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Deployment in the Persian Gulf War is "associated with multisymptom illness; gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome" amongst others.


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Dr. Douglas Drossman, a professor in the UNC School of Medicine and co-director of the UNC Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders, was a member of the committee that wrote the report. Drossman was in charge of a section of the report that reviewed a large body of research that's been done to date on possible links between Gulf War service and diseases of the digestive system. The committee concluded that this evidence supports a link between deployment to the Gulf War and functional GI disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia. Much of Drossman's research has focused on the role of psychological factors in GI disorders, which is sometimes referred to as the "mind-body connection." And according to the IOM report, a mind-body connection concept called "postinfectious IBS" seems to be a significant factor in the link between Gulf War service and GI diseases. What does "postinfectious IBS" mean? It's a phrase that refers to IBS that is initially triggered by exposure to an infectious agent, such as a virus, which causes acute gastroenteritis (i.e., "stomach flu"). But when this happens with co-existent stress - in this case, military service during wartime - the GI symptoms may persist even after the infection is gone.

You can read the IOM's press release >> HereFull report (pdf) >> http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12835The section about diseases of the digestive system is found on pages 154-160.
 
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