Brian Case, one of our Veteran Coaches writes about what to do if you deal with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and how you can get VA compensation from it.
Do you suffer from cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and or constipation? If you do, you just may have a condition known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or simply IBS. It’s a common disorder that affects the large intestine.
It requires a medical diagnosis, however, lab tests or imaging studies are rarely required. Treatment can help but it can’t be cured. It’s chronic and can last for years or be a lifelong condition. It affects mostly women but I suspect more men suffer from it than are reported. The causes are unknown. It is diagnosed only after other possible digestive disorders and diseases have been ruled out.
The 3 different types of IBS
1) IBS-D: Diarrhea being predominant. Symptoms include abdominal discomfort or pain, urgency, and diarrhea.
2) IBS -C: Constipation being predominant. Symptoms include abdominal discomfort or pain, bloating and constipation.
3) IBS-A with alternating Diarrhea and Constipation. Symptoms include all of the above!
There is an equal number of people that suffer from each type. There is also evidence that people with IBS will alternate between types over time. It is difficult to find a single drug treatment that will relieve all the symptoms of IBS. There are different medications available for IBS with constipation and for IBS with diarrhea.
Doctors will tailor a treatment plan for patients who have IBS with alternating symptoms. It is important that you follow the treatment plan or you’ll probably make the problem worse.
Related conditions to Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Why am I talking about this you ask? Because I have been suffering from it since 1983! I suffered in silence for years. I was embarrassed by it and didn’t want to acknowledge it as a problem. It’s a women’s problem after all! There are disabilities/conditions I have that are contributing factors: PTSD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Hypothyroidism. My IBS can and probably is, related to all of these conditions. It is also well known that you can have IBS and GERD at the same time. I do!
My fellow veterans, both man and woman. If you suffer from PTSD or any other mental health condition and have an unexplained abdominal condition; you may just have IBS. Don’t wait, be embarrassed and suffer in silence as I did.
Research it yourself. There is tons of information available regarding IBS. Most importantly, if you believe that you have a problem, go to your doctor and explain what’s going on. Have them rule out any other possibilities and get the proper treatment. I’m glad I did and I’m service connected for it as a primary condition. It can also be claimed as a secondary condition. Happy stomach, happy mind!