New Hypertension Treatment Guidelines Veterans Need To Know


Veterans need to be aware of VA-sponsored research into hypertension treatment that led to new guidelines being published yesterday.

The new guidelines address how best to treat hypertension while avoiding many of the condition’s known complications. Known complications from hypertension evaluated in the new guidelines were outcomes involving all-cause mortality, morbidity and mortality related to stroke, major cardiac events (fatal and nonfatal myocardial infarction and sudden cardiac death), and harms.

To summarize the recommendations:

  • Veterans with a host of complications linked to hypertension should be included in developing the treatment plan, and that treatment plan should not be overly aggressive in addressing the systolic pressure level. Strong evidence shows treatment of hypertension with systolic readings >160 reduces mortality and is of benefit regardless of whether the patient has diabetes.

The new hypertension guidelines that I list out below were created by the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) following research sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Be Active In Your Own Health Care

Veterans facing problems with hypertension or related complications need to be aware of the new guidelines to ensure their VA doctors are using current medical standards when providing treatment.

Some VA medical centers tend to lag behind certain developments in standard of care in the community when new guidelines are published. Meaning, some very well-intended doctors may not be using current treatment methods required of the profession in the community.

This makes it incumbent on affected veterans to be active participants and researchers in the health care they receive.

RELATED: Veteran Stroke Exposes Blame Game Between University Surgeons And Minneapolis VA Medical Center

VA Evidence-based Synthesis Program

The Veteran research conducted was part of the Portland VA Health Care System Evidence-based Synthesis Program, called “ESP” by the agency. According to VA:

“The VA Evidence-based Synthesis Program (ESP) was established to provide timely and accurate syntheses of targeted healthcare topics of particular importance to clinicians, managers and policymakers, as they work to improve the health and healthcare of Veterans. HSR&D provides funding for four ESP Centers and each Center has an active University affiliation. The Centers include: Durham, Minneapolis, Portland, and West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. The Center directors are national and international leaders in the field of evidence synthesis with close links to the AHRQ Evidence-based Practice Centers.”

New Hypertension Treatment Guidelines

The research conducted in Portland led to the following three recommendations:

Recommendation 1:

“ACP and AAFP recommend that clinicians initiate treatment in adults aged 60 years or older with systolic blood pressure persistently at or above 150 mm Hg to achieve a target systolic blood pressure of less than 150 mm Hg to reduce the risk for mortality, stroke, and cardiac events. (Grade: strong recommendation, high-quality evidence). ACP and AAFP recommend that clinicians select the treatment goals for adults aged 60 years or older based on a periodic discussion of the benefits and harms of specific blood pressure targets with the patient.”

Evidence supporting this recommendation was considered “high-quality” for treating hypertension in older adults to moderate targets (<150/90 mm Hg). The benefit of the treatment was to reduce mortality (ARR, 1.64), stroke (ARR, 1.13), and cardiac events (ARR, 1.25). Benefits are experienced by affected adults irrespective of whether they have diabetes. The greater benefit was for patients with higher mean SBP at baseline (>160 mm Hg). Otherwise, the benefits experienced from aggressive BP control was small. The outcomes were inconsistent and with a lower magnitude of benefit.

Recommendation 2:

“ACP and AAFP recommend that clinicians consider initiating or intensifying pharmacologic treatment in adults aged 60 years or older with a history of stroke or transient ischemic attack to achieve a target systolic blood pressure of less than 140 mm Hg to reduce the risk for recurrent stroke. (Grade: weak recommendation, moderate-quality evidence). ACP and AAFP recommend that clinicians select the treatment goals for adults aged 60 years or older based on a periodic discussion of the benefits and harms of specific blood pressure targets with the patient.”

Evidence supporting this recommendation was considered “moderate-quality” for treating hypertension in older adults. These adults had previous TIA or stroke to an SBP target of 130 to 140 mm Hg. This practice reduces stroke recurrence (ARR, 3.02) compared with treatment to higher targets and it has no statistically significant effect on cardiac events or all-cause mortality.

Recommendation 3:

“ACP and AAFP recommend that clinicians consider initiating or intensifying pharmacologic treatment in some adults aged 60 years or older at high cardiovascular risk, based on individualized assessment, to achieve a target systolic blood pressure of less than 140 mm Hg to reduce the risk for stroke or cardiac events. (Grade: weak recommendation, low-quality evidence). ACP and AAFP recommend that clinicians select the treatment goals for adults aged 60 years or older based on a periodic discussion of the benefits and harms of specific blood pressure targets with the patient.”

