Cyclic vomiting syndrome

Cyclic vomiting syndrome or cyclical vomiting syndrome (CVS) is a condition characterized by recurring attacks of severe nausea, vomiting and at times with abdominal pain and/or headache or migraine.

Usually CVS develops during childhood aging from three to seven years and disappear during adolescence; it can reappear in their adult life. CVS has seen in infants as young as six days and adults as old as 73 years.

Cyclic vomiting syndrome is calling differently as cyclical vomiting syndrome, cyclic vomit syndrome, cyclic vomiting disease, cyclic vomiting, cyclic vomit syndrome, and cyclic vomiting disorder.

What is cyclic vomiting syndrome?

Cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS) is a vomiting disorder characterizes by unique recurrent, stereotypic episodes that lasting for hours or days, separated by intervals of wellness for weeks or months. Additionally, this vomiting episode leads to repeated emergency visits and hospitalizations, and severely affects your life quality. It has often misdiagnosed due to the unappreciated pattern and lack of confirmatory testing.

Cyclic vomiting syndrome

The patients with CVS may experience vomit or retch (eject the stomach contents through the mouth) six to twelve times per hour. An episode of CVS may be extending from few hours to weeks and even for months. The patient may vomit stomach acid, bile and in severe case’s blood. Usually patients may try ingesting water to reduce esophagus irritation due to bile and acid during vomiting. In between their vomiting episodes, the patients look normal and healthy; however, feeling weak, fatigue and/or muscle pain.

Stages of CVS

There are four phases or stages of CVS; each stage has distinct CVS symptoms. These four stages of CVS are:

  • Phase 1 is symptom-free intervals - there is no symptom or discomfort at this stage.
  • Phase 2 is a prodrome – starting of an early symptom indicating the onset of a CVS.
  • Phase 3 is an episode – attack of CVS with the severe symptoms.
  • Phase 4 is recovery - is returning to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.

CVS triggers

Some patients can be able to identify the triggers that may induce an attack. The most common cyclic vomiting syndrome triggers are certain foods, infection (such as colds), physical exertion, sleep deprivation, mental stresses (positive as well as negative), and menstruation. During an attack, some patients may experience photophobic (light sensitivity), (sound sensitivity), restless sensation or stinging pain over the spine, hands and feet followed by weakness.