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Fatty Liver Disease and Veterans Disability

Fatty Liver Disease and Veterans Disability

Fatty liver disease is a prevalent condition that affects a substantial number of individuals, including veterans. There are two main types of fatty liver disease—non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic fatty liver disease—Fatty liver disease and veterans disability is a connection that must not be overlooked.

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is a condition frequently encountered, especially in individuals who are overweight or have a higher body mass index (BMI). Often, veterans find themselves service-connected for obesity as an intermediate step, leading to the development of NAFLD. Conditions such as orthopedic issues, mental health conditions, or diabetes can contribute to weight gain, creating a pathway for the manifestation of NAFLD.

Veterans with a service-connected disability for diabetes may find valuable information in literature such as “Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Type 2 Diabetes” published in 2018 in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. This article sheds light on the correlation between diabetes and NAFLD, providing a foundation for establishing a secondary service connection.

Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

On the other hand, alcoholic fatty liver disease is closely tied to heavy alcohol use. Veterans who have a service-connected disability for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with alcohol use disorder may be at a higher risk of developing alcoholic fatty liver disease due to overconsumption of alcohol. Recognizing the relationship between mental health conditions, substance abuse disorder, and liver impairment is crucial for veterans seeking disability benefits.

Research articles like “Diagnosis and Management of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease” published in Hepatology in 2017, can serve as valuable resources when discussing the interplay between mental health conditions and alcoholic fatty liver disease in a VA disability claim.

Service Connection for Fatty Liver Disease

When pursuing a VA disability claim related to fatty liver disease, three key elements must be established:

  1. Current Diagnosis: Ensure that your medical records include a current diagnosis of fatty liver disease, preferably by a qualified healthcare professional.
  2. In-Service Event, Injury, or Illness: Demonstrate a connection between your fatty liver disease and events, injuries, or illnesses that occurred during your military service. This may involve proving that the condition was diagnosed while on active duty or establishing a secondary connection to another service-connected disability.
  3. Medical Link or Nexus: Provide medical evidence establishing a link or nexus between your current diagnosis and the in-service event, injury, or illness. At times this may involve expert medical opinion letters or relevant scientific literature. This may also be established simply at your Compensation and Pension exam.

Conclusion

Fatty liver disease is a widespread health concern that can significantly affect veterans, particularly those with service-connected disabilities. Whether non-alcoholic or alcoholic in nature, understanding the intricacies of these conditions and their potential ties to military service is crucial when navigating the VA disability claims process.

By being armed with a current diagnosis, evidence of in-service events, and a strong medical link, veterans can make compelling cases for disability benefits related to fatty liver disease. Furthermore, consulting relevant research articles and literature can enhance the credibility of their claims, providing a comprehensive foundation for their pursuit of Veterans Disability benefits.

Also read: Why it is Important to Keep Headache Logs for Claims

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.

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Danielle McClaskey

Client Relations Specialist U.S. Navy Veteran

In her active-duty service in the United States Navy, Danielle undertook a variety of responsibilities, ranging from essential administrative duties to providing crucial medical care. Her multifaceted contributions played a pivotal role in enhancing her fellow service members’ operational effectiveness and well-being.

As a disabled veteran, she developed a profound understanding of the unique challenges faced by her fellow service members. Now, in her civilian role, Danielle is a valued member of the Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting team, where she continues to leverage her extensive background and educational achievements to provide exceptional support to veterans.

Leticia

LETICIA

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Leticia has been in the medical field for nearly 14 years. She has always had a passion for medicine and caring for her community. Leticia has spent the last 4 years caring for veterans and first responders with alcohol and substance abuse in a medical rehabilitation setting whilst continuing her education working towards a degree in software development.

Someday she hopes to develop medical software that further enhances the patient’s experience in medical care. Leticia has a deep respect and love for those who have served as she comes from a family of law enforcement and military veterans.

Alan Bucholz

ALAN BUCHOLZ, PA-C:

U.S ARMY VETERAN, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Alan enlisted in the US Army as a combat medic, where he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Influenced by his time as a combat medic, he attended the Interservice Physician Assistant program while on
active duty, was commissioned as an officer, and subsequently deployed to Afghanistan.  

