Author Topic: Agent Orange and Depleted Uranium –Diabetes and ischemic heart disease  (Read 3530 times)

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Agent Orange and Depleted Uranium –Diabetes and ischemic heart disease

Vietnam veterans with type 2 diabetes are eligible for disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) based on their presumed exposure to Agent Orange or other herbicides. In 2000, the VA added type 2 diabetes to the list of "presumptive diseases associated with herbicide exposure." That action followed a report from the National Academy of Sciences that found "limited/suggestive" evidence of an association between the chemicals used in herbicides during the Vietnam War, such as Agent Orange, and type 2 diabetes.

On October 13, 2009 Secretary Shinseki, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, decided to establish service-connection for Vietnam Veterans with B cell leukemias, such as hairy cell leukemia; Parkinson's disease; and ischemic heart disease. This is based on an independent study by the Institute of Medicine showing an association with exposure to Agent Orange. Vietnam veterans with these diseases may be eligible for disability compensation. Veterans who develop ischemic heart disease and were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service do not have to prove a connection between their disease and military service to be eligible to receive VA disability compensation.

The incidence of diabetes among Veterans in a follow-up survey to the 1995 National Health Survey of Gulf War Era Veterans and Their Families conducted in 2004-2005 compared self-reported health status of deployed Gulf War veterans and nondeployed Gulf War veterans (Kang et al., 2009). This survey included 6111 deployed and 3859 nondeployed veterans, out of 15,000 in each group (response rates of 41% in deployed and 26% in nondeployed veterans). The prevalence of a self-reported diagnosis of diabetes was similar in deployed and nondeployed veterans (prevalence ratio 1.11, 95% CI 0.99-1.25), after adjustment for sociodemographic and lifestyle variables.

However, a 2011 scientific article, Longitudinal health study of US 1991 Gulf War veterans came up with new findings: This study found that there were significant changes in the health status at a 10—year follow-up finding that Gulf War Veterans’ health has worsened over time compared to the health of Gulf War-era Veterans who served elsewhere.

Deployed Gulf War Veterans reported not only higher rates in the new onset of disease, but previously reported health problems lasted longer. These Veterans were more likely to experience new onset of arthritis, hypertension and coronary heart disease than their military peers. They also reported higher rates of ongoing unexplained multi-symptom illness, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic fatigue syndrome-like illness, along with higher health care utilization, including frequent clinic visits and recurrent hospitalization.

So, whether we like it or not, it appears to be the same old story we of the Vietnam era have had to deal with…waiting until the evidence is so overwhelming that the government can no longer deny that a correlation between DU and the same litany of diseases we found in Agent Orange, may also be related to Gulf War Veterans. Interesting that those who have come through the trials and tribulation on the battlefield have had to come home to home-base environmental concerns which can affect their health and the burden they now bare from exposure while in combat.

Based on the 1989 U.S. National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), 3% of men and women age 18-44 years who reported having diabetes also reported having ischemic heart disease. This increased to 14% of those age 45-64 years and 20% of those age ?65 years. The most common cause of death in adults with diabetes is coronary heart disease. The excess risk of heart disease occurs with both insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). In contrast to people without diabetes, heart disease in diabetic individuals appears earlier in life, affects women almost as often as men, and is more often fatal.

Diabetes is a common disease, yet every individual needs unique care. Diabetes can affect every part of the body; fortunately, there are many activities you can incorporate into your daily routine to head off problems before they turn into serious complications. Most often effected are teeth and gums, feet, eyes, and skin. The most common treatments provided by healthcare practitioners - endocrinologists, dentists, ophthalmologist, podiatrists, dietitians, nurses, and exercise counselors –should be followed to minimize exacerbating one's health problems brought on by diabetes. Taking medicines to control insulin levels, most notably insulin and Metformin should be strictly followed.

NOTE: The Conclusions of a clinical trial ( NCT00375388). Long term treatment with metformin increases the risk of vitamin B-12 deficiency, which results in raised homocysteine concentrations. "Vitamin B-12 deficiency is preventable; therefore, our findings suggest that regular measurement of vitamin B-12 concentrations during long term metformin treatment should be strongly considered".

