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Avatar universal

morning vomiting in teen boy

I am writing on behalf of my son.  He is almost 17 and has had issues with morning nausea and vomiting for several years.  It comes and goes and lasts 3-5 days.  It will wake him up in the morning for several days and he will either vomit (most often only once) or feel nauseous for an hour or so and then is perfectly fine the rest of the day.  When it ends he is fine for several weeks before it starts again.  He is otherwise very healthy and active although quite thin, even on the edge of being underweight.  He normally has a good appetite except during these episodes when he seems to get full very quickly.

I am hoping for some insight on what could be causing this or how to help with it.  I strongly believe it is NOT linked to stress (I have been doing a lot of online research and this has come up often) as he is a very confident person and not at all a worrier.

thanks so much for any help.
Kat
52 Responses
Avatar universal
Welcome to the gastroenterology community.  How often does this occur?  Has he had any testing done?  There are many things this could be but he probably needs to get some testing done to determine the cause.  Good luck.
3 Comments
Here is what we found with my 11 yr son: Probably Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome (CVS) that I have been able to control with either toast or a protein Clif Bar at bedtime. Like other kids described here, my son is big (5'7'' at 11/boys size 16 pants). In elementary school he would have periods of morning vomiting that were not contagious. Spring/Summer 2017 bad spell, sometimes 3x/week. But always periodic--not recurrent--and stereotypical. This meant c. 4am vomiting for c. 1 hr, and then fine by 6 or 7 am. He's also had encopresis since infancy. Diagnosis went as follows: pediatrician suspected GERD. Naturopath blood test flagged all dairy. We took him off GERD-triggering foods and dairy, and other symptoms like phlegm and nasal congestion cleared up, but morning vomiting continued. Pediatric GI ordered dye contrast MRI to rule out brain tumors or other pituitary situation (morning vomiting tied to brain tumors; large size tied to pituitary). MRI was normal, so diagnosis probable CVS. By the time we saw ped GI, I'd found this forum and also one for toddlers that suggested ketotic hypoglycemia (basically vomiting on empty stomach) and had seen recommendation for bedtime snack. So my son could have CVS or ketotic or both--I don't know. Bedtime snack every night for 3 months now and no early am vomiting. Son's height currently stable--but he was going through big growth spurt during time of the heavy vomiting. Hope this helps.
  
I should add: I learned that CVS can be more mild than the violent vomiting/ER trips described online. And my son's periodic episodes ran 2-3 early mornings/week, every week, which roughly fits the CVS pattern.
And I should add that sometimes his early am vomiting was accompanied by diarrhea. And sometimes he would vomit food from dinner the night before, but often just a couple tablespoons of what looked like mucous or bile. This is common with this situation, from what I've read online.
Avatar universal
See a GI Specialist.

Suggest a CT of his head if this hasn't already happened and  Upper GI Scope.  

Other suggestions:  Constipation - although all of the specialists I have spoken with don't believe that constipation causes vomiting, many people claim that this happens.

I have also been told that food allergies can cause this to happen.  Keep a record of what he eats and see if there are any food items that he happens to consistently eat the night before the vomiting.

I would be interested in what you find out.  My 5 year old has had this problem since he was 3 and we still don't know why it happens...
Avatar universal
Thanks for the replies!  it happens about every 3 or 4 months.  There are times in between when he feels slightly nauseous in the mornings but nothing like when it really hits for the 3-5 days.  He has always had a sensitive stomach, even a strong smell can make him sick to his stomach and unfortunately taking any pills (from advil to antibiotics) makes him feel like throwing up.

He has so far not had any testing done.  We live in an area with a severe doctor shortage.  It took us 3 years after moving here to find a doctor who would take us on and sadly neither of us feels comfortable or confident with him.  He doesnt believe in yearly check ups for kids and tends to hand out antibiotics too freely in my opinion.  I have had ongoing health issues that after doing several blood tests he literally through his hands in the air and said "I dont know what else to do for you."  I have been reluctant to take my son to him with this when I know he is always rushed and doesnt seem to care.  I assume he would have to refer us to a specialist if we needed to see one?

Anyone else going through something similar with their child and gotten any answers?
2 Comments
my 16 year old has almost exactly the same symptoms. We is woken at 5am with the urge to throw up and then goes back to sleep after vomiting 5 or 6 times. We have had a CT scan done, which was fine.. we have had ultrasound on his stomach, which showed his spleen enlarged but a month later that was back to normal.. we've had blood tests done and all looked fine.. nobody can give me any answers either, which is why im doing my own research now. He is 6 foot tall and lost so much weight. The only thing I know he's doing which is not good for him are "poppers" or "head rocks" which are smoking a pinch of pot and a pinch of tobacco together in a bong. Im trying to get him to stop that but other than doing that he is healthy and normal just like your son.
my 16 year old has almost exactly the same symptoms. We is woken at 5am with the urge to throw up and then goes back to sleep after vomiting 5 or 6 times. We have had a CT scan done, which was fine.. we have had ultrasound on his stomach, which showed his spleen enlarged but a month later that was back to normal.. we've had blood tests done and all looked fine.. nobody can give me any answers either, which is why im doing my own research now. He is 6 foot tall and lost so much weight. The only thing I know he's doing which is not good for him are "poppers" or "head rocks" which are smoking a pinch of pot and a pinch of tobacco together in a bong. Im trying to get him to stop that but other than doing that he is healthy and normal just like your son.
Avatar universal
It seems like he probably needs to get some testing done.  It could be cyclic vomiting syndrome but this usually occurs in younger children.  I would recommend taking him to another area (maybe a nearby university hospital) to get testing done and possibility a diagnosis.
Avatar universal
during my research cyclic vomiting came up quite a bit and sounds very much like what he has.  I guess I need to do research now on where I can take him to get checked as we are 2 hours from the nearest big city.
Avatar universal
Did you ever find out what was going on with your son? Hope all is good but would appreciate your response as my 17 year old son has similar problem
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