Alan’s military and medical background inspired him to form Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting with his
wife, Leah Bucholz, a Physician Assistant and Army Combat Veteran.  He has devoted himself to using his
knowledge gained in the military as a medical professional to serve the Veteran community.

Alan Bucholz

ALAN BUCHOLZ, PA-C:

U.S ARMY VETERAN, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Alan enlisted in the US Army as a combat medic, where he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Influenced by his time as a combat medic, he attended the Interservice Physician Assistant program while on
active duty, was commissioned as an officer, and subsequently deployed to Afghanistan.  

Alan’s military and medical background inspired him to form Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting with his
wife, Leah Bucholz, a Physician Assistant and Army Combat Veteran.  He has devoted himself to using his
knowledge gained in the military as a medical professional to serve the Veteran community.

Julie Pereira

JULIE PEREIRA:

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

During her Active-Duty time in the US Navy as a Hospital Corpsman, Julie provided medical administration
and patient care services in the field, the hospital, and base medical office settings.  This military medical and
administrative background has given Julie the hands-on experience and extensive knowledge necessary to
provide unparalleled service to her fellow Veterans through the Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting team.

Julie’s educational achievements include a Bachelor of Arts with a minor in Human Services and a pre-nursing associate in arts and science.

Julie has been inspired by her firsthand knowledge of navigating the VA Benefits process. She has dedicated
most of her adult life to serving Veterans through her knowledge derived from her military and civilian medical
education and training.

Jennifer Januta

JENNIFER JANUTA

U.S ARMY VETERAN, CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER

During her Active-Duty service in the Army, Jennifer supported various research efforts centered on combat casualty care and Soldier performance. Her military background gave her unique insights into veterans’ distinct challenges, ultimately inspiring her to join the Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting team.

Jennifer’s educational achievements include a master’s in molecular biology from George Washington University and a master’s in data science from Texas Tech University. Jennifer wholeheartedly dedicates herself to utilizing her knowledge and expertise gained from 15 years of healthcare experience to impact the well-being of those who have served positively.

Alan Bucholz

ALAN BUCHOLZ, PA-C:

U.S ARMY VETERAN, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Alan enlisted in the US Army as a combat medic, where he deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Influenced by his time as a combat medic, he attended the Interservice Physician Assistant program while on
active duty, was commissioned as an officer, and subsequently deployed to Afghanistan.  

Alan’s military and medical background inspired him to form Prestige Veteran Medical Consulting with his
wife, Leah Bucholz, a Physician Assistant and Army Combat Veteran.  He has devoted himself to using his
knowledge gained in the military as a medical professional to serve the Veteran community.

Leah - Meet the Team

LEAH BUCHOLZ, PA-C

U.S ARMY VETERAN, MEDICAL EXPERT & FORMER C & P EXAMINER

Meet Leah, the founder, and leader of our organization. ​​A combat veteran herself, she understands the unique challenges veterans face, making her mission about much more than running a successful business. It’s about the opportunity to provide a legacy of exceptional service for our heroes.​

​“It is essential to remember that there is no greater honor than caring for service members on the battlefield. Continuing to care for Veterans after separation is an opportunity that I have been afforded to extend that care in this new battlefield related to service-incurred disabilities.”

Her inspiration comes from years of military experience working alongside her fellow servicemembers, particularly key leaders who have influenced her journey, applying their wisdom to her path. She values her team deeply, most of whom are also disabled combat veterans, each member a trusted individual sharing her vision.

 “Driven by passion and purpose, I aim to create a sustainable change that empowers veterans and future generations.”

Leah’s journey hasn’t been without challenges. From overcoming and living with her service-related disabilities to navigating work-life balance, she’s learned to face each hurdle head-on with resilience.  Like many of her veteran brothers and sisters, her early background consisted of limited resources and opportunities. Her military service has helped shape her into a steadfast leader, offering relatable inspiration to others.

Join us in celebrating Leah, a compassionate leader, and resilient veteran, driving our mission to serve those who served our nation.