The term Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) may sound strange to many people. The reason why many people are yet to know about this syndrome is that it is rare. While the media has reported cases of CHS several times, it rarely occurs, and as such, it is unknown to many users of cannabis.
CHS occurs mostly in long term significant users of cannabis that has a high level of THC. The first case of CHS was reported in 2004 in the medical literature.
What Are The Actual Causes Of Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome?
Before you can talk about cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome cure, you should be able to know the root cause of the condition.
As stated earlier, the use of cannabis has a very complex effect on the human body system. Apart from the fact that the human digestive tract features some molecules that react to THC and such other related substances, scientists are still striving to understand how cannabis leads to CHS in some users.
As much as the human brain is a concern, the effect of cannabis seems to be in the opposite. Typically, CHS causes its victim to develop health issues of vomiting and nausea. From the very first time that you use cannabis, the signals that emanate from your brain can turn out to be very crucial. At first, the effect may turn out to be anti-nausea. But, as you continue to use cannabis, some of the brain’s receptors may stop to respond to the cannabis effect, in the same way, it would otherwise have occurred. Thus, this irresponsive lapse in the brain’s receptors may be the cause of such reoccurring bouts of vomiting that affect sufferers of CHS.
While the above analysis offers some explanations to what causes a CHS in some users of cannabis, it is not yet clear and understandable why the syndrome affects some long-term users, while some others are not affected at all.
Understanding The Symptoms Associated With CHS
Cannabis users who suffer from the effects of CHS, experience repeated or impromptu sessions of vomiting. Sometimes, during these episodes, some CHS sufferers may experience no symptoms at all. In most cases, healthcare providers usually divide the cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome symptoms into three different stages. These stages are known as:
1). The Prodromal (Prodromic) Phase
The prodromal or prodromic phase is the stage where the symptom occurs in the early hours of the morning in the form of nausea and stomachache. At this phase, some sufferers also cultivate that fear or tendency of vomiting and discomfort in food consumption. However, most of the sufferers at this phase maintain healthy eating habits during this first phase. Ironically, some sufferers resort to using more cannabis (marijuana) with the belief that it would ease or remedy the nausea condition. The prodromal phase has no specific period of occurrence, but its effect may last for some months or even up to years.
2 ). The Hyperemesis Phase
The cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome symptoms that occur during this stage may include belly pain, ongoing nausea, reoccurring sessions of vomiting, reduction in food consumption and extended weight loss, and dehydration (symptoms associated with the fluid loss).
During the hyperemetic phase, the level of vomiting is, in most cases, high and seriously overwhelming. During the day at this stage, many people suffering from the syndrome take their bath using hot water. They discover that hot showers allow them to feel relief from their nausea condition. An explanation for this may be down to the way the heated temperature from the hot water affects the “hypothalamus,” which is a sensitive part of their brain. The hypothalamus is responsible for regulating temperature and vomiting. However, during the hyperemetic stage, the first thing that most CHS sufferers usually do is seek medical attention.
One of the distinctive features of the hyperemetic phase is that the symptoms may continue plaguing the victim until he or she completely withdraws from using marijuana. It is only when this happens that the Recovery Phase kicks in.
So, if you are thinking about cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome cure, you have to consider implementing the hyperemetic phase.
3). The Recovery Phase
The recovery stage is the time when the system starts to go away. The victim can resume healthy eating habits. Full recovery may take days or few months, depending on the person involved. However, symptoms will return if the CHS sufferer starts to use cannabis again.
In What Way Is CHS Diagnosed?
Remember we said that repeated vomiting is a significant symptom of CHS. However, bear in mind that many health challenges other than CHS can result in vomiting. Therefore, your healthcare specialist may ask to know more about the nature of your symptoms, including previous health issues, to make a proper diagnosis. In that case, your healthcare specialist may conduct a series of physical examination, including an examination of your stomach.
Additionally, more tests may also be requested by your healthcare practitioner to eliminate other possible causes that trigger the vomiting during your condition. Even more plausible for people with emergency health cases. In consideration of other symptoms, the tests to be conducted may also include:
- Test for electrolytes
- Blood test for infections and anemia
- Test for liver and pancreas enzymes, as a means of checking the health of these organs
- Performing analysis of the urine to verify urinary causes or infections
- Test to confirm if there is pregnancy
- Belly x-rays, to look for any blockages
- Drug or medicinal screen—as a way of checking for drug influenced vomiting
- CT-head scan—to check for possible nervous system cause of vomiting, and
- Upper endoscopy test—to have an in-depth view of the esophagus and the stomach for any issues that could possibly trigger vomiting
Challenges and Factors That Point To Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome
CHS is just a recent discovery, which makes it unknown to many healthcare providers. Now, since most healthcare professionals don’t know it, it is difficult for them to spot it on time, even going to years. Notwithstanding, someone trained in the field of a gastroenterologist is in better shape to make a proper diagnosis.
Here are some factors that show you have CHS:
- You are a long-term daily and weekly user of marijuana
- You feel pains in your belly
- You are experiencing repeated, severe nausea and issue of vomiting
- You feel less troubled after using hot water to shower
Take note that the above factors do not exclusively confirm the diagnosis. The diagnosis is better confirmed when there is an improvement after you quit the use of cannabis.
Treatment Administered For CHS Sufferers
People with symptoms of CHS may be required to spend some time in receiving medical attention inside a hospital. The following treatments might be administered to you during the hyperemetic phase:
- Drugs for decreasing the frequency of vomiting
- Intravenous (IV) fluid replacement to cater for dehydration
- Administering pain-relief medicine
- Treat stomach discomfort and inflammation by using proton-pump
- Frequent bathing with hot water
- Applying capsaicin cream (known to function the same way as hot shower) on the belly to reduce pain and effects of nausea
While symptoms will usually ease after one or 2 days of treatment, except where cannabis is used beforehand, the best option for full recovery is for the patient to refrain from using cannabis altogether.
Prevention they say is in all aspects better than cure, and this much is true when it comes to treating CHS. The syndrome is rare and may take several years to develop in most people. But, once you noticed any of these signs, start the recovery process by quitting cannabis altogether.
Remember, health is wealth, and there is no duplicate for it.