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Irritable Bowel Syndrome and PTSD in Veterans Disability

Irritable Bowel Syndrome and PTSD in Veterans Disability

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a complex medical condition with symptoms that can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. Leah analyzes the relationship between irritable bowel syndrome and PTSD in veterans disability. Understanding the connections between these conditions is crucial for veterans seeking compensation and proper medical care.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is characterized by a constellation of symptoms typically diagnosed after six months or longer of gastrointestinal issues that cannot be explained by other conditions. The Rome criteria, a set of specific guidelines, are often used to diagnose IBS. Symptoms can include stomach cramping, pain in the abdomen, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, or a combination of these. It can be classified as IBS-C (with constipation), IBS-D (diarrhea), or mixed.

Diagnosis and Service Connection

Veterans can be connected to IBS through various avenues. If diagnosed during active service and the symptoms persist, it can be directly connected to service. Gulf War veterans may also be eligible for service connection due to specific exposures during that period. Additionally, IBS can be secondary to other service-connected conditions, particularly mental health disorders like PTSD.

Research suggests a strong link between PTSD and gastrointestinal disorders, including IBS. One study published in the Journal of Neuroscience and Rural Practice in 2015 explores the connection, discussing the impact of the emotional limbic system, increased release of hormones, and cortisol on the enteric nervous system, leading to IBS symptoms. Other articles, such as “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Gastrointestinal Disorders in Danish Populations” and “Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Anxiety, and Depression: What are the Links?” provide further insights.

Secondary Service Connections

Understanding how mental health conditions, especially PTSD, can impact Irritable Bowel Syndrome is crucial for veterans seeking service connection. If a mental health condition causes or aggravates IBS, it may qualify for secondary service connection. Veterans should provide evidence of the relationship between their mental health and IBS symptoms, often requiring medical opinions and supporting articles.

Supporting Your Claim

When seeking service connection for IBS and PTSD, it’s essential to provide relevant articles to support your case. Some recommended articles include those published in the Journal of Neuroscience and Rural Practice (2015), Epidemiology (PTSD and Gastrointestinal Disorders), and the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (IBS, Anxiety, and Depression). These articles can be presented to primary care managers, VA doctors, or during Compensation and Pension (C&P) exams.

Understanding Ratings and Pyramiding

Veterans should also be aware of how their disability ratings may be affected. Pyramiding, the combination of multiple conditions into one rating, can impact the overall disability percentage. For instance, if a veteran is already rated for a service-connected gastrointestinal condition like Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), the VA may combine it with IBS into a single rating. This can affect the potential increase in the overall disability rating. It is always best to seek clarification on these matters from an expert legal professional like a Veterans Service Officer (VSO), accredited claims agent, or attorney for advisement.

Conclusion

Navigating the complexities of service connection for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and PTSD requires a thorough understanding of the conditions, their connections, and the VA’s rating system. Veterans are encouraged to gather relevant medical evidence, including articles supporting the link between PTSD and IBS. Seeking assistance from a VSO or legal professional is often important to ensure the best possible outcome in their disability claims. By advocating for their rights and presenting a well-documented case, veterans can improve their chances of receiving the compensation and care they deserve.

Also read: Pes Planus and 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.

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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
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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.