The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies has just announced the publication of a report entitled "Gulf War and Health: Volume 8. Health Effects of Serving in the Gulf War". According to the press release, the committee behind the report sought to address the issue of the fact that many of those involved in military service in the Persian Gulf War suffer from ongoing multisymptom illness. The numbers are staggering: "nearly 700,000 U.S. personnel were deployed to the region and more than 250,000 of them suffer from persistant [sic], unexplained symptoms." Currently, the cause of these ongoing problems is unknown, and the committee theorizes that there may be an interaction between individual genetics and the environment that these vets were exposed to. The report calls for continued efforts to identify, understand, and treat these multisymptom illnesses.
IBS is one of the more prevalent of these multisymptom illnesses. This falls in the category of "no good deed goes unpunished". The silver lining to this dark cloud is that the focus on causes and treatment of these Gulf War symptoms may filter down to a better understanding of IBS itself, something that would be of help to all sufferers.
Click here for a free PDF download of the report.
"Gulf War Service Linked to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Multisymptom Illness, Other Health Problems, But Causes Are Unclear" News from the National Academies Press Release April 9, 2010.
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