2ND BATTALION 94TH ARTILLERY
AGENT ORANGE MEDICAL ISSUES & TESTING
For 40 years of government cover-ups see http://www.2ndbattalion94thartillery.com/Chas/AgentOrangeDiscussion.htm
First of all I am not a doctor so you need to check with your doctor. I am only pointing out medical issues, in my opinion, that do not make any sense as it relates to what our government says is associated with the toxins we were exposed to and what is not associated. Based on research of many independent factors and sources not associated with the what seems to be a conspiratorial government in this issue.
Lets start by restating the known fact that the Vietnam Veterans were exposed to more than just Agent Orange. There was also Agent White and Agent Blue each with their own set of medical issues. In addition to that fact, there is a known phenomena in chemistry that says: Two or more chemicals will have a potentiating effect, or a synergy, that is more severe than the exposure to one of the chemicals. Of course these facts are ignored by our government and its representatives hired to do their dirty work.
Repeating a few facts:
In the 1992 dioxin reassessment and reinforced by the 1994 update. The EPA has restated that :
* Cancer may not be the most sensitive toxic response resulting from Dioxin Exposure. Immunotoxicity and Reproductive effects appear to occur at body burdens that are approximately 100 times lower than those associated with cancer.
*Data indicates that there may not be a threshold for certain responses to Dioxin.
Dioxin and these other chemicals either create an immune system that is self-perpetuating in it creating its own damages or deprive the body of the immune system to some level, thereby allowing the simplest of medical issues create a problem. A problem that would have been taken care of by a healthy immune system.
In fact, one could say that the these toxins do not cause cancer, as in poof you now how have a pronounced cancer in one magical medical moment. As the VA and the government would have you believe. Instead the toxin damages allow the cancerous conditions to develop either by not being able to stop it with a compromised immune system. Or in the case of the self-perpetrating damaging immune system that actually develops the condition. A condition that while may remain non-cancerous, that condition is just as debilitating as the malignant cancerous condition that may or may not continue to develop. In that area is where many Veterans suffer with no help from the government and nothing but lies exist by our government. To include the many other cancers that are so similar to the ones already announced. For the government and their hired guns to peer into a crystal ball and say that one cancer associated with a particular type of cell is now AO associated. While the exact same cell is involved in a different named cancer and the major difference is the action of the exact same cell is not associated - is not very probable.
In fact by the EPA statement above the logic would be that Veterans would have more of these types of conditions on our God like Agent Orange hit parade. Instead it is conveniently void of these medical issues.
Lets debunk the number one rational used by the Ranch Hand Committee, the NAS, and the VA.
The number one rational for not allowing compensations for any medical issue regarding Agent Orange is this rational of, "we do not now how to apply it to the Veterans." The exposure index is not correct, or the threshold is not known, or we do not have a dose rate-per individual Veteran- per medical issue. Just weasel words to deny any associations and compensate Veterans.
Number one, that is an impossibility. Veterans are biologically not the same. Even if you look at the microbiology we are not the same. Veterans are not microcircuits that you can test to destruction and come up with some parametric value that says this amount of toxin of this chemical with no other chemical involved will cause the following failures and time limits. It is impossible and only a government ruse in this issue. There are too many unknowns. I know it and now my Veterans know it.
To now have our government say that, yes we know that condition can exist or we know it causes this or that: But we do not know how to apply it to the Veterans. This is an old and tired excuse. I would suggest that the application start with the truth and not biased and not allowed to make open-ended statements like that for the last 40 years. And include at least some benefit of the doubt as mandated by US policy.
As a note to any congressman that may read this - the answer is NO. No, the Veterans do not care if a B-cell is modified or a T-cell is modified or the why a high IgA level of antibodies is produced. We only know that we are sick, disabled, and dying while you do nothing to help us and allow this White House and VA conspiracy to go on and on for your own benefits.
Diabetes Type II, is anyone out there convinced that this liver damage is the only autoimmune disease created by environmental toxins that the Veterans were exposed? I think that just on face value alone speaks for itself and is totally bogus.
