In yesterday’s newspaper I read an article from the Los Angeles Times taken from research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The article talked about PTSD among veterans. According to a three-decade-old research project among twins, it was discovered that vets with PTSD were twice as likely to also develop heart disease.
I wonder if the same statistics apply to others suffering from PTSD. I know many of my fellow environmental illness friends suffer from PTSD. Who wouldn’t suffer from post traumatic stress at seeing their lives disappear? Who wouldn’t suffer from post traumatic stress dealing daily with physical illness or exposures or losing their personal belongings because of mold exposure?
Recently I learned more startling news with regard to those serving in the military. One morning I was sitting in the kitchen eating breakfast with the news on. It was a human interest type story relating to ALS (commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). The host was asking the husband of a woman about her illness and how long she had been diagnosed with the illness. Surprisingly most people diagnosed with ALS are given a life expectancy of one to five years. This woman’s amazing journey has last thirteen years, something unheard of by most ALS sufferers. The host discussed if there was a known cause and the husband said they didn’t really have one. There was only one FDA approved drug to possibly extend one’s life by 25%. The most shocking thing I heard was that military veterans were twice as likely to develop ALS as the general public. My question was why? What makes those in the military different? A few things came to my mind. They often travel around the country and the world. They are very possibly exposed to more toxic environments than the normal person. Could chemicals and other toxins be a cause? I don’t have the answer and apparently no one else does at the present time. It just seems very strange that being a veteran could double your chances.