What is Gulf War Syndrome?

Problems Associated With Gulf War Syndrome

What is Gulf War Syndrome? Gulf War Syndrome is an undiagnosed illness that is generally characterized by fatigue, chronic headaches, respiratory problems, skin problems, and other symptoms. It is often associated with service in southwest Asia from August 2, 1990 to the present. Although less known than other service-connected illnesses such as PTSD, approximately 250,000 of the 697,000 U.S. veterans who served in the 1991 Gulf War have been affected by the syndrome.

It can be difficult to pinpoint all of the possible illnesses from Gulf War Syndrome, but medical ailments associated with Gulf War syndrome have been recognized by both the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

One of the unique aspects of Gulf War Syndrome is that there is no consensus on the official cause. Some of the suggested causes have included depleted uranium, sarin gas, smoke from burning oil wells, vaccinations, combat stress, and psychological factors, although some are in dispute. Many service members deployed to Iraq or Kuwait came back with this undiagnosed illness caused by mysterious factors.

Rating Schedules For Gulf War Veterans

A veteran can receive disability compensation for undiagnosed illnesses as long as they exhibit symptoms and show that they served in the Persian Gulf or southwest Asia during specific timeframes. The VA presumes that certain chronic, unexplained symptoms existing for 6 months or more are related to Gulf War service without regard to cause. According to the VA, These illnesses include:

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a condition of long-term and severe fatigue that is not relieved by rest and is not directly caused by other conditions.
  • Fibromyalgia, a condition characterized by widespread muscle pain. Other symptoms may include insomnia, morning stiffness, headache, and memory problems.
  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders, a group of conditions marked by chronic or recurrent symptoms related to any part of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Undiagnosed illnesses with symptoms that may include but are not limited to: abnormal weight loss, fatigue, cardiovascular disease, muscle and joint pain, headache, menstrual disorders, neurological and psychological problems, skin conditions, respiratory disorders, and sleep disturbances.

With any other symptoms, it may be an uphill battle with the VA trying to justify service connection. However, the VA continues to research the causes and symptoms of Gulf War Syndrome.

If you are wondering whether or not you have Gulf War Syndrome, the VA has a Gulf War Registry Health exam that can alert you as to whether or not you have any symptoms that are present. This exam is:

  • Free to eligible Veterans with no co-payment necessary;
  • Not a disability compensation exam or required for other VA benefits;
  • Based on Veterans’ recollection of service, not on their military records.

Veterans Serving Veterans

If you’re asking yourself, “What is Gulf War Syndrome?” and are displaying sypmtoms, you may be entitled to VA compensation. Are you receiving the veterans’ disability compensation you are entitled to receive by law? If you need assistance appealing VA Rating Decisions for mental health conditions or physical disabilities that occurred in service, please contact Berry Law Firm.

Click here to schedule a time to talk to a member of our team to determine if we can help you with your VA appeal.

For more information regarding Gulf War Syndrome, follow the link provided: Gulf War Syndrome