253 – Returning Heroes: Chronic Disease and Overseas Deployment

Medical and health needs of veterans who have served in the Gulf War regions of Iraq and Afghanistan were explained by advocates who spoke at a briefing in Washington, DC on October 27, 2011. Long-term or repeated exposure to high levels of stress can cause physical changes in the brain and the intestines. Combined with exposure to other environmental factors, such as gastrointestinal infections from food or water, long-term debilitating functional GI disorders may occur. This article recounts the briefing and provides additional information about the service connection to certain functional GI disorders.