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Pubmed-Onset of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Dyspepsia, Diarrhea, Bloating, and Constipation in Deployed Gulf War Veterans

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Int J Gasteroenterol (N Y). 2024 Jun;8(1):5-10. doi: 10.11648/ijg.20240801.12. Epub 2024 Feb 5.


An estimated 694,550 United States service members were actively deployed to the Persian Gulf from 1990-1991. Many veterans who were deployed developed Persian Gulf War Syndrome along with chronic gastrointestinal symptoms after returning from the Persian Gulf. Our objective in this study was to determine the phenotypic expression of gastrointestinal symptom complexes in previously healthy veterans who had been stationed in the Persian Gulf. One hundred and four consecutive veterans (88 males, 16 females) who had previously been deployed in 1990-91 were evaluated for their bowel habits and gastrointestinal symptoms. A workup was completed to find identifiable causes of their symptoms and all veterans were asked to do a modified version of the Bowel Disease Questionnaire symptom survey. None of the veterans reported gastrointestinal symptoms before deployment. During deployment to the Persian Gulf: 22 veterans (21%) developed irritable bowel syndrome; 17 (16%) developed dyspepsia; 50 (48%) developed diarrhea; 11 (11%) developed bloating; and 4 (4%) developed constipation. The results of the current study suggest that the development of irritable bowel syndrome, dyspepsia, diarrhea, bloating, and constipation is frequently seen in deployed Gulf War Veterans and the gastrointestinal symptoms commonly persist upon returning home. These novel findings are very important for currently deployed veterans who are serving in the Middle East and are at a high risk of developing gastrointestinal disorders.

PMID:38487339 | PMC:PMC10935595 | DOI:10.11648/ijg.20240801.12

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