Nausea and vomiting are both common symptoms of migraine. In fact, between 50% to 60% of migraine sufferers vomit during an attack, and between 60% and 95% of migraine sufferers experience nausea. Although this statistic does vary depending on which study you read, it is certainly generally accepted that nausea and vomiting are common migraine symptoms, and a symptom which you are more likely to suffer from if you also experience motion sickness.
Motion sickness happens when messages from the inner ear and from the eyes are in conflict with one another. If the inner ear detects one degree of motion, and the eyes detect an even slightly different degree of motion, then motion sickness can occur. Often this happens when travelling on a boat, in a car, or while in other forms of transport. However, it can also occur when there is motion in your visual surroundings while you’re stood still.
Scientists aren’t clear exactly why there is a link between suffering from migraines and from motion sickness, but there is a theory.
Many drugs which are used to treat motion sickness work by increasing levels of the hormone serotonin in the brain. Research has also suggested that having low levels of serotonin may make you more likely to suffer from migraines. Perhaps this low level of serotonin is one reason why migraine sufferers often suffer with nausea.
If you find that you suffer from motion sickness, from migraines, and also from nausea during migraine attacks, then that combination will make a difference to what kind of medication you might want to take in order to treat the nausea. Motion sickness medications are generally more effective for treating migraine nausea than over-the-counter treatments which are used for gastrointestinal issues.