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Barbara Bradley Bolen, Ph.D.

Good News for Gulf War Veterans

By August 16, 2011

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Although we commonly use the term "Gulf War Syndrome", the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) labels the variety of chronic health ailments experienced by many Gulf War veterans as "medically unexplained chronic multisymptom illnesses". On of these identified illnesses is IBS. A well-written post on the IBS Impact blog drew my attention to some important news on the subject. As of yesterday, August 15, 2011, the VA put into effect new regulations that make it easier for veterans to collect VA disability benefits for functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGDs) like IBS.

This is great news, indeed! It is encouraging to think that vets who have sacrificed their health serving this country will have an easier time obtaining the benefits that they deserve.

The IBS Impact blog post includes a discussion on the work done by the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) in securing funding for more research on treatment of FGDs through the U.S. Department of Defense. Here is something that you can easily help with. Click on the IFFGD action alert to find contact info for encouraging your Senators to support this initiative. Having the Department of Defense in on the chase for finding effective IBS treatments can only be a good thing.

More from Dr. Bolen, your IBS Guide:


"Campaign to Increase Research and Improve Care for FGIMDs-affected Soldiers Gains Ground" International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Action Alert Accessed August 15, 2011.

"Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses: Medically Unexplained Chronic Multisymptom Illnesses" U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs web site Accessed August 15, 2011.

"Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders/IBS Considered Presumptive Service-Connected Disabilities for U.S. Gulf War Veterans" IBS Impact blog August 12, 2011.

"Presumptive Service Connection for Diseases Associated With Service in the Southwest Asia Theater of Operations During the Persian Gulf War: Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders" Federal Register July 15, 2011.

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August 30, 2011 at 8:11 am
(1) Nigel says:

I really feel fot these people. For no fault of their own they have been exposed to something that results in IBS symptoms. It just goes to show how fragile our digestive system is. Does anyone else have a feeling that the government know what casues this? … I love a good conspiracy theory thought.

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