Connection Between Fibromyalgia and IBS in Gulf War Veterans

Veterans of the Gulf War have faced a variety of challenges, including the physical demands of military service and environmental exposure associated with combat deployment. Among the most common challenges are the development of fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Before diving into the context of the Gulf War Veterans’ experiences with these health challenges, it is essential to understand the causes and symptoms of IBS and fibromyalgia.

Understanding Fibromyalgia and IBS

Fibromyalgia is an unexplained chronic condition that is often characterized by pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, cognitive difficulties, and many other symptoms. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but it is often triggered by physical or psychological stress and serious injuries (both of which can of course occur in combat zones). Further, there is no known cure for fibromyalgia but there are some treatments which can be used to control your symptoms.

IBS, meanwhile, is a gastrointestinal disorder that is often identified by constipation, bloating, and diarrhea. As with fibromyalgia, the exact cause of IBS is unknown but there are common factors that contribute to developing IBS, like a change in how quickly food moves through the digestive system, genetic predisposition, or food intolerances and sensitivities. There is no known cure for irritable bowel syndrome but there are resources to help manage these symptoms

Several studies have found a link between fibromyalgia and IBS, and although a direct and singular cause is yet to be determined, about 70% of people diagnosed with fibromyalgia also tend to have IBS.

The Connection Between IBS/Fibromyalgia and The Gulf War

It is important to know that Gulf War Veterans who develop fibromyalgia do not have to prove a connection between their service and their illness to be eligible for disability compensation. Many studies have shown a significant association between fibromyalgia and IBS among Gulf War veterans compared to non-Gulf War veterans. This correlation raises many questions regarding the potential causes, such as environmental factors, physical demand, or psychological trauma that Gulf War Veterans may have been exposed to during their service.

Service-connected fibromyalgia is eligible for a VA rating of 10%, 20%, or 40%. If you qualify for a secondary condition like IBS, you could receive a combined rating and additional benefits.

Gulf War Veterans Should Talk to Us About the Connection Between IBS and Fibromyalgia

If you or someone you know is a Gulf War Veteran seeking disability benefits, please call our VA disability attorneys for a free consultation. We may be able to get you additional benefits if you qualify for the secondary condition. Please also take a look at our VA disability calculator to learn how benefits are calculated.

Remember: by supporting our Veterans, we contribute to building a society that recognizes their sacrifices and upholds their well-being.

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