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Gwen Stefani jokes with Seth Meyers about her touring fear

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Appearing on the chat show Late Night With Seth Meyers, Gwen Stefani, 52, shocked fans with her age-defying looks. In a YouTube clip of the interview, generic hard on no prescription one person said: “I’m a lifelong fan of Gwen’s and I didn’t recognise her. I’m so confused.” Another fan wrote: “Would never have known this was Gwen Stefani without the title!”

The No Doubt singer – who is a coach for The Voice US, 2022, alongside her husband, Blake Shelton – also hit headlines when she performed for the Tecate Emblema Festival in Mexico City.

At the time, in May 2022, the mum-of-three posted on Instagram Stories: “I just played Mexico City, and nobody told me that it’s 7,000 feet above sea level.”

The songstress revealed that she felt as though her “lungs almost burst” when performing.

Health risks with high altitude

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes: “Environments significantly above sea level expose travellers to cold, low humidity, increased ultraviolet radiation, and decreased air pressure, all of which can cause problems.”

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One of the most concerning health issues associated with high altitude is hypoxia.

“Hypoxia occurs when tissues and cells do not get enough oxygen to function correctly,” Medical News Today explains.

Common signs of hypoxia can include:

  • Shortness of breath, especially with exertion
  • Wheezing
  • Restlessness
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Unexplained exhaustion.

In severe cases, hypoxia can lead to “purple or bluish skin, a rapid heartbeat, a loss of consciousness, and coma”.

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The NHS adds: “At altitude the air pressure is lower and this means there is less oxygen available to your body when you breathe.”

Or, in Gwen’s case, when you sing, but oxygen is critical for our bodies to work properly.

“The process of your body adapting to the lower oxygen levels is called acclimatisation and it takes about three to five days.”

Playing her setlist at Mexico City on May 14, it would seem that Gwen didn’t have enough time to acclimate to the higher altitude.

READ MORE: Cholesterol: The fruit that when eaten once a day could decrease ‘bad’ cholesterol levels

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A post shared by Gwen Stefani (@gwenstefani)

“If your body does not get enough time to acclimatise to being at high altitude, you can develop altitude sickness,” the NHS says.

Altitude sickness can emerge at levels “above 2,500m”; the condition can “develop very quickly” and, in some cases, “can be life threatening”.

Mild cases can lead to headaches, loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, flu-like symptoms, dizziness, and poor sleep and irregular breathing.

People who suddenly move to a high altitude area are advised to:

  • Drink enough water to prevent dehydration
  • Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Eat a light, but high-calorie diet.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Gwen Stefani (@gwenstefani)

Painkillers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, can help to alleviate a painful headache.

Medication, such as acetazolamide (Diamox), can also be taken before a trip to help prevent altitude sickness.

People who have diabetes, heart conditions or lung conditions, should speak to their doctor before travelling to places of high altitude.

High altitude areas include La Paz in Bolivia, Cusco in Peru, Shimla in India, and Jungfrau in Switzerland.

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