In fact one of the associated diseases to Diabetes Type II is called autoimmune hepatitis.
Many of you have been diagnosed with what the VA is calling Hepatitis C.
From what I have read this Hepatitis C and Autoimmune Hepatitis, sometimes called Lupoid Hepatitis, can be hard to differential diagnosis.
Screening tests for Hepatitis C virus are called HCV antibody tests. These tests do not look for the virus itself, but look for HCV antibodies (defense cells which the human body produces to fight HCV). A positive test result implies that someone has an HCV infection or has had one in the past. If the test result is unclear it is repeated and, if necessary, other types of blood tests are done.
Hepatitis C is structurally unrelated to the other Hepatitis viruses. There have been at least six major strains or genotypes of Hepatitis C identified.
Hepatitis C is almost always transmitted
through blood to blood contact.
Chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis C may be indistinguishable from the classic Autoimmune Disease, and HBV and HCV infections must be excluded by second-generation enzyme immunoassays.
There are two conditions that can be confused with hepatitis C:
1-- Autoimmune hepatitis.
2-- Alcoholic liver disease.
Instances have been reported of patients who were treated with alpha-interferon for hepatitis C without any result and responded dramatically to cortisone therapy thereby indicating the presence of an autoimmune hepatitis.
It looks like if you are on cortisone of some type for your VA diagnosed Hepatitis C and are having some success with it. More than likely it is not Hepatitis C but Autoimmune Hepatitis.
Diagnosis is also difficult in patients with anti-HCV who have another form of liver disease that might be responsible for the liver injury, such as alcoholism, iron overload, or autoimmunity (such as possible toxin damages). In these situations, the anti-HCV may represent a false-positive reaction, previous HCV infection, or mild hepatitis C occurring on top of another liver condition.
“Autoimmune hepatitis requires laboratory tests to distinguish it from uncomplicated hepatitis C infections. Hypergammaglobulinemia, an excess of antibodies in the blood, is a common finding in autoimmune hepatitis. Blood tests for certain autoantibody may also provide diagnostic clues. The diagnosis may, however, require a liver biopsy.”
“Autoimmune hepatitis triggers the body to attack its liver cells, as if the liver cells were harmful foreign bodies. Patients with a combination of HCV and autoimmune hepatitis generally suffer from more debilitating symptoms than patients with HCV alone. Autoimmune hepatitis is associated with other autoimmune illnesses, including thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid), diabetes mellitus (Gee, ever heard of this one?), and ulcerative colitis (inflammation of the intestines), etc. These patients appear to have a genetic (hereditary) predisposition that makes them more likely to develop autoimmune hepatitis, compared to HCV-infected individuals without that predisposition.”
I think you can see why they say the autoimmune type is more series; as the condition is self-perpetuating. As the disease goes on it causes more and more system body damage; to include liver failure itself.
Autoimmune Hepatitis main causes are alcohol induced or environmental toxic chemical induced and is the more series of the two. Now of course the recommended treatment for the toxic chemical induced was to remove one self from the contamination. Of course we could not do that.
Given the previous trustworthiness of of government in this issue. If all the VA is doing is looking for the presence of antibodies that can be found in the same medical condition as Autoimmune Hepatitis and then calling it Hepatitis C. Then I would suggest that is part of the plan not to draw attention to the autoimmune condition caused by the toxin exposures. The blame now can be laid at the Veteran and not the government. Also given the fact that most Hepatitis C conditions are caused by blood to blood contact.
If this is not the case, then there is some other underlying cause that Vietnam Veterans for some reason, given they are a representative portion of the population, sure seemed to have a lot of Hepatitis C diagnosis.
Now I do not know how the VA is testing for this Hepatitis C since I have not been there yet. However, since there are so many similarities to those diseases on our Hit Parade that involve Autoimmune Hepatitis, not Hepatitis C, I would suggest that questions should be asked.
