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Gulf War Syndrome - Symptoms, Causes and TreatmentBY: Amna Adnan | Category: Healthcare | Submitted: 2010-07-30 06:08:45
What is Gulf War Syndrome:-
Gulf war syndrome is a medical condition in which the person experiences physical and psychological illnesses. This syndrome was experienced by the veterans and military of the Gulf War. Almost 5000 to 8,000 soldiers were suffered from this disease. All the veterans who participated in the war, they had been affected. In the 1992, a syndrome appeared in the state of Indiana when the soldiers of that area came back from Persian Gulf War. They started experiencing strange symptoms.
Some of the people became unusually fatigued and some soldiers complained that their joints were aching. They started experiencing hair loss, rashes on their bodies, severe headaches and their memories lost. Some for the soldiers were having so severe symptoms that they were hospitalized and used medications. People had gone certain mood changes like anxiety, depression and stress. They could not sleep well. Some respiratory symptoms also appeared for example asthma, bronchitis and coughing in some patients. They became sensitive to the chemicals. Diarrhea and constipation were also seen in some soldiers. Some female soldiers had problems in their menstrual cycle.
Causes and factors:-
The actual causes of the Gulf War Syndrome are not known yet. But there were other factors which triggered this syndrome in the soldiers' bodies for example stress depression and some physical factors. There were many other factors which are likely to be responsible for the occurrence of this syndrome.
Following are some causative factors which may have been responsible for the disease.
There is possibility that the soldiers were exposed to biological weapons or warfare which triggered the disease in them. Though there is not any report of such weapons so far. It is reported that Iraq was doing experiment on some biological weapon used for anthrax and for an organism which is responsible for gangrene. Another possibility is that Iraq might have deployed biotoxins like bacteria which caused damage to the human body and soldiers suffered from the syndrome.
Another cause of the Gulf War Syndrome is the infectious diseases. On the other hand it is also said that these diseases were not the major problem because there were certain precautionary measures for the veterans. Still after examination, there were some infectious agents were present like diarrhea, sandfly fever and malaria. It is evident that mycoplasma infection has been seen in some soldiers. Mycoplasma is the microorganism lacking cell wall and has the ability to cause different infectious diseases in humans.
Another suggestion along with the biological weapons is the chemical weapons. During the war in Iraq, it is believed that Iraq had the stock of chemical weapons with chemicals like Sarin and Cyclosarin, which developed the gulf war syndrome in patients. Sarin is a chemical which weakens the immune system of the human body if the human body is exposed to this chemical for only a week. It also damages the brain.
Some veterans who showed symptoms of gulf war syndrome also remember their exposure to the diesel and petrochemical fume. They consider these fumes the cause of their illness. Researchers after the experiments concluded that those veterans who were exposed to the fumes had the symptoms like dizziness feelings of disorientation. They believe that diesel fumes have affected the veterans' health most and it caused both psychological as well as physiological problems.
When the troops were sent to the war, they were vaccinated for various infectious diseases like, cholera, diarrhea, malaria etc. Vaccines for the anthrax and botulinum toxoid were also given to the soldiers. These vaccines were not registered yet. Similarly they also vaccinated for the polio and yellow fever. The administration of so many vaccines at a time might be responsible for the cause of Gulf War Syndrome.
There is no specific treatment for Gulf War Syndrome so far. As the field of genetic and biotechnology are developing so many techniques and methods everyday, there is possibility that this syndrome might also be treated with those techniques if the genes are affected in the Gulf War Syndrome. Temporary drugs can be prescribed by the doctors, which can reduce pain or remove rashes from the body.
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