Gulf War Syndrome – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Life Expectancy

What is Gulf War Syndrome?

Gulf War Syndrome is also called as the Persian Gulf War Illness (GWI), Dessert Storm Diseases, Gulf War Veterans Illnesses or Persian Gulf War Syndrome (GWS). It is actually a collection of symptoms which are reported by veterans who fought the Gulf war ever since the August of 1990.

It consists of medically explained symptoms that have not really been made clear if whether the symptoms were associated with the services during the Gulf War. As reported, they have manifested the syndrome after the veterans returned from their duty. The symptoms they manifest are culled out or are a result of the experiences they encountered upon battle. The syndrome is often a controversial topic to consider because some of them would not agree that such a syndrome truly exist. It is a rare kind of syndrome that doesn’t happen to anybody or everyone, for that matter.

Gulf War Syndrome pictures

Gulf War Syndrome Showing Effects to Soldiers as Well as Their Offspring

Gulf War Syndrome Symptoms and Signs

The symptoms that are associated with the Gulf war syndrome are myriad and most often they don’t appear at the same time. Persons, especially military persons or veterans, who are diagnosed to have such syndrome, will manifest the following symptoms:

  1. Loss of muscle control
  2. Headaches
  3. Loss of balance
  4. Mood wings
  5. Memory problems
  6. Muscle pain
  7. Joint pain
  8. Shortness of breath
  9. Skin problems
  10. Indigestion
  11. Chronic fatigue
  12. Neuropsychological symptoms
  13. Sleep disturbances
  14. Menstrual disorders
  15. Abnormal weight loss
  16. Cardiovascular symptoms
  17. Gastrointestinal symptoms
  18. Neurologic symptoms
  19. Alcohol abuse
  20. Sexual discomfort
  21. Asthma
  22. Depression
  23. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  24. Multiple Sclerosis
  25. Cancers
  26. Nausea
  27. Traumatic brain injury
  28. Swollen glands
  29. Fever
  30. Arthritis
  31. Gastrointestinal problems
  32. Chronic multi symptom illness
  33. Diarrhea
  34. Mood difficulties
  35. Seizures
  36. Speech difficulties
  37. Easily irritated
  38. Impaired decision making or problem solving
  39. Easily confused
  40. Ringing of the ears
  41. Concentration difficulties
  42. Attention difficulties
  43. Visual problems
  44. Terminal tumors
  45. Post traumatic stress disorder
  46. Fibromyalgia
  47. Bronchitis
  48. Cognitive dysfunction
  49. Anxiety disorder

Gulf War Syndrome Causes

Because of the different symptoms that are associated with the Gulf War Syndrome, researchers believed that it may be due to a collection of numerous kinds of illnesses with different etiology rather than just merely a single cause. Researchers believe that the possible causes of why a person has Gulf War Syndrome may be due to:

Nerve gas medication and insect repellants

Researchers found out that one of the cause to why veterans during the Gulf War experiences the Gulf war syndrome is because most of them were exposed to carbamate acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and organophosphate.

Infectious disease

There have been reports also of veterans who were inflicted with infectious disease during the Gulf war period. Such of these infectious diseases were sandfly fever, travelers’ diarrhea, cutaneous leishmaniasis, malaria, west Nile virus, mycobacterium tuberculosis, campylobacter jejuni, coxiella burnetii or Q fever, non typhoid salmonella and mycoplasma infection.

Chemical weapons

Most often the weapons used during the Gulf war period were made of chemicals. Such chemicals causes debilitating symptoms to the veterans which resulted to some of the symptoms mentioned above.

Biological weapons

Another possible cause of Gulf war syndrome is because of biological weapons. It was also another weapon used during the Gulf War era which yielded to fatalities of veterans. Those who were affected suffered the symptoms that were mentioned earlier.

Anthrax vaccine

The use of anthrax vaccine yielded to serious negative effects which resulted to the GWI or Gulf War illness or syndrome symptoms.

Combat stress

Research suggested that persons or veterans of the Gulf war resulted to the Gulf war syndrome such as psychiatric illness. The combat stress may also lead to such symptom mentioned.

Oil well fires

During the war, they sometimes use oil well set on fire as their weapons. The smoke from the oil well fires, if inhaled by veteran or soldiers lead to acute pulmonary problems and chronic effects like bronchitis and asthma.

