Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

May 3, 2022

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS) is a condition that occurs most commonly in young children, but can occur at any age. This condition involves repeated vomiting, or cycles of vomiting, and there may be periods in between these “cycles” in which you are completely symptom-free. During a vomiting episode, you may experience intense vomiting that may repeat anywhere between six and twenty times before ending. CVS may affect as much as 2 percent of school-aged children, and can be difficult to diagnose because of the connection of vomiting to many other GI disorders. The syndrome may be mistaken for a stomach bug, or food poisoning.

Symptoms of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS)

Vomiting attacks are commonly very similar to previous episodes, wherein they begin at the same time of day, involve the same severity, similar symptoms, and last about the same length of time.

Most children complain of the following symptoms:

  • Abnormal drowsiness, or lethargy (91%)
  • Paleness, or pallor (87%)
  • Abdominal pain (80%)
  • Headache (40%)
  • Diarrhea (36%)
  • Occasional fever (29%)

Once the vomiting attack has subsided, the child may be tired and want to sleep, but once awake may appear to be back to normal health and want to eat and resume normal activities.

Causes of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS)

It can be difficult to determine a singular cause of an individual’s Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. Vomiting is a fairly common symptom of various GI diseases, and CVS, in particular, has many different factors that could contribute to its cause.

CVS may be caused by personal behaviors, external influences, bodily imbalances, mental state, or internal changes.

Specific CVS episodes may be caused by things such as:

  • Hot weather
  • Menstruation
  • Sicknesses- such as colds
  • Allergies or sinus problems
  • Overeating
  • Eating certain foods -Alcohol, caffeine, chocolate or cheese
  • Physical exhaustion
  • Motion sickness
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Emotional stress or excitement

Treatment for Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS)

Common treatment for Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome may consist of three main goals:

  1. End the vomiting episode: attempt to stop an attack after it starts
  2. Rescue therapy: attempt to keep the patient as comfortable as possible if the attack cannot be stopped
  3. Prophylactic medicine: attempt to prevent future attacks

Treatment will vary between different individuals and different cases of Cyclic Vomiting System. You should speak with your doctor/your child’s doctor about the best treatment options for you/your child.

Complications of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS)

If Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS) is left untreated, possible complications may include:

  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Injury to the esophagus, the main food pipe connecting the mouth to the stomach
  • Loss of dental enamel from stomach acid that enters the mouth in the vomit

To prepare for your visit with Dr. Mona Dave, you can keep written records of:

  • The triggers of the vomiting episodes
  • Time the vomiting episode begins
  • Length of the vomiting episodes
  • The child’s dietary habits
  • The child’s stressors
  • Life-changes

and bring a list of all medications, vitamins, and supplements your child takes.