What to know about cyclic vomiting syndrome that affects Chandra Wilson's daughter

Grey's Anatomy Chandra Wilson sheds light on rare condition her daughter has.

Since it took nearly a year for Wilson's daughter to receive a confirmed diagnosis, she is highlighting the disorder to help other people who may be suffering with the symptoms.

Here are some key facts about CVS.

What is cyclic vomiting syndrome? The syndrome is a condition where a person has sudden and repeated bouts of nausea, vomiting and exhaustion, according to Cleveland Clinic. There is no apparent cause.

Usually these symptoms occur early in the morning and an attack can last from several hours to several days. Both men and women can be affected, but it is more common in children than adults.

Symptoms include repeated episodes of severe nausea, lack of appetite, sensitivity to light, pain in the abdomen, severe fatigue and severe headaches.

What is the cause? It is unclear why the disease occurs, but one theory is that a person has abnormal function of their mitochondria, the energy powerhouse in their cells. According to the Cleveland Clinic, changes in the mitochondrial function have been observed in people with CVS and they may be one cause for the condition.

Additionally, hormonal imbalances, nervous system problems or gastrointestinal dysfunction may also lead to developing the syndrome, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

How is an episode triggered?

Although there is no specific cause of CVS, the NIH says there are certain instances that may lead to a cycle of vomiting. Both physical changes and emotional stress can trigger CVS.

Is there treatment?There is no known cure for the syndrome, but people affected can receive treatments to mitigate symptoms, such as nausea, and to treat other conditions that can contribute, like migraines.