CVS: Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

CVS is a disease of unknown origin, but is believed to be hereditary. There is nothing that tells us where it comes from originally or what causes CVS to start in it’s victims. CVS was first thought to be a pediatric disease but has now been found to affect all ages.

CVS is where a person has uncontrollable bouts of nausea and vomiting, which are called episodes. These episodes vary in intensity and length. They could last days or even weeks. Though most episodes don’t last longer than 1 week. Episodes are also believed to have a rhythmic pattern where they start around the same time of day and usually lasting the same amount of time. Also the symptoms and intensity of the episode are generally the same every time.

Misdiagnosis can be very common to CVS victims. There are many underlying disease that can cause many of the same symptoms. So until the other diseases are ruled out the last option would be CVS (which is still an uncommon disease to most doctors) causing the true diagnosis to take longer to achieve. There are no test to verify CVS in a person. The only way to know is for a doctor to review a patients medical history and vomiting episode information. It is always good to keep records of everything medical-wise on a patients part. Keep records on symptoms (their length, strength, and when they start and stop), medications your on and what affects they have on you, conversations or information your doctor has given you, or even things that you believe are causing your episodes.

The 4 Phases of CVS:
1. Symptom-Free Phase: This is the time between your episodes when you feel fine and normal.
2. Prodrome Phase: This is the signal to the start of your episode. This signal can happen anywhere between minutes and hours of your first symptoms (nausea with or without abdominal pain). In some cases taking medication when you first get this signal can help stop the episode. There is sometimes no warning at all and you’ll just wake up in the morning instantly puking.
3. Vomiting Phase: This is where the episode is critical and most painful. This phase causes vomiting, nausea, paleness, drowsiness, a helplessness of not being able to eat/drink/or take medication orally, and exhaustion.
4. Recovery Phase: This is where you stop vomiting and feeling nauseas. You’ll get your color, appetite, and energy back. In most cases you will feel starved as if you haven’t ate for months, so it is important not to over-eat as it can cause an episode.

Things to Remember:
*During an episode it is important to make sure that you are not getting dehydrated. Vomiting so much can cause you to lose your electrolytes and potassium (which causes muscle cramps and is extremely painful). The symptoms of dehydration are: your peeing less or its very dark smelly or brown in color, thirst, paleness, listlessness (in la la land), exhaustion (puking so much is very hard on all of your bodies muscles).

*Triggers for episodes are different for everyone. Some triggers reported are: chocolate, cheese, eating too much, stress, excitement, motion sickness, alcohol, spicy foods, infections, hot weather, menstruation, and physical exhaustion. *During an episode you may experience: nausea, vomiting, fever, dizziness, abdominal pain, diarrhea, sensitivity to light, gagging and dry-heaving.

*It is important to take care of your teeth and throat. The acid in vomit can cause your esophagus to deteriorate and bleed (in some cases replacement of a man-made esophagus is needed). The acid also eats away your teeth’s enamel making it easier to get cavities.

Source: Personal Assisting Experience

Annastasia Willis

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