CVS: What is cyclical vomiting syndrome?

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Jan 12, 2016 in Rat News | Subscribe

A rare vomiting condition has made headlines after a woman spoke out about how it is so debilitating that she has contemplated taking her own life.

Sherrie Duggan, from Birmingham, told the Birmingham Mail that Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome (CVS) causes her to be sick up to 15 times an hour at its most severe.  

“I feel suicidal at these times because I just want it to stop.

“I get no sleep and feel delirious with no concept of time, what day it is, or who is around me,” she said.

But what is the condition, and what causes it?

What is CVS?

Those with the condition will vomit repeatedly, sometimes for days at a time, according to the NHS. Therefore, suffers must sometimes be hospitalised during severe episodes to control their condition and ensure they don’t become dehydrated. 

Such attacks are not caused by infections or other illnesses.

Children are most likely to be affected by the condition. Studies in Scotland and Australia showed that 2 per cent of school-aged children suffer from CVS. However, it can also affect adults. 

What are the symptoms?

Those who have the condition generally experience four phases. First they will sweat and feel nauseous. This can last between a few minutes to a number of hours.

They will then begin to retch and vomit, often during the night or in the early morning. This will be followed by vomiting up to six times an hour for at least an hour – lasting up to 10 days. During this second phase they may experience other symptoms including stomach pain, diarrhoea, fever, dizziness, headache, sensitivity to light, and drowsiness.

The third phase involves the person gradually recovering, before experiencing a “well phase”. The cycle then starts again.

Due to the nature of the condition, sufferers can also experience short-term conditions such as dehydration, and longer-term issues such as tooth decay from excessive vomiting.

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What is the cause?

The exact cause of CVS is unknown, and it has been linked to a wide range of triggers from stress to caffeine and hot weather. Other people report that it is caused by stress, while some women experience CVS alongside menstrual periods. 

How is it treated?

There is no definitive cure for the illness, and patients manage it differently. As people who experience CVS often develop migraines, medicines which treat this condition can help.

Medicine which prevents vomiting, abdominal pain, and for stomach acid can also aid sufferers. 

Avoiding triggers, getting enough sleep, eating well, and tackling stress are also important in tackling CVS. 

Anyone affected by the issues raised in this article who needs confidential support can call the Samaritans in the UK on 08457 90 90 90.

  • More about:
  • Cyclical vomiting syndrome
  • Health
  • Rare condition

Article source: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/what-is-cyclical-vomiting-syndrome-sherrie-duggan-cvs-a6805736.html

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