18-09 Segment 2: Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome

Copyright: jhandersen / 123RF Stock Photo

 

Vomiting is not a pleasurable experience for anybody, but most people do not suffer from it all that often. However, people with cyclic vomiting syndrome may experience this discomfort once or twice a month for 24 to 48 hours, and sometimes, even up to ten days. Kathleen Adams is the mother of a cyclic vomiting sufferer and the founder, President, and Research Liaison of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Association. She explains that her daughter began having episodes of vomiting as a baby that would last for two and a half to three days. She went undiagnosed for ten years, before finding a doctor who recognized her symptoms and was able to prescribe her medicine that helped decrease the severity of the episodes.

Due to the fact that this syndrome is not well known, many people do not know what to look for or how to prevent it. Dr. B Li, Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Cyclic Vomiting Program at the Medical College of Wisconsin, states that cyclic vomiting syndrome is defined as  recurrent spells of vomiting that can make individuals vomit to the point of dehydration, and even hinder their ability to walk and talk. She explains that these episodes can be triggered from stress, lack of sleep, prolonged fasting, and even exciting events. Although, it can sometimes be prevented if the patient or caregiver is able to identify the trigger that sets off an episode.

While there are ways to help prevent cyclic vomiting syndrome through medications and understanding what triggers an episode, it still remains difficult to treat. Dr. Li states that studies have sought to address how debilitating the syndrome is and it has been proven to impact the quality of life to the same degree as diseases such as Crohn’s disease. However, Dr. Katja Kovacic, pediatric gastroenterologist at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, explains that most children eventually outgrow cyclic vomiting syndrome by adolescence. Unfortunately for many, it can evolve into other symptoms, such as migraine headaches. Despite being something a person may eventually outgrow, it is important to understand the impact the syndrome has on those who suffer from it as well as their caregivers.

Guests:

  • Kathleen Adams, mother of cyclic vomiting sufferer and the founder, President, and Research Liason of Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome Association
  • Dr. B Li, Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Cyclic Vomiting Program at Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Dr. Katja Kovacic, pediatric gastroenterologist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

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Medical Notes 17-50

 

Medical Notes this week…

Neurologists are warning that Parkinson’s disease could soon become pandemic. A report in the journal JAMA Neurology finds that nearly seven million people have Parkinson’s worldwide, a number that’s likely to more than double by the year 2040. Researchers say that makes Parkinson’s the fastest growing neurological disorder, outpacing even Alzheimer’s disease. Neurological disorders have become the world’s leading cause of disability.

Too much stress is bad for our health, but a little bit turns out to be very good at keeping aging cells robust. A study on animals in the journal Cell Reports shows that when aging cells are mildly stressed, they emit signals that keep quality control machinery in the cell working. This may double the animal’s lifespan by preventing the accumulation of damaged proteins that otherwise would lead to a variety of degenerative diseases.

And finally, yet another use for Botox relieving migraines in children and adolescents. A study presented to the American Society of Anesthesiologists finds that migraines that didn’t respond to traditional treatments did much better after Botox injections. Headaches that previously lasted as long as 24 hours were cut down to seven hours after Botox and on the 1-10 pain scale, headaches that used to come in at an eight were reduced to a five.

And that’s Medical Notes this week.

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16-01 Segment 1: How weather causes pain

 

Synopsis: Millions of Americans suffer pain as a result of weather changes. Experts discuss different conditions affected by weather, why pain responds to weather changes and possible remedies to some of these maladies.

Host: Reed Pence. Guests: Deni Cantrall, retired teacher and arthritis sufferer; Dr. Robert Jamison, Professor of Anesthesia and Psychiatry, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Bob Smirbeck, Expert Senior Meteorologist, AccuWeather.com; Dr. David Borenstein, Clinical Professor of Medicine, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences; Dr. Vincent Martin, Professor of Medicine and Director, Headache and Facial Pain Program, University of Cincinnati.

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Click here for the transcript