Blackmores motion sickness

Motion sickness

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Nausea and vomiting that occurs when you’re travelling by car, sea, or plane can be enough to ruin your holiday.

Symptoms

  • Nausea, sometimes with vomiting, that occurs when travelling in a moving vehicle, or during an amusement park ride 
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness and weakness
  • Headache
  • Complexion may become pale or red
  • Excessive production of sweat and/or saliva
  • Hyperventilation
  • Symptoms tend to recede quickly when the movement stops
  • In severe cases, excessive vomiting may lead to dehydration or low blood pressure

Causes

The movement of the fluids in the canals of the inner ear plays an important role in your sense of balance, helping your brain to understand where you are in relation to objects and places around you, and how fast you’re moving. Under normal circumstances, this information is confirmed by visual cues and your sense of kinaesthesia (the sense that allows you to intuitively know where your muscles and limbs are at all times).

However, when you’re in a moving vehicle, these information sources deliver conflicting information to the brain, with the fluids of the ear sensing the movement of the vehicle, but your eyes and muscles perceiving your body to be still .

As this is a natural physiological response to movement, a certain degree of motion sickness is natural and normal. Children between the ages of 4 and 12 years old are particularly susceptible, but most people ‘grow out of’ the motion sickness induced by car travel as they grow older.

In the majority of cases of motion sickness, the symptoms recede after short journeys are completed. On longer journeys (such as an ocean cruise), the body and brain adapt to the movement over time, and symptoms eventually vanish.

In some sufferers, anxiety and stress about being sick on an impending journey may exacerbate the symptoms, and can even cause them to start before travelling has started.

Natural therapies

  • Ginger reduces nausea and symptoms of vomiting, vertigo, and cold sweats. Along with other forms of nausea, it is indicated for motion sickness and is considered suitable for use by children. Unlike some pharmaceuticals for motion sickness, ginger is not sedating.
  • For motion sickness, ginger is usually taken in tablet form. A suitable dose for adults is 800-1200 mg of powdered ginger root taken 30 minutes prior to travel, with an additional 400 mg taken every two hours as required. For children 6-12 years old, reduce the initial dose to 400-800 mg, followed by 200-400 mg every two hours. (Consult your healthcare professional about an appropriate dose for children younger than 6 years)

Diet and lifestyle

  • These tips may help offset the effects of travel sickness:
    • To minimise the conflict between your senses, try keeping your head still, and scanning the moving scenery, but avoid focussing on any one moving object (such as a wave or a car).
    • Some people find it more effective to close their eyes or lie on their backs.
    • When travelling by car, you’re less likely to feel nauseous if you’re the driver.
    • Alternatively, try to sit in the part of the vehicle where you’re least susceptible to motion: in a plane, choose a seat over the wings; in a boat, sit towards the centre.
  • Get plenty of fresh air if possible, and don’t smoke.
  • Don’t drink alcohol during, or for 24 hours prior to, your trip.
  • Try to eat as little as possible on your trip. On long journeys, eat very small quantities of food on a frequent basis

Important notes

Prolonged motion sickness with vomiting may lead to dehydration. An electrolyte replacement drink should be used to replace lost fluids, and if symptoms persist, consult your health care professional. Take particular care to prevent babies and children from becoming dehydrated.