READ IT IN FULL: Pharmacologic Treatment of Hypertension in Adults Aged 60 Years or Older to Higher Versus Lower Blood Pressure Targets: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians

Basics On Filing Tort Claim

Veterans injured by health care they receive from VA should consider filing a tort claim for malpractice you can initiate by filing an SF-95 at your medical facility or an § 1151 claim through your regional office.

Veterans cannot receive payment under both options and will need to choose the outcome they seek. Below is an easy summary to help you figure out which is best for you.

The upside of the tort is that you receive a one-time payment. Elderly veterans may want to consider this option or veterans with severe injuries only compensable through large settlement.

The upside of the § 1151 claim is that your disability compensation rating will increase and the veteran may become entitled to new benefits such as coverage for in-home treatments or assisted living support.

Each veteran’s case and situation is unique, and would require some thought and planning when deciding which direction to go.

If the treatment was linked to an existing service-connected disability, that veteran could receive an award both through the tort claim and service-connection linked to the existing service-connected disability.

Source: https://annals.org/aim/article/2598413/pharmacologic-treatment-hypertension-adults-aged-60-years-older-higher-versus

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  1. @ Ben, @ANutterVet, namnibor, Vic, and others i appreciate the blog and posts a lot of what was discussed i have had same problems with little to any solutions. Thank you for blogging and the information. I hope to get some more control with my pain and you all have helped with some solutions that i haven’t tried yet.

    I haven’t thought of filing a tort claim and i am now considering this idea. I hope the word gets out and Veterans who have been hurt by this system of health care will get justice.

    1. @Ex va – Glad I could participate with the others for suggestions. Keeping your health up to par when you hit the 50 + mark, can be taxing on your budget. One of the worst food groups that WILL wreck havoc on your cardiovascular system is processed foods. If you haven’t already, dramatically cut your sugar intake. Research shows that sugar adds no nutritional value to our health. Try stevia in its pure form. Truvia has other types of sugars in their product. Stevia has no calories and doesn’t mess with your blood sugar chemistry. If your budget is hindered, like mine because everyone’s health costs are different, for nutritional value honey would be a good alternative. Agave is expensive as well. The good thing about honey is that it is loaded with B vitamins and antioxidants. After changing to another sweetner, try to cut down on the amount that you use as time goes by. You’ll then use less and less, and still be able to enjoy the item your adding honey into. I’ll send you a bill, but I put you on a Compassionate Program for life! No cost. LOL

      1. @ANutterVet, unfortunately i am financially taxed as well and i am over 50. Thank you for the compassionate program for life! No cost too that is great. LOL! Disability makes one poorer. I am really going to change diet. I did cut out some processed foods already.

        I know it is more expensive going the natural approach. It would be worth it if i could feel better. I could do the honey over sugar. I cut back on the caffeine, a cup of coffee maybe once or twice a week. Anxiety was really bad. I will have to look for agave i haven’t heard much about that one. I did cut out a lot of sugar because of inflammation they say it makes it worse. I didn’t know about the cardio system with processed foods. Need to take more action on health issues. Thanks again.

  2. Skeptical about Clinical Trials and Big Pharma withholding their data. Check out the culprits; “https://trialstracker.ebmdatalab.net/#/”

  3. I wrote a long comment about these centers that VA likes to create that rarely turn into changes at other VA hospitals, and when I hit the submit button, I didn’t have my network on, so it was lost.

    Probably would have been taken as just bitching anyway.

    1. @91Veteran – I contacted Meda Pharmaceuticals about Carisoprodol [Soma] and they were very polite, as well at to not seeing why the VA wouldn’t prescribe Soma to me even knowing that I was taking it before. The medication gave me relief to the point that I was up and about and able to due regular activities [with caution]. The important thing was that I was able to train my new service dog because I lost my first one after 14 years of excellent service.

      My main objective at the time, was to see how the VA PCP, Pain Management Physician, and the Clinical Pharmacologist work together. The VA’s Pain Management Physician doesn’t even believe there are any justifications for any Veteran to be prescribed pain medications, let alone the controversial muscle relaxer, called Soma.

