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Cyclic vomiting syndrome is a type of disorder that affects the digestive symptom. The syndrome is marked by severe episodes of nausea and vomiting that do not seem to be caused by true gastrointestinal illness. A person with this order may vomit repeatedly for an entire day and then appear to be perfectly fine the next. Others may vomit repeatedly over days and weeks, without appearing to have any bacterial or viral illness as a cause.
A person with cyclic vomiting syndrome won’t vomit just a few times like most people do when they’re sick. Someone with this syndrome may vomit up to 12 times in just 60 minutes. When this disorder occurs in children, it is likely to last one to two days. In an adult, however, the repeated vomiting can go on for nearly a week; unfortunately, the symptoms end only to come back later in the year. For children, this type of vomiting may occur about 12 times per year while an adult may have just a few episodes per year.
Episodes of cyclic vomiting syndrome tend to occur either early in the morning or late at night. They may occur before the affected person has even eaten breakfast. Sometimes patients become pale or suffer from exhaustion along with the vomiting and nausea. Some people may feel sensitive to light or develop headaches, fever, or dizziness along with the other symptoms. A person with this syndrome may even have abdominal pain and diarrhea, though this is not always the case.
No one knows for sure what causes cyclic vomiting. However, some people develop symptoms when they have colds or other respiratory conditions. Others develop symptoms in response to stress, excitement, exhaustion, overeating, or menstruation. Some people may have symptoms after eating certain foods, such as chocolate. Exhaustion and extreme heat can trigger symptoms as well.
So far, there is no cure for cyclic vomiting syndrome; treatment typically focuses on keeping the patient comfortable and trying to prevent dehydration. Some people find that lying in a quiet, darkened room may help; sometimes medication, such as antidepressants and analgesics, may be used to prevent bouts. When a person is at risk of dehydration, she may need to be hospitalized and treated with intravenous fluids. Some people learn to recognize the signs of an impending episode. In such a case, it may be possible to prevent some episodes by avoiding the things that seem to trigger them.
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