- Cyclic vomiting syndrome is a disorder that causes recurrent episodes of nausea, vomiting, and tiredness (lethargy) most often in children but may occur in all age groups.
- Symptoms of cyclic vomiting syndrome are repeated attacks of intense nausea, vomiting, and lethargy that last anywhere from an hour to 10 days; other symptoms may include pale skin, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, and an increased sensitivity to light or to sound.
- The most common situations that cause cyclic vomiting syndrome are emotional excitement and infections; other triggers can include periods without eating, temperature extremes, lack of sleep, overexertion, allergies, ingesting certain foods or alcohol, and menstruation.
- Cyclic vomiting syndrome has four phases: symptom-free, prodrome, vomiting, and recovery.
- Cyclic vomiting syndrome is diagnosed by the patient's history and symptoms.
- Treatment is done by the patient learning to avoid the causes or triggers of the disorder; however, during the prodrome, vomiting and recovery phases, medications are often used to treat the symptoms (for example, anti-nausea medications, NSAIDs, anti-migraine medications, fluid replenishment and others).
- Complications may include pain, reflux, fainting, depression, panic disorder, and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Cyclic vomiting syndrome is generally considered to be a variant of migraines by researchers.
- "Cyclic vomiting syndrome plus" is considered a diagnosis when a patients also exhibit symptoms of developmental delay or intellectual disability, muscle weakness (myopathy), and/or seizures.
- The disorder has a wide range of reported prevalence, about 4 to 2000 per 100,000 children; but seems to occur less frequently in adults although the data is not clear.
- Researchers suggest several factors may contribute to the disorder: brain function disorder, hormonal abnormalities, GI problems, migraine-like conditions, and changes in mitochondrial DNA.
- Some people may inherit the changes in mitochondrial DNA that may cause the disorder.
What is cyclic vomiting syndrome?
Cyclic vomiting syndrome is a disorder that causes recurrent episodes of nausea, vomiting, and tiredness (lethargy). This condition is diagnosed most often in young children, but it can affect people of any age.
What are the symptoms of cyclic vomiting syndrome?
Cyclic vomiting syndrome is characterized by attacks of intense nausea, vomiting, and lethargy that last anywhere from an hour to 10 days. An affected person may vomit several times per hour, potentially leading to a dangerous loss of fluids (dehydration). Additional symptoms can include unusually pale skin (pallor), abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, and an increased sensitivity to light (photophobia) or to sound (phonophobia). In most affected people, the signs and symptoms of each attack are quite similar. These attacks can be debilitating, making it difficult for an affected person to go to work or school.
What triggers cyclic vomiting syndrome?
Episodes of nausea and vomiting can be triggered by several different factors. The most common triggers are emotional excitement and infections. Other triggers can include periods without eating (fasting), temperature extremes, lack of sleep, overexertion, allergies, ingesting certain foods or alcohol, and menstruation.
What are the four phases of cyclic vomiting syndrome?
Cyclic vomiting syndrome has four phases:
Symptom-free interval phase. This phase is the period between episodes when no symptoms are present.
Prodrome phase. This phase signals that an episode of nausea and vomiting is about to begin. Often marked by nausea - with or without abdominal pain - this phase can last from just a few minutes to several hours. Sometimes, taking medicine early in the phase can stop an episode in progress. However, sometimes there is no warning; a person may simply wake up in the morning and begin vomiting.
Vomiting phase. This phase consists of nausea and vomiting; an inability to eat, drink, or take medicines without vomiting; paleness; drowsiness; and exhaustion.
Recovery phase. This phase begins when the nausea and vomiting stop. Healthy color, appetite, and energy return.