Pediatric Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS)

Pediatric Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS)


What is cyclic vomiting syndrome?

Cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS) is a disorder in which a child has continuous cycle of symptoms that involve periods of extreme nausea, followed by rapid vomiting. They then experience a period of recovery, followed by a period of normal health with no symptoms. The cycle then begins again, and happens over and over.

Some medical researchers believe that CVS is a type of abdominal migraine. CVS most often happens in young children; however, it can occur at any age.

What are the stages of cyclic vomiting syndrome?

The stages of CVS are categorized as:

  • Symptom-free interval phase — The time between symptoms when a child feels completely healthy.  
  • Prodromal phase — During this phase, most children experience nausea.
  • Vomiting phase — During this phase, the child experiences rapid vomiting, combined with nausea and lethargy (tiredness).
  • Recovery phase — This phase begins when the nausea and vomiting stops and extends until the child feels completely healthy again.

What is cyclic vomiting syndrome causes by?

There is no known cause of CVS, however, the most common triggers of episodes include:

  • Allergies
  • Emotional excitement
  • Feeling too hot or too cold
  • Foods such as chocolate or nitrates (such as hot dogs or lunch meat)
  • Hunger
  • Lack of sleep
  • Overexertion

What are the symptoms of cyclic vomiting syndrome?

If your child has CVS, symptoms will come and go depending on where they are in the cycle. The most common symptoms of CVS include:

Is there a cure for cyclic vomiting syndrome?

There is no cure for CVS. 

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