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Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome - Video

The animated videos in NORD’s Rare Disease Video Library provide brief introductions to rare disease topics for patients, caregivers, students, professionals and the public. NORD collaborates with medical experts, patient organizations, videographers and Osmosis to develop the videos, which are made possible by individual donations, educational grants and corporate sponsorships. NORD is solely responsible for the content.

General Discussion

Cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS) is an uncommon disorder affecting both children and adults and characterized by recurrent episodes of severe nausea and vomiting. An episode may last for a few hours to several days and is then followed by a period of time during which affected individuals are relatively free of severe nausea and vomiting. Some can experience milder symptoms between attacks. This alternating pattern of disease and disease-free periods distinguishes cyclic vomiting syndrome from other gastrointestinal disorders. For each person who suffers from this condition, the episodes are similar to each other. The associated nausea and vomiting can be severe enough to incapacitate the individual who may be unable to walk or talk and/or be bedridden. Additional symptoms often present during an episode including dizziness, paleness of the skin (pallor), lack of energy (listlessness) and, abdominal pain and headaches. Oftentimes, nausea is the most disturbing symptom, more so than vomiting. Some affected children outgrow these episodes as they get older but for many others, CVS transitions into migraine headache. Cyclic vomiting syndrome may affect children more often than adults. The exact causes of cyclic vomiting syndrome remains unknown in many people, but a cause or risk factors can be determined in many others.

Synonyms of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

  • adult cyclic vomiting syndrome
  • abdominal migraine
  • childhood cyclic vomiting
  • CVS
  • cyclical vomiting
  • periodic syndrome

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