The midway at the Nebraska State Fair, street carnivals and trips to amusement parks over Labor Day can leave some with a queasy feeling in their stomach. University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Director of the Physician Assistant Program, Dr. Michael Huckabee says while many people enjoy the rides others are screaming “I want to get off”. He admits he doesn’t tolerate amusement park rides well and says there are several theories why some people can and others can’t.
One theory on why we get dizzy suggests a toxin detector in our body triggers a natural defense system to eliminate poison. If the brain senses something out of alignment the response is to eliminate a possibly ingested toxin and the body vomits. Another theory has to do with a signal from the balance center to the heart when a body is flipped and turned. The balance center in the ear is closely tied to the brain and when we feel unusual motions the brain sends a message to the heart to pump faster so blood is redirected to vital organs. This system also tells the stomach to empty.
Dr. Huckabee says those wanting to join in the fun there are motion sickness medications that can help but they can make one drowsy. Ginger is also known as a remedy for motion sickness for some. He says deep breathing help some and those who maintain a positive psychological attitude usually can make it through a ride just fine.
Dr. Huckabee says there is no shame on passing a ride – especially if you are on the sidelines watching others while enjoying a funnel cake.