Have you ever experienced vomiting without a cause? Well, vomiting itself is gross, and suffering for a day or two without a cause is annoying. That is what happens in Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. Here, you get an episode of severe vomiting without any cause. You can have these episodes for hours, days, or alternate symptom-free periods. But these episodes are always similar. For example, they will start at the same time every episode starts, symptoms will be the same every time, and the intensity of cyclic vomiting will be the same every time. You will observe many cases of cyclic vomiting syndrome in children, especially those in the age group of 3-7 years of age. But Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome can happen to anyone from any age group.
Recently, you will find that the number of cases of these episodes has increased in adults. It is not easy to diagnose this syndrome, as vomiting is a symptom of many diseases. Hence, its treatment is done by changing the lifestyle of the patient.
Since vomiting is a symptom of many diseases, it is very hard to determine if a patient is suffering from cyclic vomiting syndrome. Keeping a close look at symptoms will give you an idea if you are suffering from this syndrome. So, let us take a look at the symptoms of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. Usually, people experience the symptoms in the morning. The signs are three or four recurring cycles of vomiting. These cycles happen at the same time and last for the same duration during every cycle.
The episodes happen at varying intervals and during this period your health will be normal. You will also observe heavy sweating and nausea before every episode starts. Other symptoms that you will observe are abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness, and headache. Also, you will feel gagging and sensitivity to lights. Sometimes there can be blood in your vomit as well. If you observe these signs and symptoms, then go to a doctor for a checkup.
As said earlier, the causes of cyclic vomiting syndrome are unknown. But it can be related to genes, digestive difficulties, nervous system problems, and hormone imbalances. Other causes that can trigger this syndrome are:
- Sinus, allergies, and cold problems
- Emotional extremes (excitement or stress)
- Panic attacks and anxiety
- Certain foods and beverages
- Overeating right before going to bed
- Physical exercise
- Motion Sickness
- Hot temperature
If you can identify the trigger for your cyclic vomiting syndrome, then you can avoid it by making changes in your lifestyle.
Complications that can happen because of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome are dehydration, injury to the food tube, and tooth decay. Dehydration is common during severe vomiting. If you are suffering from excessive vomiting your body fluids are lost. You will have excessive thirst and a dry mouth. Also, you will see symptoms like urination will decrease, dry skin, and exhaustion. If they become severe, then you will have to go to a hospital for treatment. Not only dehydration but there can be injuries to your food tube. It happens because of the stomach acid during vomiting. You may also see blood as there can be cuts to your food tube (esophagus). Stomach acid not only affects your food tube but also your teeth. Excessive vomiting can even decay your teeth due to acids.
As you just saw, cyclic vomiting syndrome can cause severe complications. Hence, it is better to consult a doctor and find a trigger for your syndrome. As there is no specific test to confirm these symptoms. Also, vomiting is a symptom of various other diseases. Hence, determining if you are suffering from Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome is not easy. So, the doctors start with a diagnosis with knowing the medical history of the patient as well as the family and conducting a physical examination. Also, they will ask about the symptoms and experiences during episodes. If the intensity of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome is higher, then they will recommend further scans. It can include endoscopy, CT scans, and ultrasounds. Also, they will check the hormones and way of food in your system (mortality test).
How to prevent Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome?
Preventing the disease is always better than suffering and later curing it. So to prevent Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome you must know what triggers it. Knowing these trigger warnings will help you avoid them. This will in turn reduce the intensity or frequency of episodes. Also, it is important to take your prescribed medicines. If your episodes of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome occur multiple times or require hospitalizations then you must consider it. There are some preventive medicines that you can consider. Some changes you can consider are getting adequate sleep, avoiding trigger food, or taking small meals. If your child is suffering from Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome, then avoid getting them more excited or stressed. Going to the doctor if you see symptoms of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome is a must.