10 Facts About Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

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Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome(CVS) is a disorder that causes recurrent unexplained vomiting. There is much to learn about this disorder, but here are a few facts about CVS.

What is Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome?  Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS) is an under-diagnosed disorder that causes unexplained vomiting in an individual.  It causes not only vomiting, but also severe nausea and sometimes stomach pain.  CVS is hard to diagnose as there is no specific test for it.  Each individual case of CVS is extremely different, but here are a few facts about CVS and what CVS sufferers experience.  

1.  CVS affects both adults and children.  For many years it was thought this was just a pediatric disorder.  Currently adults are the fastest growing population of CVS sufferers.

2.  CVS is highly related to migraine headaches.  In fact, many of the medications used to treat CVS are borrowed from migraine treatments.  Many CVS sufferers have a family history of migraines.

3. CVS sufferers are typically well between episodes.  Each sufferer has a certain frequency and duration to their episodes that are typically the same each time.  Episodes typically start in the early morning, but they can start at any time of the day.    

4. CVS causes the most intense form of vomiting, even over the stomach flu.  Many sufferers must go to the hospital to get rehydrated by IV during every episode.  Not only is the vomiting intense, but the nausea and abdominal pain can be excruciating.      

5.  Females are slightly more affected than males and CVS can begin at any age.  CVS is global in nature; it does not seem to affect a particular race or ethnicity over another.    

6. It is common for children to outgrow the recurrent vomiting and transition into migraine headaches; however this does not occur with every sufferer.  Unfortunately, some people suffer with CVS their entire lives. 

7. It can take months even years for a CVS sufferer to get a correct diagnosis since many primary care physicians have never even heard of CVS.  Adults can be accused of being crazy and parents of sufferers can be accused of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. 

8. Even though CVS is under-diagnosed and under-recognized, it was first described in 1882, more than 100 years ago by Dr. S Gee.

9. During an episode many CVS sufferers are sensitive to light, noise and temperature.  Some are also listless, pale and unresponsive.

10. Some children miss so much school they are considered truant by their school district.