14 year old with MAV symptoms

My fourteen year daughter started having MAV symptoms about two months ago. I know that diet and lifestyle changes are necessary, but I am having a hard time implementing them. A lot of her MAV episodes happen when she first wakes up in the morning. I was wondering if anyone had suggestions on what we can do to alleviate these episodes. She usually experiences blurry vision, dizziness, and nausea followed with a headache usually on her right temple. The episodes usually last two to three hours and unfortunatelly she misses a lot of school. I am so thankful for this website so that we can get support through this ordeal and put a name to a faceless condition.

I can’t imagine this garbage at such a young age, i really feel for your daughter.
I wonder if hormones are a big trigger and once she is through puberty she will improve?
I think of all the dietary triggers caffeine makes the biggest difference to me, does she eat a lot of chocolate/fizzy drinks etc, maybe you could ban them to begin with to see if that helps?
Best of luck and i hope she improves soon x

Thank you for your concern. Hormones could defintley be a part of it. She has been on a low dose birth control pill for the last year because she has problems with ovarin cysts. At the time the MAV symptoms started she started her cycle a week early and had a ruptured cyst. Up until that point the bc pills seemed to keep things under control. My other theory is that at the time this all started she had braces put on her teeth and maybe that triggered everything. She was also under a lot of stress at school by her marching band teacher about her hair color and getting sick on the field. Anyway everything seemed to hit the probverbial fan and she has missed a lot of school and had drop of marching band which she loved. I feel like I am fighting everyone in my family including my husband who thinks it’s phsycological. I think I will try eliminating one food trigger at a time for a week each and see what happens. I have noticed that fried foods like chicken tenders, whether frozen or fast food seem to be a trigger. She’s not much for chocolate but she does like the sodas. I will start with that and fried foods first. Thanks again for being a sounding board.

I’m sorry your daughter is going through this. I don’t have much advise except avoid caffine and has she been put on medication at all. My daughter who just turned 7 was diag with bppv in childhood this past summer. She had two severe episodes of vertigo which induced vomitting and then she was fine. Doctors says she will prob end up with mav as a teen or adult. We are not medicating my daughter as it has not been that bothersome yet. It is strange to hear her say some of the things am I thinking sometimes. (like seeing a moving train and complaining it is making her dizzy) I was diag with it in April. I’m sorry your daughter is having to deal with this at such a young age and that you are having to watch her go through it. You sound like a very caring mother and it is good that she has someone fighting for her. This is particulary awful illness as it is invisble and so many people and even doctors do not understand it. It is not uncommon for people to beleive it is physcological. Have you shown your husband this site?


It must be awful for your daughter to be experiencing all this crap and missing out on her schooling - hate to see children suffer. My granddaughter who is eight has ‘childhood’ migraines (no vertigo thank goodness) she is not on medication but parents watch her diet/lifestyle to eliminate those ‘caffeine’ triggers which has reduced the frequency.
There is a ‘milder’ med often prescribed for children if the diet doesn’t help. Periactin (which I’m taking to help visual vertigo & balance) is often used for children. It’s an anti-histamine and side effects are usually minimal.
Just thought I’d let you know in case symptoms worsen - hopefully they won’t. Have you seen a neurologist & got a definite diagnosis of mav? That would stop your family saying it’s all ‘in the head’ and they could read the info posted here to be better informed!

hi mdmanthorpe

sorry to hear about your daughter.

a couple of tips

Avoid caffeine (fizzy drinks for your daughter)
Avoid Pain killers

You can start by giving this a go and seeing if it makes an impact:

Avoiding the 6 Cs

  1. Cheese ( + dairy products)
  2. Caffeine (Now on decaff only)
  3. Chinese food (MSG – Soups, crisps, processed meats)
  4. Citrus Fruit and Drinks (+ Pineapple and Banana)
  5. Chianti + Red Wine
  6. Chocolate

Avoid yeast: Marmite and fresh bread

Make sure you do this:

Regular Sleep
Regular meals
No Undue Exertion



I can’t imagine being 14 and dealing with this crap. But you have to put it to your child that if she wants to get better, then these things will really help her.

We all know they suck and are crap to start with, but it does get easier to get used to not eating a certain food or whatever… And not eating a certain food is WAY BETTER than having to deal with the pain and torture of the symptoms of MAV.

Good luck x

When I was at the Chopra Center in California for a wellness program there was an 11 year old girl who had similar situation as your daughter. They put her on nortriptyline. I believe it’s pretty safe. I think it is safe to say that she would benefit from some of these meds. I would also agree that hormones are a big trigger at her age.
Hope she gets some help. Teen years are hard enough without adding this to the mix.
Best to you…

Birth control is supposed to be a big no-no for people with this condition, in fact my MAV started shortly after stopping birth control, not saying that is the cause for your daughter but it may not have helped along with her stresses etc. Can you seek another treatment for the ovarian cysts?

My son gets occasional migraines but luckily not the dizziness etc like me (migraine is often hereditary) and a huge trigger for him is not drinking enough and sweetners (in most drinks and squashes) I know it’s boring but could you limit her drinks to water, milk, and fruit juices that do not contain anything but fruit and maybe citric acid just to see if it helps?
Theres loads of other food triggers but you could start with the drinks as those tend to be what teens drink a lot of (fizzy, caffeine, sweetners etc)

Poor her, hope things improve soon x