Ischemic heart disease is also known as coronary artery disease or “hardening of the arteries” (also called arteriolosclerosis). “Ischemia,” which means the heart is not getting enough blood flow and oxygen. It is most often caused by a build-up in plaque in the arteries from cholesterol with is attributed to a fatty diet, smoking, sedentary lifestyle and stress. If the plaque blocks an artery, a heart attack can result. Avoiding foods rich in saturated fats is important to reduce lipid levels in the blood. Adequate regular exercise is also essential. Cholesterol and hypertension should be kept under good control with proper treatment including medication and dietary changes.

Ischemic heart disease treatments:
• Organic Nitrates - Organic Nitrates relax the nonspecific smooth muscles. Sosorbide Dinitrate and Isosorbide Mononitrate are the common medicines.
• Beta Blockers - Beta Blockers act by reducing cardiac work and oxygen consumption. Propanolol, Atanolol, and Timolol are the common medicines.
• Calcium Channel Blockers – Calcium channel blockers inhibit the passage of calcium ions through cell membranes in the heart and vascular smooth muscles. Amlodipine and Nifedipine are the common medicines.
• Statins - Statins are used to reduce the cholesterol levels in hypercholesterolemia and
lead to 60% decrease in the number of cardiac events (heart attack, sudden cardiac death), and a 17% reduced risk of stroke. Common medicines include Atorvastatin and Rusvastatin.
• Aspirin - Aspirin improves the rate of survival in patients with acute myocardial infarction and reduces the risk of myocardial infarction in patients with unstable angina, and after recovery from myocardial infarction.

Other treatment options include CABG (coronary artery bypass grafting) and angioplasty. CABG is one treatment whereby a healthy artery or vein from the body is connected, or grafted, to the blocked coronary artery. The grafted artery or vein bypasses (that is, goes around) the blocked portion of the coronary artery. This creates a new path for oxygen-rich blood to flow to the heart muscle. Angioplasty is a procedure that inserts a thin, flexible catheter (tube) with a balloon at its tip which is threaded through a blood vessel to the affected artery. Once in place, the balloon is inflated to compress the plaque against the artery wall. This restores blood flow through the artery.

None of the options, medicine, or surgical procedures for diabetes and ischemic heart disease can be guaranteed to work 100% of the time in 100% of the cases as everyone may react differently to any option. Up to 90 percent of heart attacks are due to: smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, abdominal obesity ("spare tire"), not eating enough fruits and vegetables, lack of exercise, drinking too much alcohol, and stress. If the situation is further complicated to exposure to AO and DU, a complete change in life-style choices should be a word to the wise.

Additionally, there are many things those exposed can do prophylactically (to defend against or prevent something - especially disease).

Evidence supports the routine use of low-dose aspirin in the prevention of cardiovascular events in patients with diabetes mellitus. In 1997, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommended a low-dose aspirin prophylaxis for all diabetic patients over the age of 30 with one additional risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Cardiovascular or aerobic exercise involves activity in which a person’s heart rate increases to a higher than normal rate. This type of workout can be especially beneficial for people with diabetes because it can help burn extra glucose in the body and also decrease resistance to insulin. A daily routine of walking a couple of miles can prove to provide big dividends over the long haul.
Though no definitive clinical trials that can confirm, chromium may help control blood glucose levels and aid weight loss, and while magnesium levels are often low in people who have problems with insulin secretion. In people with complications of diabetes, many diabetics take a magnesium supplement. Whether magnesium dietary supplements can help relieve or reduce these problems is still unknown. The same is true of Vanadium which may increase the body's sensitivity to insulin.

Biological Response Modifiers I discuss on my website at discusses the use of a Beta Glucan-Resveratrol compound (RBV-300) that has been studied for decades around the world and is currently approved for treating cancer in Japan and some European countries. There are thousands of peer-reviewed studies listed on my website as well as more than 30, NIH on-going clinical trials involving Beta Glucan and Resveratrol for a large number of diseases, including Diabetes, Ischemic Heart Disease, and prophylactic action to prevent and/or mitigate the occurrences of the very diseases to which AO and DU have been linked.