Lady Gaga Suffers Altitude Sickness After Denver Show

Seems that Lady Gaga forgot to read the “High Altitude Tips” the “Mile High City” of Denver posts on their website.

After what was surely a high energy performance at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Lady G had to be taken to the hospital, from where she Instagrammed the following message:

Altitude Sickness is no Joke! #hitThatHospitalShit #artRaveDenver many true ravers crowd tonight

You might notice that she’s got her oxygen mask on upside down- but maybe that’s just part of Gaga’s ARTPOP style.

Her next stop in the ARTPOP Ball tour, Seattle, is still on as planned.

What is Altitude Sickness?

Altitude sickness, sometimes called acute mountain sickness (AMS), is caused by reduced air pressure and lower oxygen levels at high altitudes. It can affect mountain climbers, hikers, skiers, or travelers at altitudes typically above 8,000 feet or 2,400 meters.

Altitude sickness affects nearly 25% of all visitors sleeping above 8,000 ft (2,500 m) in Colorado.


The faster you climb to a high altitude, the more likely you will get acute mountain sickness. You are also at higher risk for acute mountain sickness if you usually live at or near sea level and travel to a high altitude.

The human body can adapt to decreases in atmospheric oxygen, but it does take a little time. This is why mountain climbers take their journey to higher peaks in stages, with a few days of rest between ascents.

Symptoms are those of an alcohol hangover: headache is the cardinal symptom, sometimes accompanied by fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, and occasionally vomiting. Headache onset is usually 2–12 hours after arrival at a higher altitude and often during or after the first night. Pre-verbal children may develop loss of appetite, irritability, and pallor. AMS generally resolves with 24–72 hours of acclimatization.

Tips for acclimatization/ to prevent altitude sickness:

Tips for Aclimatization

Severe forms of altitude sickness include high altitude cerebral edema and high altitude pulmonary edema. You can read about these in our story about tennis icon Martina Navratilova.


Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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