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GERD and PTSD in Veterans Disability

GERD and PTSD in Veterans Disability

For many veterans, the journey through the complexities of disability claims involves grappling with not only physical health conditions but also the intricate interplay between physical and mental health. One such intersection is the relationship between GERD and PTSD in veterans disability. Leah analyzes the definition of GERD, its symptoms, and explores the evidence linking it to mental health disorders, particularly PTSD, in the context of veterans’ disability claims.

What is GERD?

GERD, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, is a condition characterized by the malfunction of the esophageal sphincter, leading to the improper functioning of this muscular ring between the esophagus and stomach. This dysfunction allows stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus, causing a range of symptoms. These symptoms may include heartburn, coughing, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and stomachaches. It’s important to note that not all individuals with GERD will experience the same symptoms.

Connecting GERD to Military Service

Regarding Gastroesophageal reflux disease and its relation to military service, if a person is diagnosed with GERD during their service and receives treatment, the continuity of the condition post-separation could be grounds for a service connection. This means that if the condition persists after leaving the service, it may be considered as related to the veteran’s time in active duty. It is always best to follow up with an accredited legal professional to help analyze the intricacies of the claims process.

Additionally, Gastroesophageal reflux disease can be connected to other service-connected conditions on a secondary basis. For instance, anti-inflammatory use and other factors can contribute to the aggravation or worsening of GERD. Veterans should explore the possibility of service connection with their healthcare providers, including gastroenterologists, primary care doctors, and the Veterans Affairs (VA).

In the realm of mental health, particularly PTSD, there is substantial evidence suggesting a connection between emotional states and esophageal motility. One study, titled “Measuring the Effects of Emotions on Esophageal Motility,” published in Psychosomatic Medicine, delves into the relationship between emotional states and esophageal motor function. The study recorded esophageal motility during psychiatric interviews, revealing a significant association between emotionally charged material and non-propulsive activity in the esophagus, observed consistently in about 40 percent of the subjects.

Another article, “Non-Propulsive Esophageal Contractions and Gastroesophageal Reflux,” published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, adds to the body of evidence. Moreover, the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology published a study exploring the association between GERD, sleep quality, depression, and anxiety. These studies collectively highlight the intricate connection between mental health and GERD.

GERD and Coexisting Conditions

Veterans often question whether they can be rated for both GERD and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) simultaneously. Specific ratings for these conditions may not always be separated as they can be intertwined due to symptoms overlapping or pyramiding. Typically, the VA may provide the higher of the two ratings when conditions coexist. Veterans should seek clarification on this matter from their legal representatives, emphasizing the uniqueness of each case.

Conclusion

When navigating the complexities of veterans’ disability claims, understanding the connection between GERD and mental health disorders, particularly PTSD, is crucial. Veterans should proactively engage with their healthcare providers and legal representatives to explore the potential for service connection and appropriate compensation. The evolving landscape of disability ratings necessitates staying informed and seeking professional guidance to ensure fair and accurate evaluations tailored to the unique circumstances of each veteran.

Also read: Anxiety and Tinnitus in Veterans Disability

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.