CVS Network - FAQ
At what age do people suffer from CVS?
CVS begins at any age. It can persist for months, years or decades. Episodes may recur several times a month or several times a year. Females are affected slightly more than males. The person may be prone to motion sickness, and there is often a family history of migraine. There is a high likelihood that children’s episodes will be replaced by migraine headaches during adolescence.
How is CVS diagnosed?
CVS has been difficult to diagnose because it is infrequently recognized and is often misdiagnosed as stomach flu or food poisoning. There are as yet no blood tests, x-rays or other specific procedures used to diagnose the disorder. The diagnosis is made by careful review of the patient’s history, physical examination and lab studies to rule out other diseases that may cause vomiting similar to CVS.
What triggers a CVS attack?
Although some patients know of nothing that triggers attacks, many identify specific circumstances that seem to bring on their episodes. Colds, flus and other infections, intense excitement (birthdays, holidays, vacations), emotional stress and menstrual periods are the most frequently reported triggers. Specific foods or anesthetics may also play a role.
What is the treatment for CVS?
Treatment is generally supportive with much importance placed on early intervention. A dark quiet environment is critical for sleep. Hospitalizations and IV fluid replacement may be necessary. Medication trials sometimes succeed in finding something to prevent, shorten or abort episodes. It is important to work with a physician who does his/her best to understand CVS and is supportive.
What are the symptoms associated with CVS?
Episodes may begin at any time, but often start during the early morning hours. There is relentless nausea with repeated bouts of vomiting or retching. The person is pale, listless and resists talking. They often drool or spit and have an extreme thirst. They may experience intense abdominal pain and less often headache, low-grade fever and diarrhea. Prolonged vomiting may cause mild bleeding from irritation of the esophagus. One mother aptly described her child’s state during the episode as a “conscious coma”. The symptoms are frightening to the person and family and can be life-threatening if delayed treatment leads to dehydration.
Is there a treatment plan for hospital admissions?
Yes there is. An article by CVS expert Dr David Fleisher, describing his approach to treatment based on many years experience of CVS, can be seen and downloaded below.