Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Treatment: Causes Of Recurrent Vomiting

Question: In Sept. 2008 I was diagnosed with adult onset of CVS after ending up in hospitals locally and around the country. The doctors that diagnosed me have not seen patients with adult onset of CVS, and the doctor that has finally gotten it under control now has a suspended medical license. Do you know of any doctors in the DFW area that have seen severe adult onset of CVS? I can send a medical brief if needed.

Answer: Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS) is a condition that is characterized by recurrent attacks of intense nausea, vomiting and lethargy and sometimes with abdominal pain and or headache with no obvious cause.

These attacks may last for 1 to 4 days depending upon the severity of the condition. More prevalence in females is seen. Cyclic vomiting usually begins in early childhood. Etiology is unknown.

Symptoms Of CVS

  • Patients may vomit or retch 6 to12 times an hour and an episode may last from few hours to 2-3wks.
  • Vomiting usually contains acid, bile and blood.
  • Some patients have an aura or prodrome before beginning of vomiting which include mild nausea or ill feeling.
  • Some patients start with vomiting after triggers such as infections, physical exertion, lack of sleep and psychological stress.

Causes of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

  • Individuals with family history of migraine or travel sickness are common victims.
  • It is more common among children and passes off with age. However it might be seen among adults as well.
  • The attacks may be triggered by physical stress or viral infections like flu or chest infections, etc.
  • Lack of sleep and hunger are known to be triggering factors.
  • Emotional stress, food sensitivities, anxiety or family problem are also some of the triggering factors.

Treatment For CVS

Cause of cyclical vomiting syndrome is unknown therefore there are no diagnostic tests for the same. Other medical conditions can mimic the same symptoms therefore those have to be excluded.
Formal investigations including complete blood count, blood sugar levels, urine routine, liver function tests, electrolytes and renal function tests are to be done to rule out other etiologies of vomiting.

There is no permanent cure for cyclic vomiting syndrome and the following measures can be taken.

  • Identify the triggering factor that causes the episode. It could be anything from the perfume that you use to the food that you have for breakfast, etc. Avoidance of triggers is to done in patients who have attacks due to it.
  • General measures include correction of dehydration with intravenous fluids.
  • If stress is the cause, try to meditate and reduce the levels of your stress. Avoid exposure to loud music, bright lights, etc
  • For treatment of persistent nausea and vomiting, homeopathic medicine Ipecac 30, 4 pills, four times a day will be helpful.

One Comment

  1. amanda said:

    I have CVS and it took 4 years to finally get a diagnoses. My episodes last usually more than 4 days and I am usually stuck in the 2nd stage of the episode because I have learned ways to control and keep myself from getting to stage 3. My doctor and me having on a sleep aid so that I can fall asleep and stay asleep, then in the morning when the nausea is worse, I take a nausea pill. Later in day, if and when I start getting a migraine, I take a migraine therapy medication and all of these together make the days more manageable.

    October 26, 2010

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