Gulf War Syndrome: How it Affects Veterans

One unexpected outcome of the Gulf War was the emergence of severe conditions and illnesses in a large portion of those who took part in it. Members of any armed service that took part in the Gulf War, which is also known as Operation Desert Storm, are at risk of developing these symptoms. It is still not completely understood the cause or correlation between this condition and the War.

While it is fairly widespread, the symptoms of Gulf War Syndrome are diverse and affect different veterans in unique ways. Many organizations dislike labeling it as one syndrome, but the name has stuck in the zeitgeist, so it is often the best way to provide information. Veterans of the Gulf War are usually entitled to disability compensation from the Department of Veteran Affairs if they can show symptoms.

Illnesses Linked to the Gulf War

There are many illnesses that have been linked to participation in the Gulf War. These are severe illnesses that typically impact someone’s life significantly. If you have any of these symptoms or illnesses and are a veteran, reach out to a Georgia veterans disability lawyer for help making a claim with the VA.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)

ME/CFS is characterized by overwhelming fatigue that does not improve after sleep, like standard fatigue. Symptoms of ME/CFS include problems with sleep, brain functions, and general pain and dizziness. This illness may confine someone to long-term or permanent bed rest and usually leaves them at least unable to complete their usual job or daily activities.


Fibromyalgia is not fully understood by medical researchers, but it is believed to be a problem with how the central nervous system interprets pain signals and other perception signals. Widespread musculoskeletal pain is the main feature of this illness, which can lead to fatigue and issues with memory and mood swings.

Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders

Functional gastrointestinal disorders, or FGIDs, are illnesses that alter the function of parts of the gastrointestinal system. FGIDs can cause serious problems in the esophagus, intestines, or stomach. These conditions include common disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and chronic abdominal pain. FGIDs can be life-changing in patients who are used to an active lifestyle or need to spend time away from bathrooms for their job.

Symptoms from Unidentified Illnesses

Gulf War Syndrome is characterized mostly by the mysterious and unexplainable illnesses that veterans of the Gulf War experience. There are plenty of symptoms that have been linked to Gulf War Syndrome and cause a degree of disability that is covered by VA disability compensation.

Here are some of the symptoms that have been linked to Gulf War Syndrome:

  • Abnormal weight loss
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Menstrual disorders
  • Sleep disorders
  • Headaches
  • Neurological and psychological problems
  • Severe skin conditions
  • Respiratory disorders

VA Disability

Conditions that can be connected to time spent serving in any branch of the military may be eligible for VA disability compensation. All of the illnesses and symptoms covered above are treated by the VA as presumed to be connected to service in the Gulf War.

If you have any of these signs of Gulf War Syndrome for more than six months, you probably have a solid claim. The VA also requires that your condition be at least 10 percent disabling. The degree of your disability is determined by a doctor and diagnostic medical exams and tests.

Someone with no injuries, illnesses, or conditions is considered 0% disabled, so to reach the 10 percent requirement, you do not need to have been affected to an extreme degree. The degree of disability can change over time, but doctors can also establish a permanent level of minimum disability based on their ongoing care and monitoring.

Get Help

Start your claim with Veteran Affairs if you have been affected by Gulf War Syndrome. Claims can take a long time to process, so getting legal help to ensure your claim is accepted can be a massive help.

Author’s Bio Sarah Douglass

Gulf War Syndrome: How it Affects VeteransSarah Douglass has been writing all her life. What started as a passion soon became her life goal. At such a young age, she has already faced and overcame many obstacles. The instinct she developed through her life experience is coupled with an in-depth knowledge of the legal field. Sarah sees writing as a means to connect to others and help them overcome hard times.

Back to top button
SoundCloud To Mp3