Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

A question about coasters and health


Recommended Posts

Hey all you TPR members out there! Now I don't know if there are any doctors or medical people out there in the forums but I figure this is the best place for me to get some answers. My girlfriend and I love theme parks and roller coasters. Neither of us have a medical problem or anything that might prevent us from riding. However, for some reason, my girlfriend can't handle inverted coasters. The last time we went on an inverted coaster (Batman at SFMM) she got dizzy and couldn't stay standing so she got transported to first aid. After getting checked out, the doctor or nurse or whatever his medical degree was, said that the reason might have been dehydration or lack of food. We have been on Top Gun at Great America (formerly Paramounts) and had no problems.

 

So my question is. .

Is this brought on by lack of food/water, is this more of a intensity thing, or could this be brought on by some kind of medical condition we don't know about?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 17
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

When in doubt go to an actual doctor!

 

With my experience as a ride-op (and knowing a few First Aid people) I'm sure about 85% (if not more) of the "problems" people have had on rides (getting sick, fainting, etc) are due to lack of food and water combined with the forces on a coaster and hot weather.

 

It could also just be how her body handles the forces on that particular ride. Same reason some people brown out on Goliath. but like I said, get her to her physician and have herself check out.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As ^ said, go to an actual doctor if you think there is a problem, that way they can do tests etc if necessary.

 

On another note Batman at SFMM is a pretty forceful coaster IMO, I don't know about Top Gun as I haven't been on it, maybe thats got something to do with it. I have never had any problems with coasters, but after a long day at SFMM in the heat (90 deg), all that walking and the fact the rides were pretty much walk on (so not much waiting in line), I was starting to not feel so good. Maybe a different factor since I'm not used to higher temperatures anyway being from England, but for the first time ever I'd had enough of coasters for that day.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of the time it's lack of food and water, tiredness, etc. For example: if a pilot wants to fly on a F16, he/she not only need to be healthy medically speaking, he/she needs to be physical healthy that moment: rested, enough food, feel good, etc. Of course there aren't as many forces on a roller coaster as on a F16, but still: you don't wear a pressure suit on a coaster! Inverteds are the heaviest, I think, because you don't have a floor you can press your legs on, also psychologically the inverteds are the worst: there aren't many points around you can fixate upon (it's all moving: you get easier a kind of sea sick).

 

Speaking for myself: my blood pressure is too low, so I tend to black out on a coaster with much forces either way. The pilots told me to "strain", kind of like going to the toilet so I forcefully would pump the blood in my head just before/during the moment the forces get too heavy.

 

Also as stated above: if you're not entirely sure and really want to ride every roller coaster in the world: please go to a doctor/physician. I'm just a dentist at a military base. Most deaths on a coaster are people who didn't know about a medical condition they had.

Link to post
Share on other sites

^There is almost nothing in the medical literature about the effects of roller coasters on the human body. JAMA recently published a very short study about the "cardiovascular response to a modern roller coaster ride", specifically Expedition GeForce. The interesting thing was that the strongest response was seen on the lift hill, not on the ride itself.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know on Batman at Six Flags St. Louis, I get a little light headed for a few seconds in the brake run, but nothing ever long. Same thing happened on Montu and a few others. Also, on rides like flyers and things like those after about 5 rounds I have to look forward and/or close my eyes not to feel sick. I try not to do those rides anymore. I have a few instances where I had plenty to drink and it didn't happen, mostly on wooden coasters.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Might have just been the ride to be honest. I've never been able to handle Batman: The Ride. Seriously I went on the coaster once several years ago and got sick from it, I've tried it one additional time and had the same results. Some people just can't deal with certain rides.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey thanks for all the suggestions. We do try now to stay away from the inverted coasters and I was just concerned if it was really the ride or whatever. Though I do believe that we should go to the doctor, at the very latest, before we go on our next big theme park trip.

Link to post
Share on other sites

From the looks, Topgun has some straight aways and such compared to Batman. Batman pulls 4 G's in most of the turns and elements and does not let up one bit. Although, I have not been on Top Gun I have been on Batman and other inverts...and by far Batman was the most forceful IMO.

 

It also might have to do with where you guys where sitting. If you sit towards the front or the back, you fell sronger forces then you would by sitting in the middle.

Link to post
Share on other sites
From the looks, Topgun has some straight aways and such compared to Batman. Batman pulls 4 G's in most of the turns and elements and does not let up one bit. Although, I have not been on Top Gun I have been on Batman and other inverts...and by far Batman was the most forceful IMO.

