with Harvey. Move it to Twilightzone.com.
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Wherever you go, there you are.
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#38198 - 07/01/14 10:25 PM Re: SAR help neurologically impaired hikers, Aspartame? [Re: saltydog]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7931
Loc: Fresno, CA
Actually, people, it isn't that unusual for a single person to be sensitive to some particular chemical. Darp may be, and 999 others aren't.

I my case, I experienced some really unpleasant symptoms after hiking or skiing (at altitude of course), and finally related it to taking Excedrin. I had the problem three times: Hiking or skiing, near the end of the day, took the Excedrin (it has aspirin, caffeine and tylenol). Soon after, I was nauseated, and spent hours feeling awful. I never barfed, but was on the verge for much of the time. After I figured out the relationship, I've stopped taking it, and have never had the experience again.

I know a kid who becomes violently ill if he comes into contact with any milk products. So bad his mom packs an Epi-Pen.


Getting back to Harvey's original post, and from the SAR report:
"the subject's history of exercise-induced seizures."
Sheesh, I've never heard of such occurrences! But few things amaze me anymore. I'll bet that guy doesn't do any epic hikes again.

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#38200 - 07/01/14 10:59 PM Re: SAR help neurologically impaired hikers, Aspartame? [Re: Bulldog34]
Ken Offline


Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 742
Loc: Los Angeles
sounds like atypical migraine (hemiplegic type) to me.
There does not need to be a headache.
Barometric changes, such as climbing, are a well-known trigger.


http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/basics/symptoms/con-20026358

does not sound like AMS, as the arm symptom is not typical, and you got better when you got to the top. With AMS, would have expected you to get progressively worse. For you to have frank neurologic symptoms, with AMS it would be Cerebral Edema, which should have had a very different course.

However, going up with the onset of this is insanity.

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#38201 - 07/01/14 11:00 PM Re: SAR help neurologically impaired hikers, Aspartame? [Re: Steve C]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Steve C


I know a kid who becomes violently ill if he comes into contact with any milk products. So bad his mom packs an Epi-Pen.


Yeah -- so do I (really) and my sister is allergic to bee stings...etc. Coming from a science background, I get uncomfortable when anecdotes are used as "answers" to likely unrelated medical cases.

Just the facts, ma'am.
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

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#38204 - 07/02/14 02:31 AM Re: SAR help neurologically impaired hikers, Aspartame? [Re: Bee]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2249
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
So Bee, have you ever stung your sister?
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Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

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#38205 - 07/02/14 02:39 AM Re: SAR help neurologically impaired hikers, Aspartame? [Re: Ken]
wagga Offline


Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 2249
Loc: Humbug Reach (Pop. 3)
Originally Posted By: Ken
sounds like atypical migraine (hemiplegic type) to me.
There does not need to be a headache.
Barometric changes, such as climbing, are a well-known trigger.


I occasionally get a "silent" migraine, with amazing auras and tunnel vision - my doctor gave me the term for that which I have since forgotten. There is no pain.

It's associated (for me, anyway) with stress plus caffeine.
_________________________
Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII

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#38208 - 07/02/14 06:26 AM Re: SAR help neurologically impaired hikers, Aspartame? [Re: wagga]
brholler Offline


Registered: 04/09/14
Posts: 55
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: wagga


I occasionally get a "silent" migraine, with amazing auras and tunnel vision - my doctor gave me the term for that which I have since forgotten. There is no pain.


"Optical Aura" I get them too. They are weird and unnerving and I always expect any second for some piercing migraine to start. It never has, but my body seems to know that they usually go together and triggers gut clenching Pavlovian anticipation which leaves a lingering adrenaline overload long after the sparkling colors are gone.

I only get them a couple of times a year, so it's hard to tie them to any trigger, but I had always thought they seemed to accompany major blood loss (I donate blood regularly) when coupled with some other ingredient like stress or virus.

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#38214 - 07/02/14 09:03 AM Re: SAR help neurologically impaired hikers, Aspartame? [Re: Steve C]
63ChevyII.com Offline


Registered: 08/07/12
Posts: 671
Loc: Colton, California
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Excedrin... After I figured out the relationship, I've stopped taking it, and have never had the experience again.


Oddly enough, I used excedrin and diamox on my last Whitney hike and had no AMS symptoms for the first time ever.
_________________________
HikingGeek.com

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#38266 - 07/04/14 08:16 AM Re: SAR help neurologically impaired hikers, Aspartame? [Re: GandC]
Darp Offline


Registered: 07/01/14
Posts: 21
Loc: Reno
Airline pilots are not allowed to drink aspartame sweetened drinks...


Do you have a source for this? I was a corporate pilot for years, and have a father and plenty of friends that currently fly for airlines, both majors and regionals, and plenty of them drink Diet Coke and other aspartame laced beverages.

Last I had heard, the FAA had no official stance on aspartame other than "it's probably not good for you."



G&C, Found two, the 2nd is on FDA site:

I found the below at: http://www.mercola.com/article/aspartame/fraud.htm

Aspartame Affecting Airline Pilots


Some of the more interesting developments in 1989 surfaced in the Palm Beach Post on October 14th, where an article by Dr. H.J. Robert described several recent aircraft accidents involving confusion and aberrant pilot behavior caused by ingestion of products containing aspartame.[13] Soft drink makers were notified of this problem in 1991.


Now for the FDA one: http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dailys/03/jan03/012203/02p-0317_emc-000199.txt

There are other clinical reports in the scientific literature of
aspartame-caused toxicity reactions including Blumenthal (1997),
Drake (1986), Johns (1986), Lipton (1989), McCauliffe (1991),
Novick (1985), Watts (1991), Walton (1986, 1988), and Wurtman
(1985).

