VIETNAM VETERANS WITH DIABETES

Vietnam Veterans with Diabetes, Diabetes, Vietnam, Veterans

Agent Orange
USAF deleted 25% of Agent Orange report linked on VA.gov
Fed admits to Agent Orange use in Thailand

 
This is a news letter put out with Information for Veterans who served in Vietnam. You can read it at www.publichealth.va.gov/exposure/agentorange     

VA AND DIABETES

 

1. What veterans will be affected when this condition is added as a presumptive condition for those exposed to herbicides/dioxins?
Honorably discharged veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during the period January 9, 1962 through May 7, 1975 and have “adult onset diabetes mellitus.” This does not include veteran’s who served in the Republic of Vietnam during the period February 28, 1961, to January 9, 1962.
2. What does “presumptive condition” mean?
Normally, the claimant must show proof of relationship between service and the condition being claimed. Under presumption of service connection, VA presumes the service-connected relationship exists based on the other qualifying criteria, such as dates and location of service and that the condition being claimed, in this case, is associated with exposure to Agent Orange.
3. Must I have served “in-country” Vietnam to be eligible?
To have presumptive service connection granted for diabetes mellitus based on Vietnam service, the claimant must have served in-country.
4. What does “in-country” mean? What if I served in support of operations in Vietnam, for example, on board a ship in the Gulf of Tonkin?
During the period 1/9/62 through 5/7/75, you must have physically served or visited in the Republic of Vietnam (RVN), including service in the waters offshore if the conditions of service involved duty or visitation in Vietnam. This means the ship must have come to port in the RVN and you disembarked.
5. Will private medical records be accepted as proof of my diabetes?
Will I be required to undergo a VA examination?If private medical records are sufficient, VA can make a determination and grant based on those records. If not, a VA examination will be required. These records should :
  • Comment on the age of onset and the diagnostic test used to affirmatively diagnose this condition

  • Comment on the treatment modalities (i.e. Insulin, diet, regulation of activities, etc.)

  • Discuss, if applicable, the prior and current episodes of ketoacidosis or hypoglycemic reactions. Were hospitalizations required? What was the frequency of hospitalizations?

  • Fully describe any complications that stem from the veteran’s diabetes mellitus; such as vision; cardiac; vascular; renal; neurologic (including both peripheral neuropathy and cerebral effects); amputations; and other associated complications.
6. I applied for service-connection for my diabetes and was denied. The condition was however, rated as non-service connected. Will I need to reapply for service connection?
Vietnam veterans who were previously denied service connection for diabetes should reapply by contacting his or her local VA office at, 1-800-827-1000 or by e-mail through the VA web page. (www.va.gov).
7. My husband died from diabetes and was an in-country Vietnam veteran. Do I now qualify for service connected death benefits (DIC)?
If you believe the cause of death was related to diabetes and the veteran had in-country service, you should contact the local VA office to determine your eligibility.
8. Will I receive retroactive benefits based on a grant of service connection due to presumptive service in Vietnam?
Under a federal court decision in the case of Nehmer v. U.S. Veterans' Admin., C.A. No. C-86-6160 (TEH) (N.D. Cal.), Vietnam veterans are eligible for retroactive awards of benefits for their diabetes, if they applied for service connection for diabetes before the VA diabetes regulation went into effect on July 9, 2001.
9. If I am already service connected for diabetes, will I get an increase based on this change?
You will not receive any additional benefits as a result of this change. However, if your diabetic condition has increased in severity since you were last rated by VA, you should contact your local VA office. You can file a claim for a reevaluation and the local VA office can provide assistance with that claim.
10. Will I be eligible for medical treatment?
Even if you decide not to file a claim based on exposure to herbicide, you can still get a free physical examination at the nearest VA Medial Center. You may also be entitled to free ongoing medical treatment at a VA medical facility. You should contact the nearest VA medical facility or you can obtain information and an application for health benefits at the Veterans Health Administration web site at www.va.gov/vbs/health/index.htm or by calling 1-877-222-8387.
11. Where can I get a copy of the National Academy of Sciences Study on Herbicide/Dioxin Exposure and Type 2 Diabetes?
When clicking the link below, you are now leaving the Department of Veterans Affairs Website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked website.
You can download a copy of the study from the NAS web site at www.nap.edu/html/diabetes.


