Posted on May 31 2016
Do you suffer from motion sickness? If so, you are not alone. According to 23andme, a genetic testing service based in Mountain View, CA, your genes may be to blame. In fact, NASA research indicates that 70% of people are prone to motion sickness in certain situations. And as you likely know, motion sickness can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, headache, tiredness, and other symptoms.
If you answered yes to the question above, you can blame mom and dad. A recent study from 23andme has found that most of our susceptibility to motion sickness is genetically determined. The study found a correlation between motion sickness and genes involving development of the eye, inner ear, brain, and control of blood sugar. Most researchers believe that motion sickness is caused by a difference in perception between our vestibular system, responsible for our sense of balance, and nervous system, so the first result is not surprising. The link with blood sugar is not too surprising either, as many individuals with diabetes experience nausea along with low blood sugar.
These links point to another, fascinating conclusion: you may be more likely to suffer from other nausea-inducing conditions if you have problems with motion sickness. Nausea from drugs, migraines, altitude sickness, postoperative nausea and vomiting, and vertigo all appear to be related to motion sickness.
The researchers at 23andme looked at the genomes of over 80,000 participants, and compared genetic variations to self-reported data on motion sickness and other conditions. They found 35 genetic variants that were associated with motion sickness, and confirmed the association between several other conditions including migraines, vertigo, and morning sickness.
Unfortunately this means if you suffer from one type of nausea, you are likely to experience other forms. For example, if you experience queasiness during car rides you can expect it during pregnancy as well. Maybe not the best of news, but for those who are likely to suffer, preparation can go a long way!
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