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Question: My 7 year old son has had times where he vomits. There does not seem to be any correlation to food. We took him to the doctor who treated him for acid reflux but every once in a while he gets a headache, gets a pasty look and vomits a very small amount of what looks like egg whites. As soon as he vomits he feels better and within a few hours he is fine, his appetite comes back. I read somewhere where in boys ages 4-11 tis is common and there is a name for it. Can anyone shed some light on the condition and is there something I an do to stop it? Glenn

Answer: Dear Glenn,

You may be referring to cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS) where people experience bouts of nausea and vomiting that last for hours or even days and alternate with longer periods of no symptoms. This condition is more common in children but can also occur in adults.

This condition has no known cause and each episode is similiar to previous ones (starts at same time of day, same lenght of time, intensity of symptoms, etc.) This condition usually starts when children are between 3 and 7.

This condition has four phases:

- Signals of nausea and vomiting
- Vomiting episode
- Recovery time (energy and appetite returns)
- Symptom free time between episodes

Certain events or conditions can trigger an episode such as emotional stress, excitement (birthday, vacation), colds, allergies, flu.

This condition is hard to diagnose because there are no clear tests and does not have a cure. Treatment is based in preventing episodes.

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