In Autoimmune Hepatitis it seems the T-cells and B-cells are involved. Now in Non-Hodgkin's type, B-cell lymphomas, on our hit parade already, these B and T deranged cells are also involved. Coincidence? I doubt it.
For those of you that I have mentioned an Immunoglobulin Test as a must screening for Vietnam Veterans and probably should have been years ago, except for the corruption and bias in our government.
For a simple term this test checks the health and status of your immune system. Immunoglobulins (or antibodies) are in the blood stream. By checking the types, quantity, what kind of patterns this test can show many many different things. It may show a potential problem, or it could only show a trend and the doctor will ask for a test in 6 months instead of a year to see if the trend is still developing.
Since the immune system seems to be the main target of the toxin exposures it only makes sense that Vietnam Veterans should have that checked. Especially you fellows on the DMZ since we know we had all types of exposures: direct sprayed, water we ingested was contaminated, or we had both. Since we normally never left the DMZ for the entire tour. This was the worst condition for exposure even stated by the VA. We did not retire to some area that was not sprayed or lightly sprayed. Every base we had and operated from was heavily sprayed. (See spray data on down)
In checking for these antibodies there are 5 types. IgA, IgG, IgM, IgD, and IgE and that is what I was posting regarding those indictors. Over the year these antibodies and what condition they are in has been characterized to different medical issues. No different than taking a new electronic part and characterize how it operates under certain conditions.
How do those results correlate to our medical issues on our AO hit parade?
If a monoclonal pattern is discovered you got potential problems. That is not to say a polyclonal pattern cannot cause problems but the detection of a monoclonal pattern normally is trouble.
If the results come back with high level of IgA may indicate IgA multiple myeloma. Levels of IgA also increase in some autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and in liver diseases, such as cirrhosis and long-term (chronic) hepatitis.
We already know that multiple myeloma is on our hit parade. But notice the correlation to long term chronic hepatitis which is the old name for Autoimmune Hepatitis. Also, remember I indicated that another name for this Autoimmune Hepatitis is Lupoid Hepatitis because even though Lupus or (SLE) is actually considered a separate disease. Autoimmune Hepatitis can cause similar and overlapping symptoms of (SLE) and Rheumatoid Arthritis. While being neither one the symptoms are very similar but with no joint swelling or joint disfigurement. You will still get the destruction with the pain, joints cracking and popping. Especially as you have been at rest and then try and become mobile. Weakness in the joints also will occur. Of course any long term Autoimmune condition will create a fatigue issue as you are battling within yourself constantly. You may even run a low grade fever when you are fatigued or at least feel like you are.
Now for you fellows with neuropathy lets look at what that high IgA count can also mean.
IgA Monoclonal pattern neuropathy associations
Neuropathy associated with osteosclerotic myeloma
Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)
Chronic axonal neuropathies
Neuropathy Associated with Primary Amyloidosis
Neuropathy Associated with Cryoglobulinemia
Notice these are monoclonal pattern which in about 8 to 17% of the IgA monoclonal patterns are associated with myeloma.
So according the VA, we can have myeloma with a high IgA count but we cannot have the exact same condition, without myeloma, creating any of the above types of neuropathies. HORSE HOCKEY! Especially since so many of us have this stuff of some kind, from the same time period, the same operational area.
Neuropathy associated with osteosclerotic myeloma - (This is sometimes referred to as smoldering myeloma.)There is commonly an associated polyneuropathy which may form part of the POEMS syndrome.
As a note here: I have a high IgA count with many of the same Poems symptoms that many of you have not indicated you have. I have subcutaneous tissue wasting in the legs along with clubbing hands. My protein count is some high but not high enough to be called myeloma. So far only polyclonal patterns have been detected. So do I have this smoldering myeloma?