 

I was going to mention that, B:TR is one sucker punch of powerful g's after another, still one of my most favorite coasters ever. Whereas Top Gun gives you a breather inbetween elements, (still pulls 4.5 g's in the helix finale though!), but it's not one after the other like on B:TR. Combine that with hot weather and/or dehydration and it's understandable.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Batman is certainly more forceful than other inverts I've ridden. I rode it when I was sick and I felt more shaken up than normal. A combination of a hot day and lack of food or water will do that to you in BTR. Now if that were Silver Bullet, you'd have nothing to worry about.

Link to post
Share on other sites
We do try now to stay away from the inverted coasters and I was just concerned if it was really the ride or whatever.

I don't think the fact it is an Inverted coaster changes anything, G forces are G forces no matter what sort of coaster you are riding. As you said Top Gun caused no problems but Batman did. I think it just came down to bad luck that she felt bad after riding Batman. If it had happened on Scream, would you steer clear of Floorless coasters?

Link to post
Share on other sites
We do try now to stay away from the inverted coasters and I was just concerned if it was really the ride or whatever.

I don't think the fact it is an Inverted coaster changes anything, G forces are G forces no matter what sort of coaster you are riding. As you said Top Gun caused no problems but Batman did. I think it just came down to bad luck that she felt bad after riding Batman. If it had happened on Scream, would you steer clear of Floorless coasters?

 

Well it was pretty scary when it happened so we just figured that we would skip inverted coasters until we could figure out the problem. So, if we went on Scream and the same thing happened, then yes we would stay away probably. The point is, all we knew is that she was fine on everything else, then we got on the inverted and all that stuff happened. until we knew what the reason was, we figured it was a safe bet to not ride inverteds until we knew what it was that was causing this whole thing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If I get lightheaded or dizzy (and it happens sometimes on Batman, more often on Titan), it's almost always due to lack of hydration and/or heat combined with lack of food.

 

By the way, hydration means WATER or GATORADE or some such drink... NOT CAFFEINATED SODA OR TEA. Caffeine is a diuretic, and will actually aid in dehydration (so will alcohol). If you MUST have a soda, drink Sprite of 7Up or other caffeine-free drink.

 

As for the food, avoid stuff high in fat or grease right before a ride. Take some saltine crackers with you to the park and eat several before you go in. They will absorb some of the acids and such that can make you nauseous. Plain bread will do it, too. Not eating anything will make you sicker than eating something, no matter what it is.

 

G-forces: I've been able to handle them much better since I started dating the fighter pilot. His advice to me was to "push down" like I'm trying to take a crap (no, really!) which helps keep the blood from leaving your head. Also, grunting or growling a low-pitched scream (like Hulk, not like Jamie Lee Curtis) will help. I thought he was joking, but it was true.

 

Also, the further back you go on the train, the higher the G-forces will be, especially in a helix. I didn't believe that one, either, since I thought front and back would be heavy with the middle being light. I was wrong, and he tried to give me the aeronautical explanation as it related to his F-18, but I don't have enough physics background to understand it. Just know that it's true and on a coaster like Titan, it can mean the difference between two hours of ERT and two rides of ERT!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I really have to thank everyone again. I never thought I would get so many responses! Thank you for all your help, my girlfriend and I are already talking about the solutions posted and we will for sure be ready for out next trip. Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites

^Sorry for another response. I need to clear something up. I'm glad the topic helped you! Have fun!

 

^There is almost nothing in the medical literature about the effects of roller coasters on the human body. JAMA recently published a very short study about the "cardiovascular response to a modern roller coaster ride", specifically Expedition GeForce. The interesting thing was that the strongest response was seen on the lift hill, not on the ride itself.

 

You're right, there's almost nothing in the literature. The article I have, is:

 

"roller coaster fatalities, United States, 1994-2004" by A.R. Pelletier and J Gilchrist in Injury Prevention 2005; 11: 309-12

 

18 people fromt he 40 died from medical conditions that might have been caused or exacerbated by riding a roller coaster. I'm very curious about the study you read...

 

Was it also tested on people who had cardiovascular problems...? Propbably not, because then they wouldn't be on a roller coaster if they knew it... and it wouldn't be ethical to do such a test. So we will never know. But there must be something a roller coaster is doing on the human physiology during heavy forces.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/