Reply To: 44 yo F with Mal de debarquement syndrome & tinnitus

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Welcome! Forums 44 yo F with Mal de debarquement syndrome & tinnitus Reply To: 44 yo F with Mal de debarquement syndrome & tinnitus

Christine Bailey

Dear Bronwyn

Many thanks for your question about your client. Mal de debarquement means ‘sickness of disembarkement’ which refers to an illusion of movement felt as an after effect of travel. Sea travel is the most common starting point for the disorder. Symptoms can last for weeks, months or even years. The symptoms of mal de debarquement include the sensation of rocking, bobbing or swaying; along with unsteadiness, anxiety and loss of self confidence. The symptoms often increase when the person is trying to remain motionless for example attempting to fall asleep or standing still. MdDS likely originates from the vestibular system

It has been proposed that if the notion of MdDS caused by maladaptation of the vestibular-ocular reflex, VOR holds true, a reversed VOR stimulus should mitigate or even cure the MdDS symptoms. Based on these findings, a treatment for MdDS was devised that consisted of rolling the head at the frequency of body rocking, while the subjects viewed a slowly moving visual surround. The results are promising: 75% of the MdDS patients had significant improvement in a 12-month observation,

Dai et al Treatment of the Mal de Debarquement Syndrome: A 1-Year Follow-up. Front. Neurol., 05 May 2017 |


Because the condition largely occurs in females, it may also have something to do with sex hormones, such as oestrogen or progesterone. As her cycle is imbalanced this may be an area to focus on. I often find using a glandular can be particularly helpful as well as seed cycling which has been discussed previously on linked in.

Another condition that may sometimes seem similar to MdDS is Meniere’s Disease. This condition also causes general unsteadiness, but it is most often characterized by severe attacks. It is often recommended that blood tests for autoimmune disorders involving the ear [antinuclear antibody (ANA), antimicrosomal antibodies] are undertaken. You may wish to consider cyrex array 5 to look for antibodies.

The symptoms of MdDS are often increased by mental health problems, medication, drug or alcohol addiction, lack of sleep, stress, crowds, sudden movements, flickering lights, busy or enclosed areas, and loud sounds.  Therefore attention to these factors is recommended.

It may be the case that there is inflammation in the brain or nervous system that aggravates these symptoms. This could be linked to the viruses you have already identified but consider other potential neurotoxins – gluten and/or other foods. Heavy metals or other toxins. In this respect you may consider cyrex array 11 panel or a toxic metals test. Detoxification pathways are clearly important and in view of her low levels of nutrients you have identified it would be important to supplement with a high strength multi with additional antioxidants or glutathione to support detoxification. In view of the tinnitus as well I would certainly consider an anti-oxidant formula for improving circulation.  As your client has infections – gut and viral it would be important to focus on these and reduce inflammation.

Dietary wise I would consider a lower carbohydrate gluten free diet with plenty of antioxidants – a low carb Mediterrean style of eating.

Gluten has been associated with balance issues and vertigo for example.

Mohn et al Celiac Disease–Associated Vertigo and Nystagmus. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: March 2002 – Volume 34 – Issue 3 – p 317-318


Exercise may be helpful for the condition.

Van Ombergen et al Mal de debarquement syndrome: a systematic review J Neurol. 2016; 263: 843–854.



The following supplements are suggested for you to consider in light of your relevant expertise and intimate understanding of the needs of your client or patient. They may be used in isolation or as part of a multi supplement strategy, but at all times the consideration of their use should be tied into the specific needs of the individual you are responsible for.


Humic Acid (ARG) take 2 tablets twice daily

Gut Infections

ADP Oregano (BRC) take 3 tablets with each meal

Caprin (BRC) take 2 tablets with each meal

Saccharomyces boulardii (ARG) take 1 twice daily

Full Spectrum Digest (ARG) take 1-2 with each meal (digestive enzyme support)

Detoxification and antioxidant support

Acetyl Glutathione (ARG) take 1 twice daily

Bio-FCTS (BRC) take 2 tablets with each meal

Hormone balance with multi- vitamin and mineral support

Equi Fem (BRC) take 2 tablets at each meal


I hope this helps with your client