Cyclic vomiting syndrome, or CVS, is a disorder marked by recurrent and severe episodes of vomiting and is believed to be related to migraine. It is frequently misdiagnosed, and B.U.K. Li, MD, a professor of pediatrics (gastroenterology) at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, provided insights into its diagnosis and treatment at the Annual Academy of Pediatrics conference in October in San Diego.

While News to Know reports this month that Dutch researchers have found that simply drinking more water may improve headache, French researchers have looked further for answers to pain relief. They believe they have found some in the black mamba snake. The venom of this snake, considered to be one of the deadliest in the world, contains molecules that researchers Sylvie Diochot and Anne Baron of the CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) in Paris, France, say may relieve pain as effectively as morphine, but without the troubling side effects of narcotic medications, such as addiction, headache and vomiting.

Q. My adult daughter has had a headache for six months. It never goes away, no matter what she takes. Her primary doctor gave her a prescription for a limited number of Vicodin®, which dulls the pain a little, and she takes a muscle relaxant. She had her first migraine with aura at age 20 and until this year only got a migraine about twice a year. I thought she got off easy compared to her oldest sister, who suffered from severe migraine all through high school, and her other sister who outgrew cyclic vomiting syndrome. My daughter has had all the tests you can imagine and is seeing a neurologist who diagnosed her with chronic daily migraine. He says the next step is to start Topamax® and increase by increments, up to 200 mg. I’m concerned because she previously tried Topamax, up to 50 mg, but experienced tingling in her hands and nausea. My daughter’s quality of life is suffering and we are desperate to obtain relief for her. Do you have any advice?

Since I was a child I remember getting "sick headaches." We would go out and play baseball on a sunny Saturday morning and then I would spend that afternoon and night in my room with a cold rag on my head silently suffering. My mother had headaches all of her life with terrible nausea, but thankfully, I never had the nausea. As I grew into young adulthood, I realized the patterns and triggers in my headaches so I was able to control them to a degree. They were manageable, but never gone.

I get migraines about twice a week, especially when there is a change in the weather. I usually wake up with it. So of course my head is throbbing, and the need to vomit forces me to get up. Once I am up, I cannot lay back down, because by head feels like it is going to explode if I lay it down on the pillow. So I usually just stay in the bathroom with a pillow against the wall. The doctor has given medication to take to stop the nausea, once that is gone, I will take an Imitrex. It usually requires me to take another one two hours later, and before the heads subsides a little, but it really does not totally go away.

I have suffered from migraines for a long time. The first one I had was when I was five-years old. I used to have headaches daily and sometimes these escalated into migraines about once a month. My migraines are disabling as many others may find. My head hurts so much that I find myself struggling to crawl around on the floor, my eyes are ultra-sensitive to lights, and I have a constant feeling of nausea, along with vomiting. It hurts even to sleep. The pressure on my head when I lie horizontally makes me feel like my head is going to erupt!

Considering the growing obesity epidemic among America’s youth, exercise is typically considered to be a great thing – it increases blood flow, helps manage weight, boosts energy levels – the list goes on and on. However, for children suffering from exertion headaches, exercise can quickly become the enemy. 2722837321_b45148c20c_oExertion headaches are a generalized head pain that occurs during or following physical exertion (running, jumping) or passive exertion (sneezing, coughing, moving one’s bowels, etc.). While most exertion headaches are benign, they do vary in severity, duration (from 15 minutes to 20 hours), and associated symptoms (some children will experience nausea, vomiting, and light or sound sensitivity). Although these headaches may occur in isolation, they are most commonly associated with patients who have inherited susceptibility to migraine and are often triggered by sustained physical exertion that is uncharacteristically strenuous for the particular individual’s conditioning.