Doctors can be mystified when they have patients complaining of nausea and vomiting more than 20 times in one day and dropping weight to a life-threatening level. This is a condition that they are seeing more frequently in chronic, heavy pot users.
(March 26, 2019 UPDATE - New study on Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome)
On March 26, 2019 a study appeared in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine where Colorado clinicians described how between 2012 to 2016 more than 2,500 ER visits were cannabis related. The main reason initially were stomach problems, nausea and vomiting linked to Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS). Many of these symptoms were precursors to psychiatric problems like paranoia and intoxication. Marijuana has been legal in Colorado since 2009.
Desiree Haight, 46, came to the hospital and presented with the described symptom. She was vomiting more than 30 times per day, and after being hospitalized for months and being fed with a tube, she had dropped to less than 100 pounds.
She was a long-time pot smoker when she started to experience abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting that left her incapacitated. She ended up in the emergency room, eventually having to receive nutrition through a feeding tube.
Initially the doctors were mystified and then thought it was psychosomatic. Thirteen years passed where she had a recurrence of these symptoms, and in 2018 a doctor asked her the right question which was, "was she taking hot showers to relieve her symptoms"?
The answer was yes, which dovetailed with findings of physicians in both Canada and the United States that these symptoms are more prevalent with the increased legalization of recreational marijuana. The hot showers actually dehydrates the person more making them sicker, and possibly leading to a type of renal failure.
“It causes frequent visits to the emergency department,” Dr. Timothy Meyers, medical director of emergency services for Boulder Community Health, told the Colorado. Times-Call in December. “People feel terrible when it happens.”
Physicians don't totally understand the mechanism that produces these symptoms, but suspect ease of availability and stronger strains can be contributing factors.
“It’s a very unique clinical syndrome that is characterized by a number of unique presentations,” Dr. Eddie Lang said, adding that one of them is a distinctive guttural sound not apparent in other types of vomiting.
Identifying the source of what is making the patient feel so sick is half the battle as doctors find that these patients are resistant to their instruction, which to stop smoking pot for an indefinite period of time.
SOURCE - NYDailyNews
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