Medical Conditions that Disproportionately Impact Veterans

Medical Conditions that Disproportionately Impact Veterans

In the United States, there are around 3.8 million veterans suffering from an illness or injury caused by their time in the service. This is a huge number, and most people are unaware of just how many veterans are injured and what kind of injuries they face.

Here are a few of the most common injuries that veterans face as a result of their service to their country.

PTSD

As veterans’ mental disability lawyer John Berry explains, veterans are not the only people who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but they are disproportionately likely to have it. One study found that around 30% of veterans ended up battling the symptoms of PTSD at some point in their lives. The symptoms of PTSD can cause devastating consequences, such as loss of relationships and jobs. If left untreated, PTSD can lead to harmful behaviors, such as substance abuse, risky choices, and even suicide.

AL Amyloidosis

AL Amyloidosis is a condition caused by amyloid proteins being deposited into organs or other tissue. It can impact a person’s liver, lungs, kidneys, joints, and even heart. The condition has many symptoms, including weight loss, tingling limbs, numbness, anemia, and fatigue. Many veterans have been diagnosed with Al Amyloidosis due to their contact with various herbicides, which increase the risk of developing the condition.

Parkinson’s Disease

Exposures to herbicides also puts veterans at a higher risk of Parkinson’s disease. This disease is a degenerative disorder of the brain that causes progressively worse symptoms over time, including tremors, stiffness, and slowed movement.

Hodgkin’s Disease

This type of lymphatic system cancer is also more common in veterans who were exposed to herbicides. Symptoms include weight loss, fever, fatigue, itches, and noticeable swelling of the lymph nodes.

Prostate Cancer

While any man can get prostate cancer, veterans who served in Vietnam or Korea are at an increased risk. This is because veterans who served during these wars were exposed to harmful herbicides which increase the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Traumatic Brain Injury

People can get a traumatic brain injury in a variety of ways. It is a common condition in veterans, because it can be caused by being near explosions. It has many symptoms, including loss of balance, headaches, blurry vision, and slowed thinking, reading, and speaking.

Respiratory System Cancers

Veterans exposed to herbicides are also more likely than the average person to develop respiratory cancers.

Mesothelioma

Although extremely rare, the deadly cancer, mesothelioma, is far more common in veterans than in members of the general population. It is especially common in navy veterans, who were exposed to asbestos, the only known cause of mesothelioma, while working in shipyards.

Depression

Veterans are also more likely to suffer from depression than members of the general population. While depression can be a symptom of other mental illnesses common in veterans, such as PTSD, it can also occur on its own. Symptoms can include, disrupted sleep and eating patterns, loss of enjoyment of previously enjoyed activities, sadness, mood swings, and feelings of guilt and hopelessness.

As Howard Spiva, a personal injury attorney in Savannah, GA explains, veterans who have ended up dealing with serious illnesses related to their time in the service should make sure they are getting some kind of compensation to help them deal with their medical bills and other consequences of their illnesses, such as lost wages. If you are a veteran who is suffering, or if you have an ill loved one who is a veteran, consider getting legal advice about how best to pursue compensation. There are many organizations for veterans that will offer legal counsel for free, and most lawyers will offer a free consultation.

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