Anybody Know Type of Doctor To See For Diagnosis Gulf War Illness?

Former MiTT Team Leader

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All- I am about at my wits end with the VA. In DEC 2014 I started complaining of a litany of symptoms from mental to physical. I went from being pretty normal in DEC to having to have a cane for balance by April among a lot of other things. The VA is beating around the bush and saying I might have Gulf War Illness but other than sending me to a neurologist have done very little else. I have requested to see an Infectious Disease doctor and an fMRI/PET scan- and both have been denied. My VA primary care doctor tells me he has no idea what is going on but will not admit this to higher authority at the VA.

I am now willing to pay out of pocket to see a civilian doctor, I am just not exactly sure which type of specialist to see.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

scoutCC

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Gulf War Illness requires the lack of a diagnosis. Having a diagnosis excludes your symptoms from being considered Gulf War Illness. I agree, it is hard to understand.

Certain diagnosis are considered a non-diagnosis though, because they are last resort diagnosis that are only given when explainable conditions are ruled out. IBS is an example, usually takes a gastro doc to rule out everything, but is generally given once celiac or crohns is ruled out and no parasites/bacteria can be seen as the cause. Fibro and CFS are the same boat, and rheumatology generally gives those out. Fibro is starting to be seen as having diagnostic criteria, so it may no longer be in that category, kinda depends on what medical reading someone has been doing.

Gulf War Illness doesn't have a treatment. It covers a range of symptoms and some you can treat better than others. General rule when dealing with docs, don't talk about the disease/injury, talk about the symptom you want better. Don't tell the doc you patellofemoral syndrome or whatever, tell them your knee hurts, make it better. You might have had patellofemoral syndrome, but you don't want to preclude them from looking to see if maybe you did something new to it.

If you're looking for a diagnosis before filing a claim you will be waiting a long time. The C&P that happens in response to the claim should be approved based on the lack of finding, but my understanding is expect a few appeals before the claim is granted. They'll do silly thing like say "back strain" is a diagnosis, so its not gulf war illness that is causing the wide spread pain and deny.
 

AvnSgt

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IMO, I would start with an internal medicine doctor, which is often your primary care physicians (PCP). Make sure to take a copy of your medical records, and from there the PCP can provide guidance, as to which specialists you should see. Also, he/she may be able to order tests in advance of seeing the specialists, that will save some time. Especially if you can't pin down which specialty to see.

I hope this little bit is helpful, as I know what is like to get the run around in the VA system. Don't lose hope, because there still are a few good physicians within the system.
 
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