AAEM Advanced Seminar #1
Organophosphates and Gulf War Illness
Your physicians, Drs. Lieberman, Weirs, and Herbert, attended the American Academy of Environmental Medicine’s annual Advanced Seminar in Albuquerque, New Mexico on October 22-26, 2014. We would like to share what we learned in a series of four E-Alerts over the next few weeks.
Dr. William Meggs of the East Carolina University Medical School updated us on the latest opinion as to what our military was exposed to in Iraq that caused Gulf War illness in about 25% of our 700,000 soldiers who fought there.
Despite all the continuing denial, the evidence shows that they were exposed to chemical warfare, specifically organophosphates such as Sarin, the same chemical used by terrorists in Japan during an attack in their subway. But they were also exposed to depleted uranium, oil fires, vaccines, jet fuel, paint, sand, pesticides, solvents, and emotional stress.
Despite all of these hazardous exposures, the Sarin was what caused the major Gulf War disease. American bombers destroyed a Sarin storage facility, which disseminated the war gas over a very large geographical area. The VA treated these Gulf War veterans with many drugs, but none were effective in helping them.
What these poisoned soldiers needed was an intense treatment with Bio-detoxification, the very same program that we offer here at COEM. For whatever reason, this program was never offered to them. Till this very day, the illness persists manifesting three major signs and symptoms: loss of neurocognition, confusion and imbalance, and musculoskeletal pain.
Many environmental medicine physicians like myself have seen the same manifestations in civilians exposed to the pesticides – Dursban and Diazinon, the most commonly used home and garden pesticides.
Exposure to these organophosphates causes an acute poisoning, which can ultimately leave you with a chronic disorder, months and even years later, called chronic organophosphate-induced neuropsychiatric disorder. Many of our patients have this and never knew they were poisoned by these chemicals.
Could you be one of these?
Allan D. Lieberman, M.D., F.A.A.E.M.
Center for Occupational & Environmental Medicine