Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic medical condition affecting the large intestine and characterized by serious abdominal pain, bloating, gas, cramping, and diarrhea or constipation. While it doesn’t cause changes in bowel tissue or increase a person’s risk of colorectal cancer, IBS can make it difficult to work and enjoy daily activities with loved ones. When IBS is connected to a veteran’s military service, they are eligible for VA disability benefits.
Why Veterans Face an Increased Risk for IBS
The exact cause of IBS is unknown, but research has shown that veterans are more likely to struggle with the condition than those who haven’t served in the military. One reason for this a veteran’s increased risk of foodborne illness, travelers’ diarrhea, and other forms of infectious gastroenteritis as the result of service in foreign lands. These conditions increase the risk of post-infectious IBS (IBS-PI) by six times for several years after the initial illness.
Another factor that contributes to the high risk of IBS in veterans is the stress and anxiety they experience as part of their military service. Even if a veteran doesn’t have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from life-changing combat experiences, the ongoing fear of being harmed and the experience of being stationed far away from friends and family increases the chance having of IBS.
Winning Your VA Disability Claim
Disability claims are often denied due to a lack of appropriate medical evidence, and claims for IBS are no exception. Working with an experienced attorney can help you build a strong case. Your attorney can assist you in obtaining a medical nexus letter written by a professional who treats patients with IBS, offer suggestions for what diagnostic tests can support your claim, and help gather buddy statements from those who can offer insight into how your symptoms have affected your day-to-day routine. If you have multiple service connected conditions, your attorney can help you use IBS to obtain an increased disability rating.
Do You Need to Speak With a Veterans Benefits Lawyer?
If you need to speak with an experienced veterans benefits lawyer, please contact us online, or call our Virginia Beach office to schedule your free consultation. We have offices throughout Virginia, including Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk, and Suffolk.