CHICAGO--When Lauren Danforth, 15, first began having vomiting spells more than a year ago, her doctors didn't have a clue what was wrong with her. Lauren would vomit up to 20 times a day, but medical tests failed to turn up anything that might be upsetting her stomach.
Finally, last year, a doctor at Children's Memorial Hospital put a finger on what was ailing Lauren. She has a rare condition called cyclic vomiting syndrome.
"I was happy he knew what it was," Lauren told the Associated Press. "I was tired of people telling me I was crazy and it was nothing."
Not much is known about cyclic vomiting, though it seems to begin in young childhood. Vomiting spells strike suddenly, sometimes as often as once a month, and vanish just as quickly. Since developing the condition, Lauren has been hospitalized nine times. Patients are usually given a tranquilizer and a drug to stop nausea.
Some doctors think cyclic vomiting is a form of migraines--severe headaches that are often accompanied by vomiting and sensitivity to light. At least one-third of all children who suffer from cyclic vomiting grow up to develop migraines in adulthood. Treatment for cyclic vomiting often includes an antimigraine drug.
Other doctors believe that cyclic vomiting is a severe form of "butterflies in the stomach." The human brain is connected to the digestive system via a major nerve called the vagus nerve. During times of stress, the vagus nerve triggers mild discomfort--butterflies"--in the digestive tract. People who have cyclic vomiting might have nervous sytems that overreact to stress and cause severe digestive problems.
Choose the response that best completes each statement. Write the letter of the response in the space provided.
-- 1. A severe headache, often accompanied by vomiting and sensitivity to light, is called a (A) medulla, (B) migraine, (C) morula.
-- 2. The upward force that elevates a flying vehicle is called (A) drag, (B) lift, (C) thrust.
-- 3. The human brain is connected to the digestive system via the (A) optic nerve, (B) sciatic nerve, (C) vagus nerve.
-- 4. Which substance kills bacteria? (A) antibiotic, (B) antidiuretic, (C) antidiarrheal
-- 5. An infection caused by a yeastlike organism that sometimes occurs in people who have AIDS is called (A) cancer, (B) candidiasis, (C) E. coli.
-- 6. Chemicals released by animals that affect other animals are called (A) hormones, (B) odors, (C) pheromones.
-- 7. An ectothermic animal is one that (A) is cold-blooded, (B) is warm-blooded, (C) is covered by a hard shell.
-- 8. Human sweat contains a natural antibiotic, called (A) ciprofloxacin, (B) dermicidin, (C) penicillin.
-- 9. "Butterflies in the stomach" are caused by (A) vomiting, (B) nausea, (C) stress.
-- 10. Garter snakes survive the cold winter months by (A) migrating south, (B) hibernating, (C) turning into she-males.
1. B, 2. B, 3. C, 4. A, 5. B, 6. C, 7. A, 8. B, 9. C, 10. B
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