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Triggers and Causes

Depleted Uranium

  • By Trevor

    Hello,

    This is my first posting here. A little background first. I was diagnosed with acephalgic Migraine with aura by Army doctors around the summer of 2006. I have episodes vary in number but I would average 3-5 times per week lasting roughly 30 minutes per episode.
    Living with these migraines has been tough.

    I have been doing a lot of research into what caused or started these migraines. I have no family history of migraine that I know of. There were also no head injuries or traumas that occurred. The onset of the migraines came at the same time as other health problems such as tinnitus, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, anxiety and depression.

    After years of research, I’ve narrowed down the possible cuase for my illness that developed in the military. I began researching different chemicals or elements that I might have been exposed to. I was never deployed overseas, however, I did learn that Depleted Uranium munitions were used at a handful of military installations. Ft Lewis, the base I was stationed, was among them.

    To my horror I learned that during the 1960’s, large numbers of m101 “spotting rounds” were used at Ft Lewis. Each m101 containing up to a pound and a half of Depleted Uranium. Once I saw the picture of the m101 round my heart sank. I remember cleaning up remnants of these rounds at Ft Lewis. Range detail and range clean ups were common tasks assigned to infantry units that had down time in training schedules.

    I want to know if there is anyone else, military or civilian, who has suffered from migraines due to hazardous materials exposure.

    Thanks Trevor

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Trevor,

    First let me thank you for serving our country, thank you. Let’s see what information I can provide you on this topic.

    Even though there is no apparent evidence that migraine runs in your family, migraine is a genetic neurological disorder. It may be someone in your family called their head pain “sick headaches” or “sinus headaches” which many people did years ago, or they simply went into a dark room and suffered. We do have information on genes and migraine in this link; https://migraine.com/blog/new-research-reveals-genetic-clues-to-migraine-without-aura/.

    It may be that your migraines were triggered by hazardous material, but not the cause of them. Here’s the difference between cause and trigger: migraine is caused by genetics and a gush of events impacting our overly excitable neurons in our brain when we encounter certain stimuli. This stimuli can include chemicals, hazard materials, changes in the weather, dehydration, skipping meals, smoking, not maintaining a regular sleep schedule and many other things. Let me share information on triggers with you; https://migraine.com/migraine-causes-and-triggers/.

    I hope this is helpful,

    Nancy

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  • By Brian in TN

    Trevor, it’s not always easy to get an accurate picture of migraine occurrence in a family. Until I described my ocular migraines to my family they had no idea they were migraine related, as it turns out both my father, mother and older brother had all experienced ocular migraines and had no idea what they were. The odds are what we had been referring to as sinus headaches were often migraines. If you really want an accurate picture of the genetic roots of migraines in your family you may want to consider taking the descriptions of symptoms from the many forum entries and listing them out to form a quiz for family members. I think you will all be surprised what you find. As to the depleted uranium, as a heavy metal any of it you absorbed through skin contact or inhalation could still be in your body, their biological 1/2 life can be extreme (strontium will actually replace calcium in your bones and stay there effectively forever). Even small amounts in your liver or other organs could be acting as a trigger that you cannot avoid. Unfortunately getting the DOD to admit that you were exposed or that depleted uranium has any health risks is virtually impossible and any research is probably classified. For example the Navy has not published any medical studies associated with submarine service since 1946 even though they must have studied the health effects associated with radiation exposure and extended underwater operations experienced with nuclear powered submarines. Good luck and Godspeed especially if you’re dealing with the VA on this.

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  • By 11:11

    Trevor
    You were Infantry in the Army in 2006 and never deployed?

    I was Infantry in this time frame and beyond picking up brass the only people cleaning up hazardous materials on ranges were civilian contractors.

    If you were in fact detailed to do that I highly recommend putting together a time line as well as getting as many buddy statements as you can. You might also find others ate sick as well.

    Ater that I’m not sure: VA, Army HRC, Senator and Congress person?
    Good luck

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