Fort Worth Texas Gastroenterology

Cyclic Vomiting SyndromeCYCLIC VOMITING SYNDROME

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome is a functional disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of intractable nausea, vomiting and fatigue which often appear to have no identifiable trigger. Once thought of as a childhood phenomenon, it is being increasingly identified in adult patients.

 

OVERVIEW

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS) is characterized by recurrent episodes of intractable nausea, vomiting and fatigue which often have no identifiable cause.

Episodes may last anywhere from a few hours to a few days and are frequently interspersed with periods where the patient is completely asymptomatic.

CVS typically occurs more frequently in children; however, it can be seen in all age groups and its identification in adults is on the rise.

The syndrome is difficult to diagnose and often becomes a diagnosis of exclusion because more serious pathological problems such as cholecystitis, peptic ulcer disease, etc… must be ruled out first.

SYMPTOMS

The hallmark of CVS is severe, intractable nausea and vomiting with associated lethargy. Symptoms may last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Frequently, there is no identifiable cause.

Outside of nausea, vomiting and fatigue/lethargy, other associated symptoms can include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Feverishness
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)

CAUSES

Although the exact mechanism by which CVS occurs is unknown and obvious triggers are often difficult to identify, there has been a correlation between CVS and the following factors:

  • Colds and allergies
  • Emotional stress and extreme excitement (particularly in children)
  • Anxiety Disorder (more common in adults)
  • Specific foods
  • Over eating
  • Extremes in temperature
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Physical exhaustion
  • Menstruation
  • Motion sickness
  • Migraine headaches
  • Chronic marijuana use

TREATMENT

Unfortunately, there is no true cure for CVS. As such, treatment typically revolves around:

  • Lifestyle modification (avoiding identifiable triggers)
  • Treating underlying conditions (migraine headaches, anxiety disorder, etc…)
  • Controlling symptoms (anti-nausea medications, pain relievers, etc…)
  • Maintaining adequate hydration

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