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 Post subject: Gulf War syndrome is real
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:34 am 
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A congressionally mandated scientific panel has concluded that Gulf War syndrome is real and still afflicts nearly one-quarter of the 700,000 U.S. troops who served in the 1991 conflict, according to a report released yesterday.

The report broke with most earlier studies by concluding that two chemical exposures were direct causes of the disorder: the drug pyridostigmine bromide, given to troops to protect against nerve gas, and pesticides that were used - and often overused - to protect against sand flies and other pests.

"The extensive body of scientific research now available consistently indicates that Gulf War illness is real, that it is a result of neurotoxic exposures during Gulf War deployment, and that few veterans have recovered or substantially improved with time," according to the 450-page report presented to U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs James Peake.

The report bolstered the hopes of thousands of U.S. and allied veterans who have struggled to have their varied neurological symptoms, including memory loss, concentration problems, rashes and widespread pain, recognized by the government.

"I've had vets go to . . . (Veterans Affairs) and be turned away and told that this is something that doesn't exist," said John Schwertfager, vice president of the National Gulf War Resource Center, a veterans advocacy group.

But some scientists were not convinced that the new report had found the long-sought smoking gun.

"Even though we know that the Department of Defense did ship pesticides, it doesn't mean that the people who were exposed to them were the ones who ended up having symptoms," said Dr. Lynn Goldman, a professor of environmental health services at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore who has worked on previous reports on the illness. "We felt that there needed to be better records of where people were, what they were exposed to and their prior health status going in."

The new report is the product of the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses, which was chartered by Congress because many members felt that veterans were not receiving adequate care. The 15-member committee appointed in 2002 was made up of about two-thirds scientists and the rest veterans.

Several reports had been issued by the prestigious Institute of Medicine, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, blaming stress and other unknown causes for the soldiers' symptoms.

"There's something about going to the gulf and serving in the gulf that has caused something bad and persistent and real, but we have not found any evidence for a specific cause," said Dr. Harold Sox, chairman of a 2000 institute study and editor of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

Veterans blame the institute's reports for the difficulties they've faced in getting treatment.

"Everyone quotes the Institute of Medicine documents as meaning nothing's going on here," said Roberta White, associate dean of research at the Boston University School of Health and the congressional panel's scientific director. "Some people feel that the IOM reports have been permission to ignore these guys."

The new report cites dozens of research studies that have identified "objective biological measures" that distinguish veterans with the illness from healthy controls.

The major causes of the disorder appear to be self-inflicted. Pyridostigmine bromide was given to as many as half of the troops in the fear that the Iraqis would unleash chemical warfare against them.

According to the report, at least 64 pesticides containing 37 active ingredients were used during the war. They were sprayed not only around living and dining areas, but also on tents and uniforms, White said.


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 Post subject: Re: Gulf War syndrome is real
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:49 am 
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Good Soldiers Never Die
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:35 pm
Posts: 1899
Location: Central Florida
Your Gulf War Unit: 2nd Brigade 1st Infantry Division
NO $h!t ! Its about time.

Finally, I have believed in GWS for years. The VA does'nt like hearing those letters though.

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(9/90 - 12/91) 2nd Bde 1st Infantry Division - Desert Shield / Desert Storm Combat VET
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 Post subject: Re: Gulf War syndrome is real
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 9:33 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:45 pm
Posts: 35
Just like in the government, I think there should be some house cleaning done in the VA department.


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 Post subject: Re: Gulf War syndrome is real
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:55 am 
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Lifer
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:41 am
Posts: 874
Location: Missouri
Your Gulf War Unit: 3rd Bn 17th Field Artillery
I want to see what the VA does with this. I've claimed gulf war illness several times, and have been denied several times ... actually I've claimed gulf war illness, undiagnosed illness, and I've claimed service connection for the symptoms. We'll see where this study leads, although I am not very optimistic.

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210th FA Bde
DS (OPCON) 3/2 ACR, GS 1 ID
FIRE MISSION!


