Leah Bucholz talks about the often overlooked but prevalent issue of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and its connection to veterans’ disability benefits. So let’s explore Acid Reflux and Gastroesophageal Reflux in Veterans Disability.
GERD, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, is a condition where stomach contents, including acidic substances, flow back into the esophagus, causing a range of symptoms. Common symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease are nausea, vomiting, heartburn, coughing, difficulty swallowing, and chest or shoulder pain.
Causes of GERD
There are various factors that can lead to GERD, and it’s essential to distinguish it from other conditions with similar symptoms. Eosinophilic esophagitis, hiatal hernia, and esophagitis as conditions can mimic GERD and may be analogously rated in disability claims.
Service Connection and Secondary Conditions
Veterans can obtain service connection for GERD in some instances. A direct service connection is possible if diagnosed during service, while a secondary service connection may be established by showing that another service connected disability caused or aggravated the condition. Some examples include GERD caused or aggravated by mental health conditions like depression, PTSD, or anxiety. Additionally, there is a bidirectional relationship between GERD and sleep apnea and the connection to NSAID use for orthopedic conditions.
Gulf War Presumption and Ratings
Leah touches on the often-questioned Gulf War presumption for GERD. She expresses reservations about its qualification, given that Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is categorized as a structural disorder rather than a functional one. While some veterans may receive service connection, she advises caution and recommends consulting accredited agents or veteran service organizations for personalized guidance.
Risk Factors and Considerations
We need to understand the importance of considering risk factors, including certain foods, medications, smoking, alcohol consumption, respiratory conditions, and obesity. A comprehensive approach, addressing all risk factors—both positive and negative—when considering the relationship to service in veterans presenting a disability claim is important.
In conclusion, Leah Bucholz’s insights offer a valuable guide for veterans navigating the complexities of GERD in the context of VA disability. Veterans dealing with GERD can find support and information to help them navigate the disability claims process more effectively.
At Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting, a veteran-owned company, we specialize in Independent Medical Opinions (IMOs) known as Nexus letters.
Our purpose is to empower YOU, the veteran, to take charge of your medical evidence and provide you with valuable educational tools and research to guide you on your journey.
Understanding the unique challenges veterans face, our commitment lies in delivering exceptional service and support.
Leveraging an extensive network of licensed independent medical professionals, all well-versed in the medical professional aspects of the VA claims process, we review the necessary medical evidence to incorporate in our reports related to your VA Disability Claim.
Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting is not a law firm, accredited claims agent, or affiliated with the Veterans Administration or Veterans Services Organizations. However, we are happy to discuss your case with your accredited VA legal professional.