Headache after altitude change

Hi all,

Two weeks ago I was in Colorado and was able to get on the bike for two days. I’ll admit I probably was a little ambitious and went a little too hard without proper acclimatization. I had over 24 hours in Denver before riding, and the first ride was a little more than half of Golden Gate Canyon. I’m in pretty good shape but man, did the altitude have an effect on me. I didn’t get sick but the effort was extremely hard. The next day I rode from Denver into Golden and did Lookout Mountain. This was a Thursday/Friday.
The rest of the weekend was spent for a low key bachelor party with some buddies, that was overall pretty active with some hikes in Boulder and the surrounding areas.

I returned home (600 ft above sea level) early Monday morning. Tuesday I noticed a slight headache while reading emails at work. nothing painful but more annoying with some slight dizziness. Like I had stood up too quickly after sitting for a while. Mostly its just some pressure behind the eyes and difficulty to focus on a computer screen or phone for too long. When I ride or workout it doesn’t seem to bother me or have any effect on my intensity or output.

I got into the doctors office this morning and ended up seeing a CNP to no real avail. I had tried Ibuprofen and allergy medicine in the past week with no noticeable effects good or bad. She thinks its still likely left over from riding at altitude and gave me some info on altitude sickness and said to keep trying Ibuprofen for the next several days.

Its been two weeks now of this persistent feeling. Does this sound accurate to something like an altitude hangover? Has anyone else experienced this for any amount of time? Should I be more concerned than the CNP was?

Any input/feedback is appreciated,


POUND the water. I found that the best way to acclimate with the touch of altitude sickness.


Sounds odd for a few reasons: 1. Denver and the foothills are not that high (although still possible to get altitude symptoms) 2. Two weeks is a long time to have lasting symptoms. Maybe you also picked up a mild illness?

I’ve gotten pretty bad headaches at altitudes 14-20k feet, but they usually were gone within a day of descending to lower elevations.

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