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 Post subject: Re: Gulf War syndrome is real
PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:14 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:28 am
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As a retired RN from the VA all I have to say is that it is real......it took me YEARS to get the VA to acknowledge that I wasn't "milingering" and looking for something free. I had a neurologist tell me I was full of crap that GWS was not real, I was treated harshly by administration for calling in sick, until I could not work anymore. I was first diagnosed with depression/anxiety. I was sleeping all the time, had no quality of life and missed many events that my kids participated in. Finally after years of complaining, had someone outside the family actually witness an episode of falling asleep, in fact it was during physical therapy at the VA. When that happened, gee, maybe I wasn't lying. They did all kinds of test to include both night and day sleep studies that actually PROVED ME RIGHT!!! I think the depression/anxiety came from being so tired all the time. Even the nursing staff I worked with thought I was a "scammer", I was lying. I get so tired of hearing people say that , "well, it was only a 3 day war". Seems we have been forgotten. Unless you served in VN, or the current war, you don't hear much about the GWV's that suffer real health problems related to their service in Desert shield/storm. If you look "normal", nothing is wrong!! It's like a double edge sword, God forbid you have a life and enjoy yourself once in awhile, when you have a "good" day. I feel quilty at times when I feel good, I think maybe I can go back to work??? Then when I over do it, I "pay" for it. I also have fibromyalgia that I didn't have before DS. I know for a fact that the VA doc's were told that their was no such thing, I asked MANY docs at the VA I worked at and got the same answer. NO SUCH THING AS GWS....everyone gets tired, that's a part of life, here, have some amphetamines to "wake" you up.....which just made me WORSE!!! I tried their amphetamines and STILL slept, became even more emotional and slept on what was to "keep me awake and working". I finally have a doctor (from a different VA then the one I worked at) believe in me and my health problems and helped me get my disability. My claim took like 18 months to get. Once the sleep studies were done and shown to be abnormal, I finally was heard. I had to do a lot of searching to find out about the 2 land mines they blew up with WMD and allowed to "drift over our troops". Neurological damage is not reversible from these chemicals that we were exposed to. My husband is a retired chemical officer and a Physician's Assistant, he did not serve but knows alot about the chemicals and the effects on the human body and that there is no "magic cure" for what ails us and that the damage is irreversible. Stay strong, keep fighting till we are heard and recognized.

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 Post subject: Re: Gulf War syndrome is real
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:12 am
Posts: 5
Location: Cross, South Carolina
I have been fighting this issue for YEARS, and I still have not been evaluated!

I have been a disabled Vet since 1998, it took 4 years to get a increase approved via Video Conference Appeal to 20 %.

I am diagnosed with PTSD, lost several jobs and now I have a M.D. that states that due to my "HEAVY LIFTING and Carrying of Heavy Backpacks" that my back is in bad shape.....I wrote to the V.A. and they want me to be evaluated and go thru the same MRI and CT Scans again.

Now why should I have to endure this pain and trouble, not to mention LOST TIME from work to travel and be "EVALUATED"? My private M.D. holds the same degree that the V.A. M.D. has, she sent me to a Hospital and Radiologist, just the V.A will do. I feel that this is a terrible waste of Tax Payer Money to make me go thru the same test to reveal the same thing already told to me.

Any Ideas?

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 Post subject: Re: Gulf War syndrome is real
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:23 am 
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Lifer
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:41 am
Posts: 874
Location: Missouri
Your Gulf War Unit: 3rd Bn 17th Field Artillery
You do know about travel pay to VA appoints, Yes? There are conditions ... the travel office can tell you more.

The way of the VA ... lots of beauracracy, red tape, and unbending procedures ... even when it makes sense, that's why it takes so long.

A thought ... have you added your private medical record into your VA hospital medical records?

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Desert Shield/Desert Storm/Cease Fire
3rd Bn 17th Field Artillery
210th FA Bde
DS (OPCON) 3/2 ACR, GS 1 ID
FIRE MISSION!


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 Post subject: Re: Gulf War syndrome is real
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:28 am
Posts: 3
You have to get your MRI etc and all medical documentation from your outside doctor, take it to the VA. I too was diagnosed with PTSD but I don't really feel that that is what all my problems were from. Talk to your veteran's service office, get records of employment and how it has affected you......I got jerked around for 10 years before I got 70% for CFS/Fibromyalgia and get full disability for unemployability. It is frustrating and I know how I felt, still do when I go to the VA that I worked at.....people don't want to hear that we are sick.....even other nurses I worked with don't believe me still. They did their best to convince me I was crazy and I just wouldn't stand for it. Keep fighting......I had no quality of life.....you need to let them know just how it has affected your life. I had children and when they had kids I could not even take care of them when they were little because I was afraid that I would fall asleep and not hear them. You also need to have sleep studies done. I found out that my REM (the refreshing part of sleep) was fragmented causing me to be sleepy during the day......I'm still sick but at least I have some quality of life. I still sleep 12-16 hours a day, but hey at least I can have some quality of life when I am not sleeping. You need to see a neurologist that isn't bias!! Here is another thing.....VA docs were told that there is no such thing as GWS.....but now that they are saying it is REAL, hopefully the disability process will be better. Don't give up, I almost did, luckily my husband was very supportive and also worked at the VA as a PA, he was a chemical officer before becoming a PA and he knows that nerve damage from nerve agents are NOT reversible damage, it's permanent!! My doctor put right in my record that he thought it could be GWS BEFORE they decided it was a legitamate illness, after I went through the sleep studies and tried their amphetamines. You need to show that you were fired for calling in sick or that you called in frequently. Documentation of EVERYTHING is the key. Once that was documented Social Security did not harrass me either. If you have chronic fatigue don't let them tell you it's in your head. I was so afraid I would make mistakes when I was working due to the fatigue. I have good days and bad days just take it one day at a time. Best of luck to those of you that are still fighting the fight....don't give up and don't let them jerk your chain.

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Horses leave hoof prints on your heart!! Best therapy there is!!


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 Post subject: Re: Gulf War syndrome is real
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:43 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 3:37 pm
Posts: 32
Your Gulf War Unit: 197 Inf. Bde. Mech. (Sep.) H.H.C.
There is a lot of info at www.Hadit.com


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