      My intention was to find out how firm the VA’s stance was on being prescribed carisoprodol. After 7 requests for Carisprodol and 7 denials [I have my VA medical records to prove this], they finally gave me a prescription. I was so ecstatic, that my wife and I immediately went looking for a new puppy to train to be my new service dog. When we finally found a pup, the national shelter was nice enough to waive all adoption fees, included a collar, lease, tick-flea medications, and some very high end food. The shelter even gave us a reduced fee for the rabies certificate. The VA did shit for me in obtaining a new buddy. As a matter of fact, they could’ve cared less.

      When I got the Carisoprodol, this enabled me to extensively train my puppy. I was making great strides, and was very proud of our success [notice I said our success, VA not included]. Then when I ran low on the medication, I called in for a refill. Their response; no this medication is for short term use only. Shit, I was on this medication for over 5 years before I went into the VA for healthcare.

      And, since they wouldn’t prescribe Carisoprodol to me for over 3 years after I enrolled in their death trap health care disservice, I was able to titrate off the Soma all by myself. The VA never even mentioned anything about titrating down or even cared about it. But the pricks were all over me for asking for a medication that I was already previously taking.

      If they want to label me a being a bitchy Veteran, I can live with that. As for me, I tell the life threatening commie bastards to fuck off. Their cheap generics don’t work as well as generics from the National pharmacy outlets. Ok, sorry, I’m done ranting and bitching. LOL I’ll just keep on, keep on suffering for their fucking Evidence Based sake. Roger that, 10-4, give me a Broken Arrow on my hurting body. One less Veteran to deal with I guess.

      These people are dangerous. To many Veterans are being made to suffer with unnecessary pain and spasms. And, their spouses, offspring, distant family, and friends are forced to pick up the pieces. That’s if they are around to help the Veteran in need. Sorry so lengthy. I’ll keep on talking until my body gives out. Not only for me, but like you believe and many others, we speak out as well for our Brothers and Sisters that are in dire straights while dealing with this monster [VA] in which is supposed to help us.

      1. Sorry – lease = leash, and our animals get affected as well. Try explaining that to the VA, even though research firmly backs this up. We need swift deep reaching VA healthcare reform.

      2. @OLDMARINE – Agree with you. Its better than taking more pain meds. That is my whole point.

    2. @91Veteran – Sorry for going off in a major way. My mistake, I thought you were replying to my post, but you were replying to Ben’s. Its been really hectic for me the past year, literally. Sorry for my misunderstanding.

    3. I consider hat our loss you have written some informative posts.

      But have had problems posting today myself.

  4. Muscle Relaxer called Carisoprodol [Soma]- I wrote to the Pharmaceutical Manufacturer pertaining if a Physician can alter the dose of this medication. Here is what the wrote [redacted my identifiers];

    Dear Mr. ,

    Thank you for contacting Meda Pharmaceuticals with your concerns regarding our product Carisoprodol. Your question was whether a physician can alter or change the ideal dose and frequency of carisoprodol as per his medical judgement, deviating from the package insert, depending on the medical conditions of the patient.

    We would like to inform you that a physician can change the dose of carisoprodol as per his medical judgement depending on the medical condition of the patient.

    Please call 855-365-6095 and refer to case number MEDI . . . for any other inquiry.

    This email is for informational purposes only. Please do not reply to the email address above.

    Please note: Any responses sent back to this e-mail address will not be attended to.

    Thank you,
    Meda Pharmaceuticals
    265 Davidson Ave
    Somerset, NJ 08873
    Phone: (855) 365-6095
    Fax: (888) 253-9681

    [CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY NOTICE]: Information transmitted by this email is proprietary to knowledge and is intended for use only by the individual or entity to which it is addressed, and may contain information that is private, privileged, confidential or exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient or it appears that this email has been forwarded to you without proper authority, you are notified that any use or dissemination of this information in any manner is strictly prohibited. In such cases, please delete this email from your records.

    I wrote to Meda Pharmaceuticals because the VA would not give me Carisoprodol, even though I was on this medication before enrolling into the VA healthcare due to financial hardship. The VA makes up their own rules based on Evidence Based Criteria. They believe that there is no difference per any patient. The VA believes that all patients act the same way with the same medication. Utter nonsense.

    The VA would not even prescribe me Carisoprodol for a month on then a month off. Forget negotiating with these assholes. They’ll let you suffer. Donald, you better drain the swamp, or you’ll loose the support of Veterans.