AGENT ORANGE: DIABETES TYPE 2

Agent Orange: Diabetes Mellitus (Type 2)

VA recognizes Veterans' type 2 diabetes mellitus as associated with exposure to Agent Orange and other herbicides during military service. VA made this ruling in 2001, following new findings on diabetes and herbicide exposure, overturning earlier rulings.

Learn more:

About Diabetes

With diabetes, the body loses the ability to use insulin, a hormone that helps keep blood sugar levels normal. As a result, people with diabetes have high blood sugar (glucose) levels. These high blood sugar levels affect many organs in the body.

There are two types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes - also known as juvenile diabetes, occurs most commonly among juveniles.
  • Type 2 diabetes - occurs primarily in adults.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Include increased urination, excessive thirst, feeling tired or hungry, losing weight without trying.
  • Obesity and family history are risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
  • Leading cause of blindness in the United States.
  • Can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and amputation.

Visit VA’s Diabetes Program to learn more about diabetes.

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Research on Diabetes and Herbicides Used in Vietnam

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences concluded in its 2000 report "Veterans and Agent Orange: Herbicide/Dioxin Exposure and Type 2 Diabetes"*† as well as in 2002 and 2004 updates, that there is limited/suggestive evidence of an association between exposure to herbicides and type 2 diabetes.

Read more Institute of Medicine reports on Veterans and Agent Orange*†.

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VA Benefits for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Veterans with type 2 diabetes mellitus who were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service may be eligible for:

Surviving spouses, children and dependent parents of Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange and died as the result of type 2 diabetes mellitus may be eligible for benefits. These benefits include Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, education, home loan and health care benefits. Find out if you qualify for survivors’ benefits.

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Contact VA about Benefits

By Telephone

  • Toll-free Helpline: 1-800-749-8387 Press 3
  • Health Care and Agent Orange Registry Health Exam: 1-877-222-8387 (Ask to speak to the Environmental Health Coordinator or Patient Care Advocate)
  • Compensation and Other Benefits: 1-800-827-1000
  • TDD (for hearing impaired): 1-800-829-4833

In Person

Diabetes is Number One Killer

The latest stats says that Diabetes kills more people than Heart & Cancer yearly!

Take care of your body, Test daily, Eat healthy, Exercise daily.

LEARNING ABOUT TYPE II DIABETES

Your body's main source of energy is glucose, a type of sugar.

Your body gets sugar from 2 major sources:

1. The foods you eat

2. The sugar that your liver makes when you have not eaten food

It is important to balance the level of sugar in your body. Your body helps to do this by releasing insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas. Insulin moves the sugar from your blood into your cells to use for energy.

Diabetes is a disease of high blood sugar.

A person with type 2 diabetes may not have enough insulin, or the insulin that the body may not work as well as it should. This causes the blood sugar level to become out of balance because it gets to high. sometimes the liver makes more sugar than the body needs, which causes the blood sugar level to get even higher and out of balance.

 In Summary:

Diabetes is a disease of high blood sugar.

A person with diabetes may not have enough insulin, or the insulin that the body makes may not work as well as it should.

The liver can keep making sugar even though the body does not need it.

Uncontrolled high blood sugar can cause health problems when present for a long time.

 

 

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE TYPE II DIABETES?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, talk to you Health care professional. he or she can check you for Diabetes.

1. Do you urinate often?

2. Are you thirsty most of the time?

3. Do you feel weaK?

4. Are you hungry most of the time?

5. Have you lost weight(without trying)?

6. Are you tired most of the time?

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT DIABETES?

There are many things you can do to control diabetes. It's very important to get your diabtes under control.

You Doctor or health care professional can help you find the plan to take care of your diabetes. Together you both can make a Diabetes Care Plan.

Part of a plan may be:

1. Healthy eating

2. Exercise or activity

3. medicines, such as insulin or diabetes medications

4. Checking your Blood Sugars

5. learning the signs when your blood sugars are high or low

6. let the Government know about your Diabetes.

Remember if you served in Vietnam and have Type 2 Diabetes under the Agent Orange Act of 1991, the Sec. of veterans Affairs has declared that to be a presumptively service connected.

