Cycling vomiting is divided into four phases.
The first phase is called symptom-free interval phase and it involves the time around the vomiting period, that is, before it starts and after it’s finished.
The second phase is called prodome phase and it occurs right before the vomiting period begins. Symptoms which announce the next phase may be present or not. If they are they usually include nausea and stomach pain and they can last a couple of minutes or hours. It is desirable to have symptoms in this phase as there are medications that one can take in order to prevent the vomiting.
The following phase is obviously the vomiting phase. There is no use in trying to take any medications in this phase because they will do nothing to help, and one will end up vomiting them along with any food or drinks one might try to insert. Nothing can be done at this point and one must simply get through this phase.
The recovery phase is the final phase and this is when one recovers from feeling fatigue and lethargy caused by the exhausting period of vomiting. This is when one is able to feel healthy, lively and rested again.
There is no particular reason as to why someone might be targeted as the victim of cycling vomiting syndrome but if that is the case, there are some things which are likely to provoke it, such as stress and anxiety attacks, infections, respiratory problems, allergies, flu, physical strain, menstruation, motion sickness, as well as some foods like cheese and chocolate.
Cycling vomiting syndrome can be diagnosed if someone experiences episodes of severe vomiting which last from a few hours to a few days and has had more than three in the previous year but with the absence of vomiting and nausea in between them.
Side effects of this syndrome include stomach pain, diarrhea, fever and dehydration.
However, even though these are somewhat clear indicators of the syndrome it is difficult to diagnose it with certainty at first because there are no tests to confirm it. It might take a while for the doctor to do it as he needs to monitor the patient's condition through time and establish if there is a pattern which characterizes this syndrome.