    1. @nut – I’m getting SOMA/carisoprodol from VA. My PCP initially said “it’s not part of our regular formulary”, but he got it done anyway. The reason was because of the negative reactions I would get out of valium and then Flexeril (sp) Both of those relaxants did quite the opposite to me – paradoxical – jacked me up and added some serious squirrel to dreams I already don’t want. That said, my consumption is episodic depending on back spasm due to DISH and I do “cocktail” with tramadol. But, we’re talking half pills/doses here. I might go through one monthly scrip of each per year. I’m not a fan of chemistry. I’ve had more success treating back pain with acupuncture (traditional Chinese) out side the VA. But now and then I need a little help.

  5. This article is bull, BP that high will start killing VETS left and right over 60. Complications like AAA blow outs, stokes, aneurysms. Sounds like a new way of thinning the herd. I keep mine at 116/65 and I survived a severe AAA. NOW I have a synthetic aorta. The operation was rough but worth the better health. The VA is killing us with new health criteria especially BP ruling.

  6. All Veterans should be treated better than we. We just aren’t. Thanks for concern, and yes, a healthy diet, vitamins, supplements, even teas are part of a daily thing. No thanks to VA. Also, I had to choose different ways of applying my income. It’s not cheap, nor easy to just live right. Work in progress.

  7. Ben, or anyone.
    If you are already 100% what is the benefit of filing a tort claim against the VA? Could you still obtain a monetary award against the government?

    1. I’m not an attorney, Dan. But research at the University of Wyoming Law library leads me to believe it is up to the wording of the suit and the difficulty of getting an attorney to take it for a fee that will benefit you.

      I think you can stipulate “additional pain and suffering” as an award that should be stated as an addition to your claim and was not previously covered by a claim. also if your life has been shortened you would benefit by getting cash for your families suffering caused by your suffering and getting the award for the years lost for your family.

      Just an outline because I didn’t take any notes or references and just saw cases in passing. Note the SF-95 filing is tried under state law in the state you live with the addition of benefits paid in advance being deducted from your future benefit payments as is the case if you take a lump sum payment on discharge the way my son did in the 1980s. 20 years later the lump sum was paid off and he began to receive the monthly benefit for his disability. Plus he has access to a good VA clinic for his personal health care so he doesn’t have the deductibles and copays of his insurance and medications for free as his rating is over 50% now.

  8. Because the VA, for whatever reason that time, told me if I wanted them(already days late) I would have to get to their pharmacy and pick them up. 180 miles round trip. I don’t drive. When I did arrive, the nurse decided I had to sign a form. Then waited another hour for pharmacy to get the prescriptions not mailed. Not sure when heart attack began, but an hour after I got home I was in an ambulance. My blood pressure for years going to the VA was always high twice with machine, then they would take it without machine and it was ok. Always 321 200+/100+. I am saying without real Dr’s, what’s any of it matter?

    1. @Jo3n, sorry to hear about your health issues and the struggle within the va medical system. I cannot handle going my blood pressure goes high. At home and other places i go to No blood pressure issues. Hope you are doing better, most Veterans sound like they are taking care of themselves. I take vitamins, need to do it on the level that these guys are doing. Makes a lot sense these posts. Legs and hands killing me sometimes. I hope things get better in the va system for you and others. Too hard to deal with them.

  9. #Ex Va Muscle cramps usually come from deficiencies, and I’d bet on magnesium and potassium as well as vitamin D.
    #namnibor, I was similar to you in my healthy habits, lifted weights most of my life, and did long distance walking as well as bike riding. I totally agree, you do have to take charge of your health, OR be ready to be stuffed full of meds, and suffer the side effects.

    A JackA$$ doctor put me on a contraindicated med, and ‘I’ had to figure it out and get myself off it…I’m still rebounding to a better health.

    1. @vic and @ANutterVet, i appreciate the knowledge you bring to the blogs. I hope to try to change somethings to feel better. Thank you.

    2. Many years ago I heard a talk by Dr. Garth Nicholson…someone mentioned him here awhile ago.

      Anyway, I don’t recall what his talk was about, but one thing stuck with me. He mentioned how so many Gulf War vets had intestinal problems, said some other things about a healthy gut that I don’t remember, then mentioned L. Acidophilus.

