Does Your Child Have Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome?

Does Your Child Have Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome?

Child with CVS

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome, also known as CVS, is a disorder of severe recurrent episodes of vomiting.CVShas three essential characteristics:

  1. Sudden Onset

Usually children with CVSfeel well and then suddenly get an “attack” of nausea orabdominal painthat progresses to severe vomiting. These episodes or “attacks” can occur at any time, but they often occur in the early morning hours and awaken the child from their sleep. 

  1. Episodes of Vomiting are Similar

Each vomiting episode or “attack” is very similar to episodes the child has had previously. The episodes of CVScan last a few hours or several days. The child often wants to be left alone in a quiet dark room. Some children will vomit to the point of dehydration.

  1. Period of Wellness Between Episodes

After the CVSepisode ends, children feel well and return back to normal. They are able to eat and drink as if nothing happened. This period of wellness typically lasts for 1–3 months until another episode occurs. However, some children have more frequent episodes that occur every 1–3 weeks.

What Causes CVS?

The exact cause of CVSis unknown, but CVSseems to be related to migraines. Many children with CVShave a family history of migraines. For some children, CVSis triggered by physical and psychological stressors such as colds, viruses, menstrual cycle, positive stressors, and negative stressors. 

What Tests Are Done to Diagnose CVS?

There is no specific test for CVS, but certain medical conditions may need to be excluded by your child’s physician. Your child’s physician may order the following tests:

  • Upper GI series to evaluate the anatomy
  • Abdominal ultrasound to evaluate the gallbladder and pancreas
  • Blood test
  • Urine test
  • MRI of the brain
  • Upper endoscopy to evaluate for damage and disease in the digestive system 

What is the Treatment for CVS?

Treatment for CVSis divided into two categories:

  1. Medications to abort or stop the episode of CVSonce it has started
  2. Medications taken daily to prevent the CVSepisodes from occurring

While these medications are generally safe, each medication has its own safety profile, so it is best to consult your child’s physician to determine what medication is best for your child.

What to Do If You Suspect Your Child Has CVS

Many children with CVSwill go months or years before the diagnosis of CVSis suspected. Once the diagnosis of CVSis made and treatment is started, most children do extremely well. Some children will “outgrow” their episodes of CVS, and other children may go on to develop typical migraines headaches. 

Talk to your child’s physician about your concerns and look online at www.cvsaonline.org.

If you would like more information about Cyclic Vomiting Syndromeor gastrointestinal (GI) digestive disorders and nutrition in children, please contact Dr. Mona Dave’s Frisco Office or Request Appointment Here.