On July 15th the US Department of Veterans Affairs announced that disability regulations will be changing regarding how the Department of Veterans Affairs views Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders(FGIDs/FGIMDs) such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
The new regulations will now list FGIDs as being a “presumed” result of military service during operations within Southeast Asia during the Persian Gulf War that occurred in the early 1990s. This essentially means that a veteran making a disability claim should have an easier task of claiming that their Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Functional Dyspepsia(chronic indigestion) was a result of their service, even if symptoms developed after they had left the military. In the past a veteran had to prove that their symptoms were apparent while they were actively serving during the Gulf War. This made it complicated for many veterans who developed severe gastrointestinal disorders after their tours of duty ended.
While this is a step forward, the disability process for veterans may still be an uphill battle when dealing with doctors or claims reviewers who may not be aware, educated or compassionate towards FGIDs. This is unfortunate as many of our soldiers are more at risk of developing Irritable Bowel Syndrome due to stress, poor sanitation, travel & the physical hazards involved with combat operations. Hopefully these new regulations will streamline the process for many of the veterans who have been either suffering in silence or struggling with the current disability process.