      I bought some at a health food store not knowing whether it would work, and it made a huge difference not only in how my stomach felt, but my overall health.

      You will not hear that or anything about many supplements mentioned here at the VA.

      1. Yeah, I hear you. Lactobacillus is all the VA gave me for my microflora. There are many more of these good probiotics that live in your digestive track. I believe there is an estimated 6 pounds of them in our gut. The VA should automatically prescribe probiotics when ever they give pain medications to Veterans. They cost me over $38 a bottle for a month supply. Go figure. Another reason I refer to them as quacks, lunatics, and I fear for my life.

      2. Wow, we’re firing on all cylinders now. YES, gut problems are the root of autoimmune diseases, and it just so happens that vitamin D has a healing effect on the gut.

        Someone else said it, and I’ll state it again maybe differently. Doctors not educated in deficiencies, and are not aware of the latest information and protocols to bring your health back my eliminating and testing for deficiencies.

        An aside: Someone talked about shifting gears going from military routine to the chaos that is the VA, and I totally agree. Not only do I agree, I want to add my two cents.

        ** Veterans would be better served by care professionals that are familiar with OUR ways of doing things, not us adjusting to THEIR way. THEY chose to be in health care, and that means that they want to SERVE others and need to have the appropriate attitude adjustment.

        The VA wants use to be healthy, then the VA needs to promote and facility a PT program nearby where veterans live. If that means meeting at a local high school or college or on a nearby base, so be it. That is OUR element.

        Last but not least, civilians don’t get curt. They take curt to mean rude/mad/short/_____ and for that I got my record flagged. The VA needs to serve us, not us serve and kowtow to their precious snowflake egos.


      3. A good read about gut health. Show this to your VA PCP and request additional probiotics. Watch the frown on their faces.

        By Dr. Mercola

        All of your feelings create physiological changes, and stress is no exception.

        While under stress, your heart rate can go up, your blood pressure may rise, and blood is shunted away from your midsection, going to your arms, legs, and head for quick thinking, fighting, or fleeing.

        This is meant to be a temporary response to help with survival, but when stress becomes chronic, as it is the case for millions of people reading this, it can pull the rug out from beneath your health, wreaking havoc on your gut and digestive health.

        How Stress Impacts Your Gut

        The stress response causes a number of detrimental events in your gut, including:
        •Decreased nutrient absorption
        •Decreased oxygenation to your gut
        •As much as four times less blood flow to your digestive system, which leads to decreased metabolism
        •Decreased enzymatic output in your gut – as much as 20,000-fold!

        But that’s not all.

        In a very real sense you have two brains, one inside your skull and one in your gut. Interestingly, these two organs are actually created out of the same type of tissue.

        During fetal development, one part turns into your central nervous system while the other develops into your enteric nervous system.

        These two systems are connected via the vagus nerve, the tenth cranial nerve that runs from your brain stem down to your abdomen.

        This “brain-gut axis” is what connects your two brains together, and explains why you get butterflies in your stomach when you’re nervous, for example.

        Likewise, stress results in alterations of your brain-gut connection, which can contribute to or directly cause numerous gastrointestinal disorders, including:

        Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) Food antigen-related adverse responses (food allergies)
        Peptic ulcer Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) Other functional gastrointestinal diseases

        As written in the featured Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology study:

        “Stress, which is defined as an acute threat to homeostasis, shows both short- and long-term effects on the functions of the gastrointestinal tract … The major effects of stress on gut physiology include:
        1.Alterations in gastrointestinal motility
        2.Increase in visceral perception
        3.Changes in gastrointestinal secretion
        4.Negative effects on regenerative capacity of gastrointestinal mucosa and mucosal blood flow
        5.Negative effects on intestinal microflora

        Mast cells (MC) are important effectors of brain-gut axis that translate the stress signals into the release of a wide range of neurotransmitters and proinflammatory cytokines, which may profoundly affect the gastrointestinal physiology.”