Much of my nerve damage symptoms parallel what most of you have described exactly. Much of our joint symptoms seem to be common with constant aching, cracking, popping, weakness to point some of you are on walkers or wheelchairs; yet we had no swollen joints or joint disfigurement. This is the shape many Veterans get themselves into financially and medically and then have to rely on the VA to do the right thing. Now you fellows I have talked to and surveyed; all served in the same area, the same time frame, some even on the same bases along the DMZ. I would think the odds of this many having similar symptoms developing the same way and almost the exact same time frame and not be associated in our service to this country is pretty remote. Even those that are similar and not diagnosed exactly. If the truth were known that is more of diagnostic issue than a non-relevance. Yet, our government still denies neurological involvement.
Now add in here the common chronic fatigue and weakness you have indicated and the fact the Ranch Handers were documented to have this same symptom in 1984 by a ratio of 5 to 1 over the study group. There are just too many similarities just to be a government decreed coincidence.
Once again I add, these Veterans conditions and increase in symptoms of neurological damage was predicted by the EPA scientists and the OTA around 1989.
We are not 70 and 80 years old where the joints and all this stuff maybe goes away from aging. We are in our mid 50's and to have this many similar degenerative neurological conditions and what seems to be degenerative neurological joint issues is just a little more than coincidence.
When I sent in my claim the VA did not say what I concluded did not make sense. In fact in the letter to my congressman they did say it was impressive. They just said that the 38 CFR prohibited them from awarding compensations for this medical issue. I traced that down and it something they themselves put together and would not stand up in a civilian court were actual evidence is what it is. Not what the body you are seeking damages from then says it is!
You would probably think to yourself, well that is not constitutional and you are correct. Veterans have no rights under the constitution or rules of law that our civilian counterparts have access to. Our government and congress have made sure of that!
I also noticed in this "so called law" they wrote. They tie it down and limit it by including the chemistry in the law that indicated 2,4,5-T which is only dioxin. Not Agent White or Agent Blue.
I also want to point out that Dr Norm Latov, probably the most knowledgeable man in the country on this stuff, says you can have neuropathy associated with IgM antibodies that are not detectable.
"Neuropathy associated with monoclonal IgM antibodies, without detectable autoantibody
The protein test I will discuss later.
POEMS syndrome is a bad one if full blown - I have not heard of any Veterans being diagnosed with POEMS. I have heard of some that were indicated as the same general symptoms.
Neuropathy Associated with Primary Amyloidosis
Amyloid neuropathy - These two are also a crock from the VA. Many of the Veterans organizations and other medical organizations are saying that this Amyloidosis is also toxin related and should be on our hit parade just as myeloma.
This is very similar to multiple myeloma. The only difference I can see is the myeloma is an attacking form of cancer and the Amyloidosis is a depositing of heavy proteins. In fact, some forms of myeloma will have the same type of depositing heavy proteins and making the organ hard and nonfunctional which is the exact same process. This can be any organ but primarily disables the kidneys first. The lungs seemed to be involved with some Veterans also. A few of my guys already have this and we lost an XO to this kidney damage. Lost a kidney in 1979 and finally it got the other one along with liver destruction. In hind sight his daughter told me she now has a 13th Chromosome which means she cannot have healthy male children. Two attempts with disastrous results. One still born the other lived for one day. Both had the classic signs of toxin deformities. The multi-digits, web feet, born with missing body organs, etc. If you back out the probabilities of this not being toxin induced you will find there are too many similarities.
This XO served at Carroll, Rockpile, and Khe Sanh. The time to his first kidney loss is about correct, from the damaged liver. The fact he was subjected to Agent Blue at all three places which rearranges chromosomes. The fact that other organizations are calling for the VA to add this to our hit parade. So it is not just us but world wide. Just too many correct circumstances and events not to be associated. I am waiting to see if the granddaughter also has this 13th Chromosome. Which is even more logical data if she also is detected. I have read, on the norm, it takes at least three generations for nature to right itself from these now passed on toxin induced defects.
Cryoglobulinemia neuropathy - This one is for you guys that have developed an intolerance to cold. Not just cause you do not like it. You will have neuropathy but when exposed to cold the fingers and toes will turn blue from the now defective enzymes that freeze when they should not. This will cause extreme pain in the digits.
Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)
Chronic axonal neuropathies - These two take a nerve biopsy or even more to determine which one is in play and very possibly both. These are also listed as immune system polyneuropathies. Caused by the run amok immune system. Lets see the EPA (the real toxicology experts and not the VA) has said it takes 100 time less body burden from dioxin to cause an autoimmune system problem than a cancer, there are a ton of us with this stuff, known exposures to all three of the major toxins, similar other medical conditions, and the our wonderful government says there is no connection. Again, I say HORSE HOCKEY!
These can be what are called sensor neuropathies or motor neuropathies. These deranged antibodies can no longer recognize good parts and bad parts. In the predominantly sensor neuropathies these deranged antibodies now attack the myelin sheath. This is a covering for the nerves that also has conductive properties to enhance the peripheral nerves. If this is being attacked and destroyed then the process will be as you have experienced. Slow degrading nerve connection disability. You may even notice a loss of hair on your legs like from the knee down. This is because now the nerves are no longer calling for blood flow. As this disease progresses you may even have a hard time with balance or if you turn to quick your feet will have to catch up and you will like stumble or stagger.
The motor issue is these same deranged antibodies now attack the nerve itself. This is for you fellows that have developed what is called foot drag. This can be evaluated by a nerve conduction velocity test.
Some of you may even have both of these. It seems the damage and the symptoms may overlap with any of these types.
From what I have gathered to really get a differential diagnosis on this stuff you almost have to be at Harvard Med school or the Cleveland Neurological Hospital.
The main point I want you to come away with from all of this. Just because you have been diagnosed with idiopathic chronic neuropathy does not mean you do not have some even more sinister underlying medical issue. Which is why I suggested this immunoglobulin test should have been mandatory for Vietnam Veterans years and years ago. Which you will see more evidence as we go along with another blood test.
For those that are diabetic and have neuropathy. I would like to point out that in questioning two different endocrinologist in my home town, one with a 25 year practice and one just out of residency. They both indicate to have neuropathy associated with diabetes. The norm is 5 to 8 years of diabetes before the neuropathy conditions exists. Only you know your time lines and I am just passing on a concern. A concern that the two are not necessarily connected and you can have both as individual manifestations. While the compensations are there for both - if you have neuropathy. I am still concerned this is being overlooked.
IgG. High levels of IgG may indicate a long-term (chronic) infection, such as AIDS. Levels of IgG also increase in IgG multiple myeloma, long-term hepatitis, multiple sclerosis (MS), and some autoimmune diseases. In multiple myeloma, tumor cells produce only one type of IgG antibody (monoclonal). The other conditions cause an increase in many types of IgG antibodies (polyclonal).
Again we already know that multiple myeloma is on our hit parade. Notice the connection now to multiple sclerosis (MS) and once again long-term hepatitis.
IgG levels are also associated with the neuropathies in the IgA category above.
IgM. High levels of IgM can indicate macroglobulinemia, early viral hepatitis, mononucleosis, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney damage (nephrotic syndrome), or a parasite infection. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is also a marker for IgM levels if they are low. B-cell lymphoma (non-Hodgkin's lymphoma) and Hodgkin's lymphoma are also markers of IgM. (From what I have read the only difference of these two is possible difference in location of the cancer and the cell structure itself therefore the names are different.)
Again we have chronic lymphocytic leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and Hodgkin's lymphoma already on our hit parade. In addition the macroglobulinemia can also be associated which should also be on our hit parade. This is a clonal malignancy that has features intermediate between a low-grade non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma both of which are on are hit parade. How the VA can say the two are associated and the medical issue that is in-between the two is not? I do not have a clue!!!!
