Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome can seriously affect its sufferers by having them bedridden unable to work or attend school. There is no known number of sufferers of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome but some researchers believe that as many as 1 in 50 children are affected. Most sufferers are diagnosed with a different disorder as vomiting and nausea are symptoms of many other illnesses.
Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome, a.k.a. CVS, is where children and some adults have ongoing cycles of severe nausea and then vomiting that can last from hours to even days. It has no cause and each attack is very similar to previous attacks. There can be prolonged periods of no symptoms and then sufferers can experience a severe bout that seems “to come out of nowhere”.
There are four phases of CVS:
prodrome phase – This signals the nausea and vomiting episode. It is marked by stomach pain and can last minutes or hours. There are times that anti-nausea medication can help at this phase.
episode phase – This is the actual episode where there is nausea, vomiting, paleness, dizziness, drowsiness, not being able to eat or drink, and exhaustion.
recovery phase – This is where the nausea and vomiting cease and the appetite, the sufferer’s color comes back, and the energy starts creeping back in.
symptom-free interval – This is the period of time where there is no symptoms and there is a “quiet time” in the illness.
Treatments for Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome vary widely but the patients are advised to keep well rested and get plenty of sleep at night. There are also some vomiting medications that will help prevent or relieve. Much like a sufferer of migraines there are some good things that can come from just laying in a bed in a dark and quiet room.Some medications that help CVS include Motrin, Zantac, and Prilosec. Some sports drinks help when they are in the recovery phase to help put the salts back into the body. There are some migraine medications that are used temporarily such as propranolol, cyproheptadine, and amitriptyline.
Knowing what will trigger the individual’s own personal attack will be key to treatment. If they are triggered by an underlying illness, that illness will have to be treated in order to treat the CVS. Keeping the patient as stress free and as healthy otherwise as possible will alleviate most, if not all, of the symptoms of it.
For More Information
Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Association
3585 Cedar Hill Road, NW.
Canal Winchester, OH 43110
National Organization for Rare Disorders Inc. (NORD)
55 Kenosia Avenue
P.O. Box 1968
Danbury, CT 06813-1968
Phone: 1-800-999-6673 or 203-744-0100