Many pilots appear to be particularly susceptible to the effects of
aspartame ingestion. They have reported numerous serious toxicity
effects including grand mal seizures in the cockpit (Stoddard 1995).



Edited by Darp (07/04/14 09:39 AM)

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#38267 - 07/04/14 08:19 AM Re: Other recent SAR help neurologically impaired hikers [Re: + @ti2d]
Darp Offline


Registered: 07/01/14
Posts: 21
Loc: Reno
Originally Posted By: + @ti2d
Stevia...natural...better for you.


I do use Stevia, great stuff. No one makes a Stevia cough drop am aware of. I use CVS sugarfree, they use isomalt not aspartame. isomalt is a sugar alcohol, mildly laxative, much safer.

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#38268 - 07/04/14 08:27 AM Re: SAR help neurologically impaired hikers, Aspartame? [Re: Harvey Lankford]
Darp Offline


Registered: 07/01/14
Posts: 21
Loc: Reno
Originally Posted By: Harvey Lankford
Originally Posted By: Bulldog34
If you Wiki "aspartame controversy", you'll get a good general overview without the sensationalism. Apparently there have been a few intentionally malicious and fraudulent "clinical test reports" on aspartame in the past that seem to have muddied the internet waters. What a surprise.

Maybe Ken and Harvey can weigh in.

This thread started with a legitimate medical report and has now deteriorated into unrelated anecdotes and hearsay. As Bulldog quips, "what a surprise." I have nothing else to say.
Should be locked.


Hi Harvey,

I was able to find two reports easily about it, one on FDA site.

There are other clinical reports in the scientific literature of
aspartame-caused toxicity reactions including Blumenthal (1997),
Drake (1986), Johns (1986), Lipton (1989), McCauliffe (1991),
Novick (1985), Watts (1991), Walton (1986, 1988), and Wurtman
(1985).

Many pilots appear to be particularly susceptible to the effects of
aspartame ingestion. They have reported numerous serious toxicity
effects including grand mal seizures in the cockpit (Stoddard 1995).

http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dailys/03/jan03/012203/02p-0317_emc-000199.txt


"Grand mal seizures" It would be interesting and maybe valuable to check in with those rescued for seizures on Whitney to see if they had taken Aspartame.

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#38269 - 07/04/14 08:52 AM Re: SAR help neurologically impaired hikers, Aspartame? [Re: Steve C]
Darp Offline


Registered: 07/01/14
Posts: 21
Loc: Reno
Originally Posted By: Steve C
Actually, people, it isn't that unusual for a single person to be sensitive to some particular chemical. Darp may be, and 999 others aren't.

I my case, I experienced some really unpleasant symptoms after hiking or skiing (at altitude of course), and finally related it to taking Excedrin. I had the problem three times: Hiking or skiing, near the end of the day, took the Excedrin (it has aspirin, caffeine and tylenol). Soon after, I was nauseated, and spent hours feeling awful. I never barfed, but was on the verge for much of the time. After I figured out the relationship, I've stopped taking it, and have never had the experience again.

I know a kid who becomes violently ill if he comes into contact with any milk products. So bad his mom packs an Epi-Pen.


Getting back to Harvey's original post, and from the SAR report:
"the subject's history of exercise-induced seizures."
Sheesh, I've never heard of such occurrences! But few things amaze me anymore. I'll bet that guy doesn't do any epic hikes again.




Hi Steve, After I found out about Tylenol ( acetaminophen) I have never taken it again. I use ibuprofen, much safer, but should be taken with food to prevent intestinal bleeding and all NASIDs are hard on liver.

Tylenol/acetaminophen is the #1 cause for ER admissions. It is so dangerous in combination with alcohol that over 400 people die each year from it, that we know of. And recently some members of FDA panel voted to totally ban acetaminophen, yet keep using things like Morphine, because Morphine is safer. The problem is the minimal dose for effectiveness is very near the fatal dose, much more so than things like Morphine and ibuprofen. Accidental double dose and have two glasses of wine and you can die.

In this NYT article, the majority voted to ban combining acetaminophen with some other drugs http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/01/health/01fda.html?_r=0

The two drugs combine a narcotic with acetaminophen, the ingredient found in popular over-the-counter products like Tylenol and Excedrin. High doses of acetaminophen are a leading cause of liver damage,

Here is another report on USA Today: A Food and Drug Administration panel on Tuesday voted 20-17 that prescription drugs that combine acetaminophen with other painkilling ingredients should be pulled off the market.

The FDA has assembled a group of experts to vote on ways to reduce liver damage associated with acetaminophen, one of the most widely used drugs in the U.S.


And here is NIH report that it kills 458 people a year, that does not count liver failures that transplants save the person.

Acetaminophen overdose is the leading cause for calls to Poison Control Centers ... and an estimated 458 deaths due to acute liver failure each year.

Acetaminophen overdose is the leading cause for calls to Poison Control Centers (>100,000/year) and accounts for more than 56,000 emergency room visits, 2,600 hospitalizations, and an estimated 458 deaths due to acute liver failure each year. Data from the U.S. Acute Liver Failure Study Group registry of more than 700 patients with acute liver failure across the United States implicates acetaminophen poisoning in nearly 50% of all acute liver failure in this country

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15239078



And in regard to: "I'll bet that guy doesn't do any epic hikes again." Am planing on Mount Langley in July.

Two years ago did Whitney, as one dayer, but got a bad heel blister at about 12,500 and turned around, which worked, got out without much pain. Cheers



Edited by Darp (07/04/14 10:21 AM)

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