Beautiful boffin who vomited 100 times a day is finally cured
A beautiful boffin whose rare condition lead her to vomit more than a hundred times a day has finally been cured.
Siobhan Hall, 25, from West Bridgford, Nottingham, has been plagued by the condition, which caused her to throw-up every ten minutes, for the past six years.
The geologist would be left bedridden for an entire week during the severe sickness episodes which would see her weight plummet until she was unrecognisable.
Doctors were left baffled after her worrying symptoms started in 2009 – and it wasn’t until two years later that Siobhan was finally diagnosed with Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome (CVS).
Siobhan now has the condition under control thanks to new medication – meaning she can finally lead a normal life.
Siobhan said: “It used to be a nightmare, the sickness would leave me so exhausted that I couldn’t eat, drink or even get out of bed.
“When the condition was at its worst it was horrendous, I would vomit for a solid seven days and wouldn’t be able to stop.
“I used to would worry about my future and how I would be able to keep a job, move away or lead a normal life because I was ill for such long periods.
“In the past I have had episodes while I’ve been on holiday, which were pretty bad as all you want to do is enjoy yourself but instead you’re stuck in bed vomiting.
“I’m glad I can concentrate on my career now, in the past CVS has stopped me reaching my full potential, before I could never go on field trips or work abroad like my colleagues so I missed out.
“I’ve tried so many different forms of medication over the years, I’m just glad I’ve finally found one that works and no longer have to worry where the nearest toilet is.”
Siobhan started suffering from the vomiting illness a month before she began studying Geology at university when she was 19.
Her bouts of illness would affect her for eight days out of every three months – leaving her unable to eat or drink that led her to drop a stone with each episode.
After being hospitalised several times with the sickness episodes doctors initially believed she was suffering from a bad stomach bug.
Siobhan said: “When I was hit by an episode I’d spend several days vomiting at home before I had to go into hospital and be put on a drip.
“I would often forget I had a normal life because I was throwing up night and day – it felt like it was never going to end.
“Some hospital staff asked if I was bulimic because I used to throw-up for such a long time and lost so much weight.”
But in 2011 after her father spent months looking up symptoms online, he came across cyclical vomiting syndrome and sought out specialists who diagnosed her with the condition.
CVS affects more than 60,000 adults across the UK but not a lot is known about why it causes patients to undergo episodes of sickness.
Since then Siobhan tried numerous different medications but this year has been able to stabilise her condition so that she only vomits once a year.
She used the drug Amitriptyline that is also used to treat migraines and depression.
Siobhan said: “For me the drug has worked brilliantly as my sickness and nauseous periods are less frequent now.
“In the past when I was throwing up every three months I worried about telling my bosses, moving away and living a normal life because I was ill so often.
“Now I manage to have a full time job now and thankfully my boss is very understanding of my situation.
“I’m now designing and assessing quarries which I didn’t think I’d be able to do before.
“I have had to become more aware of when I’m overly tired, or eating foods that aren’t in my normal diet that I believe that could be one of the triggers.
“Occasionally I have to take a day off from work so that I can rest if I’m run down to ensure that I’m not sick again but it seems to have helped me a lot.
“The drug has really helped to change my life and give me more stability, which is amazing.”
Dr Robin Dover, Chair of the Cyclical Vomiting Syndrome Association UK, said: ‘”Historically CVS treatment has focussed on treating the attack to control it, but in recent years there has been a shift to treating between attacks with a view to preventing them developing.
For many people including Siobhan this has been helpful in reducing or preventing attacks.
“CVS is a poorly understood condition in which the sufferers are usually healthy and normal between episodes but have debilitating attacks of relentless nausea and vomiting.
“Attacks last between one to four days for most people, but can last as long as two weeks in extreme cases, with vomiting up to six times an hour.
“Attacks in some sufferers happen in a regular pattern, i.e. every couple of weeks or months.
“In others there is no clear pattern.”