Motion sickness & MAV

Hi everyone,

I read an article on the site and a couple of others that I trawled from the internet that seemed to suggest that there might be a link between low serotonin levels and MAV. This also ties in with a study showing that people who suffer from general motion sickness also tend to have low levels of serotonin.

I was therefore wondering - Out of the MAV sufferers on this site, how many of you also have a history of motion sickness (car sickness, sea sickness etc…)?

Just to start this off, I have suffered from car and sea sickness all my life. A feeling that is not disimilar to how I now feel most of the time.


I had travel sickness as a child. Had to take something called “seal-legs” for travel sickness every time I went on long jouneys with mum and dad and a packet of dry biscuits. Then, as a teenager, everytime I got stressed, I had strange abdominal pain, I now think that was abdominal migraine. Occasionally I got the zig zag lines (didnt know what they were then). Cant remember getting any headaches at that time.

Motion sickness is BY FAR my main MAV symptom. Without it I might have a semi-normal life. Instread I’m housebound, literally unable to go outside.
I’ve had some trouble with it all my life, gradually increasing until I was about 16, when I was pretty normal until ~18 when it went downhill slowly but surely to my crash, and where I am today at 22.5 years old.

I have been prone to motion sickness since I was a child (boats, back seat of car, amusement rides, etc.). Interestingly, since my current issues began, I seem to be able to tolerate being on a boat and being a passenger (front seat) better now than in the past…not sure what to make of that!

Since I was a child, I have gotten motion sickness whenever I ride in a car if I don’t keep my eye on the road. Merry-go-rounds and spinning rides at the fair have always made me sick. I usually do fine in small boats, but I got seasick on a cruise-liner once. Again, I think it was because I couldn’t see the horizon from my cabin. I don’t actually vomit, I just feel extremely nauseous.

— Begin quote from “cmoc”

Then, as a teenager, everytime I got stressed, I had strange abdominal pain, I now think that was abdominal migraine.

— End quote

Me too. Mine was more nausea than pain, though. I was diagnosed with a spastic stomach. I now wonder if it was abdominal migraine.

I never had motion sickness until I developed MAV. When I was on the right medication, the motion sickness went away with most of my other MAV symptoms. Unfortunately now that I’m changing my meds around again, the motion sickness is back & worse than ever! Uugghhh!!

The doctor who diagnosed me with MAV told me that was one of the things she looks for. In her studies, she told me that she has found a majority of people (not all) with vestibular migraines (MAV) have a history of motion sickness, often going back into their childhood.


Hi there,

This is turning into an interesting thread. It’s looking like most people who suffer from MAV (not all though) do have a history of motion intolerance. Even if before the MAV it took a car, boat or fairground ride to bring it on.


oh yes, motion sickness is a major problem for me. It is getting worse as the years go on. Mostly it is a terrible feeling inside my head. Kind of like a headache. I don’t necessarily feel nauseaus though I feel like I may vomit . . . but at the same time my stomach may feel empty and hungry. A difficult thing to explain. I get motion sick not only from cars, buses, boats etc. but also watching people on a rocking chair, moving my eyes, moving my head, and even thinking about being in a car.

My symptoms seem very similar to yours! Lifetime motion sickness, now worse because new triggers bring it on!

I’ve not been diagnosed with any particular disorder. The ear nose and throat guy thought BPPV but I thought that was a lazy diagnosis thought up in five minutes, no testing.

I must be an outlier then because I’ve never suffered from motion sickness. I’ve always loved travelling and never had to take any motion sickness pills. I have a fear of heights and hated fairground rides when younger but that’s because I was scared of the heights, nothing to do with feeling sick. I know its often used to help diagnose VM/MAV but for those of us who aren’t affected by it I wonder what that means?

This is interesting reading! I have no history of motion sickness but since having VM and PPPD I am a terrible car passenger (especially in stop start traffic, ugh). Trains are the same although I feel completely normal on water!

While we’re discussing motion sickness, does anyone suffer from motion/travel sickness and have the same feeling of nausea brought on by trying to read a newspaper, do some photocopying, Bob about in a swimming pool, sort things into piles, or turn your head sideways to speak to someone sitting next to you? These and many similar activities bring on nausea for me and I have to lie down with my ear pressed onto a cushion for several hours before I can move. I may or may not be sick and it can last a few hours or days. I dare not travel in a bus or a boat, but can manage car journeys on motorways (nice and straight) and not too bad on trains.
I’m not diagnosed with a particular condition and would love to know if there is a label /cause/treatment for this.

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When i was a child i got sickly headaches from car travel. I’ve also never been able to travel on public transport if sitting in a backward facing seat. I’ve read that a history of travel sickness in childhood is common amongst people with VM.