Depleted uranium

Autocannon and tank kinetic energy penetrator found in the war uses depleted uranium which resulted to burns and the production of combustion products which are toxic. It also leads to nephrotoxicity, and teratogenic effects.

Gulf War Syndrome Diagnosis

Basically the diagnosis of persons or veterans or soldiers, for that matter, is not really that specified. It will depend on the symptoms one was manifested. The usually action of physicians to persons having Gulf war syndrome is to conduct a:

  1. Thorough physical assessment
  2. Medical history
  3. Laboratory test
  4. Diagnostic test such as x-rays and the like
  5. Psychological test are done only if the person manifest psychological problems

Gulf War Syndrome Treatment

Persons or veterans or soldiers that have the Gulf war syndrome actually have no specific treatment as of the moment. The treatment will base on symptomatic approach. There might be prescribed medications which are temporary medication that can either remove or reduce the symptoms associated with the Gulf war syndrome. Some researchers claimed that cognitive-behavioral therapy will aid the patients having nonspecific type of symptoms which lead to more productive lives through the management of the symptoms.

Gulf War Syndrome Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of a veteran person or a soldier having the Gulf war syndrome will depend if the person himself or herself will be able to combat the symptoms or how he or she will respond to the treatment given or provided or recommended by his or her physician.

Gulf War Syndrome Complications

The complication of the Gulf War syndrome only happens when the person’s body have not well responded to the medication or treatment method suggested and provided by his or her physician. The worse complication one might have may be debilitating ones or even suffer their own death.

Gulf War Syndrome Prevention

As of the moment, there are no other ways to prevent illnesses or symptoms associated in the Gulf war syndrome. It comes with the risk of choosing to join the army and the war itself.

6 thoughts on “Gulf War Syndrome – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Life Expectancy

  • 01/02/2013 at 8:12 AM

    Google: Kenneth Tennant (Domestic Terrorism: USA vs Veterans and the First Amendment) The VA rates me at 100% “Service-Connected” disabled. The D.o.D. injected US troops, training as combat medics, 1987 at Ft Sam Houston, TX, with experimental harmful VACCINES, without the required Disclosure or Informed Consent. I have chronic fatigue, muscle and joint pain, bouts of IBS, HA, Photophobia, skin conditions, gout, dysphagia (trouble swallowing – becoming more frequent), memory problems, where was I going with this ? Still fighting VA for Earlier Effective date…see Gary Null’s documentary: GWS and You Tube: Dr. Carley. read Reigle Senate Report, KANSAS STUDY by Dr. Lea Steele. 3 of 4 of US vets with GWS did NOT deploy! 3935 Rolling Hills Dr., Bettendorf, Iowa (563) 355-7073 jaw bone has malformations/growths ? Dental X-rays may have caused or contributed ? Feres Doctrine is a fraud to cheat vets. It was a judicially created fraud that only Federal frauds use to cheat us disabled out of their promise to take care of us. Shame on this gov’t.

  • 14/07/2014 at 11:48 PM

    I just like the valuable information you supply for your articles.
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  • 13/08/2014 at 10:28 PM

    Had polio and yellow fever vaccines together , I have suffered 18 years of degenerative illness since affecting largely the CNS. I have been to many neurologists etc but nothing to be found , breathing now very poor, Anybody else had anything similar?

  • 01/05/2015 at 7:58 AM

    This a very serious diasese , it’s has an impact on the veterans lives daily,please do not allow any one you know join the military , they own you for life.

  • 09/10/2015 at 12:22 AM

    For 25 yrs, I’ve had GWS. I began the first clinic to study this and have been through 4 clinical research trials. All to not be able to receive any reports I can give to the regional VA offices to get my benefits. This is real and no one seems to care whether you are here or not. I think they are pushing the times on benefits just so they can wait until we are deceased. I have gone to DC to the Hill, to no avail. Just think of the kids coming back now. I pray for us all.

  • 14/01/2017 at 1:20 AM

    I feel like im dying basically.
    My GWI justice gets worse and I have recourse other than marijuana which isn’t legal in KY yet so I’m breaking the law and feeling like a degenerate not to mention being disabled make it hard to afford the stuff on the street , I’m a retired Military Police Officer and it’s tough why can’t it be legal all around for veterans with GWI or PDST?? Not for young punks to have fun


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