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What's going on with this kid?


My eight year old son has been having bouts of vomiting. Always at night, just once, and usually two to three hours after he goes to bed. We have ruled out junkfood (my kid is actually very much into healthy foods and doesn't like junky candy - he would be a vegetarian if I allowed it). There is no evidence of parasitic infection in his stool. I've asked him about S&S of GERD and he doesn't have any other than the vomiting. It doesn't happen every night, maybe one or two nights in a row and then he's fine for a few days and then it happens again. We have watched what he's eating and there doesn't seem to be any correlation between the vomiting and any common food. He has no food allergies, no medication allergies. Had an allergic reaction to spider toxin once (the only spider in our area that is poisonous) when he was about three. He has periodic eczema but hasn't had a flare up in greater than two years (I keep it under control with lotion, showers instead of baths, drying well, and use sunblock once a week - works wonders although I don't know why). He has a flow murmur that was diagnosed as benign and I have actually been told that this is a good thing (that his heart is able to compensate so well when he is ill). He had one episode of hematuria a year and a half ago but ultrasound revealed nothing and urinalysis revealed nothing other than the presence of blood and it resolved on it's own the next day. He had one episode of syncope around the same time and the doc figured he had just overheated because it was a warmish winter day and the teachers had them lined up at the door inside (dressed to go outside) for a long time before they went out. He has had a Vaxigrip immunization but there doesn't seem to be a connection to that either because this has been happening off and on for years and he's only had the flu vaccine twice. I have explored anxiety but this happens on nights when he is very content and "dreaming good dreams". He is a contented child, the home is stable, he has many friends, his teachers think he is the greatest and can see no problems there. I just have no idea what is going on with him. When this happens, he is afebrile with no other S&S of any illness. He wakes up, gets sick once, and goes right back to sleep with no other problems. In case it is GERD, we have elevated the head of his bed and make sure that he eats dinner by five to have three hours for digestion prior to bed.

Any ideas? I'm out of things to even consider and the doc has no idea either.

Anagray, BSN

Specializes in ER,med-surg, LTC, psych, dialysis. Has 17 years experience.

Hi! i'm so sorry for your little guy - it must be so frustrating and painful for him :(

I'm not yet a nurse, but I had problems with GI as a child for nearly 3 years ( resolved after alternative medicine approach was finally taken).

I am wondering, how long has this been happening;does he have normal bowel patterns; have you tried comepletely cutting out acidic foods for a week; what is he throwing up - food, bile, etc.

I have heard of someone's son doing the same thing your son is doing and that boy was around the same age. Resolved on its own within months.

I hope he gets relief soon :)

Sounds to me also like cyclic vomiting syndrome. My daughter did the same thing for about 5 years before I FINALLY got a diagnosis from a pediatric gastroenterologist. Dx. CVS


Specializes in Trauma ICU, MICU/SICU. Has 4 years experience.

Sounds to me also like cyclic vomiting syndrome. My daughter did the same thing for about 5 years before I FINALLY got a diagnosis from a pediatric gastroenterologist. Dx. CVS

Anyone ever wonder if CVS is caused by H. Pylori. This is a nasty little bug that is responsible for about 80% of gastric ulcers and close to 100% of duodenul(sp?) ulcers. Since CVS is a syndrome it really doesn't state a cause.

Thank you for your replies and concern. I looked at the above posted websites and while the CVS at first seemed like it was it... my son has no abdominal pain and he only vomits once and then he's back to bed. Sometimes, he's so sound asleep when it happens that he gets up, gets sick once, and goes back to bed and doesn't even remember it the next morning. No, he has no pain at all and it only happens once, not repeatedly. I really doubt that it's H.Pylori... I did look at the research and my son doesn't fit with any of the other S&S that are found in children with H.Pylori. And again, he has no pain with this... I've had bleeding duodenal ulcers with H.Pylori (cured nine years ago thank goodness) and this is not the same experience for him. I know that the experience is different for everyone, but there is nothing similar here. The doctor also does not believe that it is H.Pylori either. He thinks my son is a "stomach kid" - once in awhile, he just vomits. It isn't affecting his growth (weight or height), development, or for the most part, even his sleep.

It's been happening on and off for so long that I'm no longer really worried about it (because it doesn't bother him at all), just curious as to what it could be. "Stomach kid" isn't exactly a medical diagnosis is it?

Im not a nurse yet, but I was just wondering if it was possibly psychological? maybe he's worried about something which makes him feel ill, then his reaction is to vomit. I know that I used to do that as a child, and my nephews are the same. Hope he feels better soon

KaroSnowQueen, RN

Specializes in Telemetry, Case Management. Has 30 years experience.

Have they checked his ears?

My son would vomit with almost no warning at all, no stomach cramping, nothing, just upchuck and like yours, go right back to sleep peacefully. Finally they figured out he had chronic ear infections. No ear pain, no drainage, no s/sx of ear infx AT ALL.

As soon as he was treated with abts and had tubes put in his ears, the vomiting stopped the day he came home from the outpt surgery for the tubes and never came back.

I thought it was weird too, but that's what it was. Worth a try.

Originally posted by NorthStar

Sounds to me also like cyclic vomiting syndrome. My daughter did the same thing for about 5 years before I FINALLY got a diagnosis from a pediatric gastroenterologist. Dx. CVS

Coming in late on this I know. I just wanted to add my $.02.

My now 20 yo son had abdominal migraine/CVS.

He had NO abdominal pain about half the time...he would awaken from a sound sleep with "that feeling": throat tightening & mouth flooding and would vomit without fully waking up.

Interestingly, in his mid-teens the vomiting decreased then resolved and he developed cluster headaches.

My son had vomiting on occasion and we did all the GI testing....H.Pylori etc, sent him to a Peds GI specialist who did an upper GI and said "he has reflux" cause his esophagus was irritated. I said "can't all this vomiting cause irritation and not reflux?" Well they didn't listen and put him on Prilosec with no results. Started him on Reglan with no results.....then the vomiting would occur during the day occasionally....same thing, felt fine, would walk to the bathroom and vomit and then finish his meal. Always looked and acted fine.

Eventually, he started wondering at night and started staring off with a panic look prior to the vomiting and then came the pill rolling and stumbling his gait a little.....and that is when the diagnosis of seizures was made. But his vomiting at first was no more than walking to the bathroom and throwing up and feeling fine the entire time.

He has been on Tegretol for 4 years now and has had only 5 seizures since starting it and no more vomiting!! That was how his seizures manifested. Not your typical seizure. And completely overlooked since we were focusing on GI problems.

Just another thing to think about. Good luck. I hope you find an answer. Much easier to treat something that is diagnosed correctly. Take care, Sharon

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