New Research Focuses on Gulf War Illness

Dr. Nicole Baldwin, a University of Minnesota medical student, has written a paper on Gulf War Illness, also referred to as Gulf War Syndrome, which is catching national attention.

Gulf War illness is not an actual diagnosable disease in its own right but is a list of medically unexplained chronic symptoms that may include any of the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Indigestion
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Memory problems
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Cardiovascular ailments
  • Psychological or neurological problems
  • Skin conditions
  • Menstrual disorders

According to an interview in the Star Tribune, Dr. Baldwin, who is the daughter of a Gulf War veteran herself, became curious about the illness. So, she interviewed 30 veterans that met the VA’s diagnostic criteria for Gulf War Illness. She learned that these veterans feel misunderstood and undeserving by the VA and doctors.

According to Baldwin, they’ve had the disease for about 25 years and nobody has been able to characterize it or manage it well.

Dr. Baldwin published her results this month in the Federal Practitioner journal. They emphasized the complexity of the illness. Of the 30 veterans in the study:

  • 19 reported stomach symptoms
  • 16 reported memory issues
  • 14 reported rashes
  • 13 suffered joint pain
  • 12 reported chronic fatigue

Researchers have theorized that environmental exposures such as nerve gas, vaccines, smoke inhalation, insecticides, or a combination of these triggered an overactive response in the immune systems, which then caused the range of symptoms noted earlier.

Dr. Baldwin’s findings, although not a cure at this point, help demonstrate that while the search for a cure continues, veterans need help now from caregivers that actually believe in and understand Gulf War Illness.

If you are a Gulf War veteran and are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you might be entitled to receive VA disability compensation for a medically unexplained Illness or an undiagnosed illness or, as most people refer to it, Gulf War Syndrome.

VA disability claims for Gulf War Syndrome are very complex both medically and legally. The VA process on how to qualify for VA disability benefits for Gulf War Syndrome is unfairly confusing to veterans without medical or legal training.

At Veterans Help Group, we have dealt with and won VA disability benefits for Gulf War Syndrome and have the experience and track record to help. Let our VA disability advocates put that experience to work for you by contacting us for a free consultation at 855-855-8992.

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