View Full Version : Gulf War Syndrome

09-15-2004, 07:02 AM
Way back when I was sent to the Gulf and was there during the Gulf War (the first one). I've spent weeks under the oil well smoke clouds. I've been in areas while weapons were being destroyed (supposed to have been biological). I was there and experianced this and even got all the shots that the army gave out. I've experianced all that is said to be contributing factors to Gulf War Syndrome.

I've seen others that were there with me complain about having Gulf War Syndrome, but my question is, is this real? Not to put doubt on any that really truely suffer from Gulf War Syndrome, but I do wonder. I was in the same place as a lot of these guys and I've seen no problems. Here is a list of the symptons.

Chronic Fatigue
Signs and symptoms involving skin (including skin rashes and unusual hair loss)
Muscle pain
Neurologic signs or symptoms (nervous system disorders which could manifest themselves in numbness in one's arm, for instance)
Neuropsychological signs or symptoms (including memory loss)
Signs or symptoms involving upper or lower respiratory system
Sleep disturbances
Gastrointestinal signs or symptoms (including recurrent diarrhea and constipation)
Cardiovascular signs or symptoms
Menstrual disorders

I've experianced some of these problems, but I don't associate that with the Gulf War, but rather with getting old.

I'm I way off base? Here is one article I found that kinda supports my belief, but please take it with a grain of salt. I didn't reserch the source and can't vouch for it. I'm sure others can be found that contridict this one.



09-15-2004, 07:36 AM
Chad, I understand syndrome to mean a collection of symptoms without a specific root cause. If there's a few hundred thousand people,,some of whom will react to foreign microbes, flora and fauna differently, some of whom react to chemical exposure differently, exposure of a very wide range of intensity, along with the range of reactions possible from prophylactic injections,,,whew,,I could imagine that there's someting called Gulf War Syndrome.
The hard part would be finding a root cause,,whether the bugs that bit you or the injections got you, or living next to a dump where DU scrap sat was the problem. My sister is 40 and has a recurring fungus infection on her feet that she got traveling to Africa 15yrs ago.
No matter what you call it if there's a problem then it has to get taken care of.

09-15-2004, 08:44 AM
I have no idea Chad but I'm inclined to think even if the syndrom is psycosomatic VA assistance of some sort should be available.

09-15-2004, 08:59 AM
Chad,,didn't you just move and have near teenage kids?

Bob Smalser
09-15-2004, 09:05 AM
When you look at the total military population experiencing GWS, you'll find a direct correlation between symptoms and permanent lifetime medical benefits.

09-15-2004, 09:06 AM
Yep, I moved and got a daughter that is closing in on 12.

The GWS I'm sure is out there, and yes it needs to be taken care. But I wonder if a lot of Vets use this as an excuse.


Alan D. Hyde
09-15-2004, 11:02 AM
Interesting, Jeff.

Good thing you figured out what was happening.

Talk to a sharp pharmacist sometime about drug inter-actions, which can be equally (if not more) harmful. A good one I knew once called up a Doc relative to an elderly woman's prescriptions and asked him what the hell he could possibly be thinking. The Doc hadn't even cracked his PDR, it turned out...


Dale R. Hamilton
09-15-2004, 11:04 AM
Chad- 11 major studies by organizations as prestigious as the Academy of Medicine, the New York Academy of Science, and the National Academy of Medicine, hundreds of millions of dollars, and more than 10 years of effort- have failed to produce any proof that there even is a Persian Gulf Syndrome. Its only the VA that actively champions this position- Why?, because it's running out of eligible veterans for which its appropriations are based. By inventing some diaphenous "syndrome" that anybody who is aging can claim, they suddenly have all of the Persian Gulf veterans as potential patients. I was there for a year- Environmental Science Officer for the 3rd Special Forces Group- my job epidemiology. I think I have an accurate reading.

09-15-2004, 12:11 PM
A person can be exposed to various wood dusts and epoxies that can cause reactions. So if you're under stress, in another country, shot full of a few things, living next to a junk pile with some aerosolized DU, THEN get on with lifes regular excitement it seems perfectly reasonable that a person could have a constellation of health problems without an identifiable source.

The problem is treatment for a vague collection of irritations that bring a person down from optimal health is hard to treat. Seems to me that working down from a general program that strengthens your immune system is primary then go to specific analysis for specific symptoms.

How about taking up yoga? Being one guy out of ten women in a yoga class is always healthy.

Dale R. Hamilton
09-15-2004, 01:20 PM
Iron- yes they did look at pesticides- altho not first. First it was parasites, mostly Leishmania. That didn't hang together so they tried fungus and mycotoxins (fungal products). No dice here. Then it was the innoculations we were all given, but the numbers didn't crunch either. Then I think pesticides- and what we were spraying to keep down the Leishmania-carrying sandfly- and what might have been there already. DEET- impregnated desert uniforms were suspecxted for a while. Depleted uraninum tank shells got their time in the sun, and then as they got desperate they sized upon COMBINATIONS of the above stuff- mycotoxin made more persistant by depleted uranium and the like. But nothing ever explained PGS in a scientifically valid manor. Indeed, the other allied nations who had troops there didn't complain of PGS- until CNN started broadcasting wildly exagerated reports of it's presence. Finally- every war for which we have good public records, the boys came home with some maladie they didn't have when they went over there. I think the Persian Gulf war's were the same.