Neuropathies associated with IgM antibodies:. Neuropathies Associated with IgM Monoclonal Gammopathy
Demyelinating neuropathy associated with IgM anti-MAG antibodies
Motor neuropathy associated with IgM anti-GM1 or GD1a ganglioside antibodies
Ataxic neuropathy associated with IgM anti-GD1b or disialosyl ganglioside antibodies
Neuropathy associated with IgM anti-GM2 ganglioside antibodies
Neuropathy associated with monoclonal IgM antibodies, without detectable autoantibody
activity. So you can have neuropathy without a detectable antibody involvement and may show up in a test later.
* Now the other listed such as GD1a requires further testing than the Immunoglobulin test. This goes deeper into identify what kind of IgM antibodies are present which can determine more closely what type of damage is being done.
As you can see for the Government and the VA to say that neuropathy, any form of neuropathy, is not caused by our exposure to toxins is HORSE HOCKEY! Too many things point to exactly that including the reports commissioned by the congress done by the Office of Technology Assessment. Sent to the VA and disregarded. In addition, in the previous link I pointed out the EPA during the cover-up era of our own EPA some of the PhD's agreed. Also letters sent confirming what the OTA had suggested was true. This statement was that neuropathy would be on the increase as we aged due to loss of neuron paths that might have compensated for the previous damage and that there was not time limit to include 60 years from toxin exposures.
In summary, I think you can see why the government should have told Veterans this test would screen for many of the possible cancerous and non-cancerous conditions that they knew were a problem. Just look at what this test can provide to the doctor as possible diagnostic markers to a known exposure victim. If nothing else as a baseline and then to watch for trends that may develop. Instead our government has remained silent. How many died when they did not have to?
Is this any different than the known problem in males of prostrate cancer and it is recommend you have a blood test for this every year? The only difference I can see is the complicity that this would bring to our wonderful government.
Serum Protein Electrophoresis Test of (SPE)
will add as I get time
Do not have time to show all the other medial issues that can also be involved
Sprayed with Agents Orange, White, and Blue
Cam Lo AO = 80,375 gallons AW = 8,660 gallons AB = 12,785
Camp Carroll AO = 78,200 gallons AW = 5,400 gallons AB = 5,050 gallons
Con Thien AO = 84,700 gallons AW = 12,460 gallons AB = 10,925 gallons
Khe Sanh AO = 43,705 gallons AW = 3,040 gallons AB = 4,300 gallons
Dong Ha AO = 54, 385 gallons AW = 5, 060 gallons AB = 9,935 gallons
Rockpile AO = 110,050 gallons AW = 15,050 gallons AB = 7,650 gallons
This data was gathered from the original spray records and does not include the additional 1.8 million gallons found later on from the discovery of “so called lost” spray records.
These recorded areas represent approximately 9.6 miles in diameter from the firebases indicated.
This does not include tank, truck, or helicopter spraying.
Since we know, the records indicate a 9.6-mile radius from that designated firebase or spray area. Any spray on or around the one base was more than likely to also affect the next base in line.
The Rockpile had 110,050 gallons of AO sprayed for talking points within a radius of 9.6 miles. We know the military rate per three gallons sprayed contained approximately 12 pounds of 2,4-D and 13.8 pounds of 2,4,5-T.
36, 683 three gallon quantities x 12 pounds of Agent White = 440,000 pounds of 2,4-D would have been used in a 9.6 mile radius around the Rockpile.
36, 683 three gallon quantities x 13.8 pounds of 2,4,5-T dioxin = 506,000 pounds of 2,4,5-T (TCDD) would have been used in a 9.6 mile radius around the Rockpile.
*The estimated amount of dioxin TCDD seen by Veterans is 1.77 to 40 ppm (parts per million). This is a far cry from the parts per billion (ppb) contaminations that resulted in the government buying up 801 homes, while they at the very same time lied to the Veterans and allowed them to die. This is a far cry from the now established EPA reassessment study that says ppt (parts per trillion) is even a dioxin problem.
With this data, I think the DMZ veterans can meet any government criteria to any "exposure index" and probably exceeds the 1300 men involved with the Ranch Hand Study which as I pointed out in the new government premise is not used for anything. Other than to cost 140 million dollars for another study while more Veterans die off or become disabled.