DIABETES SYMPTONS

Type 1 Diabetes                                                   Type 2 Diabetes

* frequent urination                                             * Any of Type 1 symptons

* Unusual Thirst                                                   * Frequent infections

* Extreme hunger                                                 * Blurred vision

* Unusual weight loss                                            * Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal

* Extreme fatigue and irritabilty                             * Tingling/numbness in hands/feet

                                                                        * Recurring skin, gum, or bladder infections

                               *  Often people with type 2 diabetes have no symptons *

MOVE PROGRAM

Do you belong to your local VA Move program? Do you get help with your Nutrition, Diet? Do you walk? This is a good way to lose some weight and help your Diabetes numbers. Ask your Primary Care Doctor to refer you to the Move program to lose some weight and help your Blood Glucose numbers.

 

TCOYD Extreme Diabetes Makeover

This is such an exciting project. You need to check it out. You can go to TCOYD.org or RealAge.com. I urge you to see this out. They worked with 7 unique people all living with diabetes who all have one thing in common, poor control of their diabetes. They are work with a Dream Team of dioabetes experts over a 22 week period. Watch this and you can get excited about managing and getting control of Your Diabetes.

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New Guidelines for Exercise in Type 2 Diabetes

New guidelines stress the crucial role that physical activity plays in the management of Type 2 diabetes: physicians should prescribe exercise....

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They replace recommendations made in the American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand, "Exercise and Type 2 Diabetes," issued in 2000.

Developed by a panel of 9 experts, the new guidelines are published concurrently in the December issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise and Diabetes Care.

"High-quality studies establishing the importance of exercise and fitness in diabetes were lacking until recently," the expert panel writes, "but it is now well established that participation in regular physical activity improves blood glucose control and can prevent or delay Type 2 diabetes mellitus, along with positively affecting lipids, blood pressure, cardiovascular events, mortality, and quality of life."

Most of the benefits of exercise are realized through acute and long-term improvements in insulin action, accomplished with both aerobic and resistance training, the experts write.

For people who already have Type 2 diabetes, the new guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise spread out at least 3 days during the week, with no more than 2 consecutive days between bouts of aerobic activity. These recommendations take into account the needs of those whose diabetes may limit vigorous exercise.

Sheri R. Colberg, PhD, writing chair, professor of exercise science at Old Dominion University, adjunct professor of internal medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia, and regular Diabetes In Control contributor, stated that, "Most people with Type 2 diabetes do not have sufficient aerobic capacity to undertake sustained vigorous activity for that weekly duration, and they may have orthopedic or other health limitations." "For this reason, the ADA [American Diabetes Association] and ACSM [American College of Sports Medicine] call for a regimen of moderate-to-vigorous activity and make no recommendation for a lesser amount of vigorous activity."

The panel specifically recommends that such moderate exercise correspond to approximately 40% to 60% of maximal aerobic capacity and states that for most people with Type 2 diabetes, brisk walking is a moderate-intensity exercise.

The expert panel also recommends that resistance training be part of the exercise regimen. This should be done at least twice a week -- ideally 3 times a week -- on nonconsecutive days. The panel also recommends that people just beginning to do weight training be supervised by a qualified exercise trainer "to ensure optimal benefits to blood glucose control, blood pressure, lipids, and cardiovascular risk and to minimize injury risk."

Regular use of a pedometer is also encouraged. In a meta-analysis of 8 randomized controlled trials and 18 observational studies, people who used pedometers increased their physical activity by 27% over baseline. Having a goal, such as taking 10,000 steps per day, was an important predictor of increased physical activity, according to the expert panel.

Finally, the new guidelines emphasize that exercise must be done regularly to have continued benefits and should include regular training of varying types.

Physicians should prescribe exercise, Dr. Colberg said in a statement. "Many physicians appear unwilling or cautious about prescribing exercise to individuals with Type 2 diabetes for a variety of reasons, such as excessive body weight or the presence of health-related complications. However, the majority of people with Type 2 diabetes can exercise safely, as long as certain precautions are taken. The presence of diabetes complications should not be used as an excuse to avoid participation in physical activity."

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010;2282-2303.