        Harvard Reviews How Stress Can Cause Stomach Disorders

        Hippocrates once said that “all diseases begin in the gut,” and it’s also widely known that stress is a trigger that causes multiple chronic disease processes to occur. These two health dogmas are actually intricately intertwined, as stress is detrimental to your gut health, and together stress and a damaged gut can contribute to multiple inflammatory diseases and conditions, such as:

        Multiple sclerosis Type 1 diabetes Rheumatoid arthritis Osteoarthritis
        Lupus Crohn’s disease Ulcerative colitis Chronic skin conditions
        Kidney problems Urinary conditions Allergic and atopic conditions Degenerative conditions
        Chronic fatigue syndrome Fibromyalgia Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) Inflammatory bowel diseases

        To put it simply, chronic stress (and other negative emotions like anger, anxiety and sadness) can trigger symptoms and full-blown disease in your gut. As Harvard researchers explain:

        “Psychology combines with physical factors to cause pain and other bowel symptoms. Psychosocial factors influence the actual physiology of the gut, as well as symptoms. In other words, stress (or depression or other psychological factors) can affect movement and contractions of the GI tract, cause inflammation, or make you more susceptible to infection.

        In addition, research suggests that some people with functional GI disorders perceive pain more acutely than other people do because their brains do not properly regulate pain signals from the GI tract. Stress can make the existing pain seem even worse.” Interestingly, the connection works both ways, meaning that while stress can cause gut problems, gut problems can also wreak havoc on your emotions. The Harvard researchers continue:

        “This connection goes both ways. A troubled intestine can send signals to the brain, just as a troubled brain can send signals to the gut. Therefore, a person’s stomach or intestinal distress can be the cause or the product of anxiety, stress, or depression. That’s because the brain and the gastrointestinal (GI) system are intimately connected — so intimately that they should be viewed as one system.”

        Imbalances in Your Gut Can Make You Depressed, Anxious and More

        If you’re feeling stressed, it’s therefore essential to realize that not only could this affect your gut health, it could be caused by your gut health, or more specifically, your lack thereof. Increasingly, scientific evidence shows that nourishing your gut flora with the friendly bacteria with fermented foods or probiotics is extremely important for proper brain function, and that includes psychological well-being and mood control. For instance, the probiotic known as Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 has been shown to normalize anxiety-like behavior in mice with infectious colitis.i

        Research published in 2011 also demonstrated that probiotics have a direct effect on brain chemistry under normal conditions — in such a way that can impact your feelings of anxiety or depression. In short, the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus had a marked effect on GABA [an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is significantly involved in regulating many physiological and psychological processes] levels in certain brain regions and lowered the stress-induced hormone corticosterone, resulting in reduced anxiety- and depression-related behavior.ii The authors concluded:

        “Together, these findings highlight the important role of bacteria in the bidirectional communication of the gut-brain axis and suggest that certain organisms may prove to be useful therapeutic adjuncts in stress-related disorders such as anxiety and depression.”

        Interestingly, neurotransmitters like serotonin are also found in your gut. In fact, the greatest concentration of serotonin, which is involved in mood control, depression and suppressing aggression, is found within your intestines, not your brain!

        If You Have These Symptoms, Stress Could be Causing Your Gut Symptoms

        The Harvard HealthBeat has compiled a useful list of physical, behavioral and emotional symptoms of stress. We’re all exposed to stress virtually every day, but these signs signal that stress may have become overwhelming in your life, and could be increasing your risk of related health problems:

        Physical Symptoms

        Stiff or tense muscles, especially in the neck and shoulders Headaches Sleep problems
        Shakiness or tremors Recent loss of interest in sex Weight loss or gain

        Behavioral Symptoms;

        Procrastination Grinding teeth Difficulty completing work assignments
        Changes in the amount of alcohol or food you consume Taking up smoking, or smoking more than usual Increased desire to be with or withdraw from others
        Rumination (frequent talking or brooding about stressful situations)

        Emotional Symptoms;

        Crying Overwhelming sense of tension or pressure Trouble relaxing / Nervousness
        Quick temper Depression Poor concentration
        Trouble remembering things Loss of sense of humor Indecisiveness

        What Can You do to Reduce Stress and Improve Your Gut Health?

        Plenty, actually.

        As far as stress goes, exercise is often very helpful for relief and clearing your mind. Other common stress-reduction tools with a high success rate include prayer, meditation, laughter and yoga, for example. Learning relaxation skills, such as deep breathing and positive visualization, which is the “language” of the subconscious. When you create a visual image of how you’d like to feel, your subconscious will understand and begin to help you by making the needed biochemical and neurological changes.

        My favorite overall tool to manage stress is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), which is like acupuncture without the needles. It’s a handy, free tool for unloading emotional baggage quickly and painlessly, and so easy that even children can learn it. While using these tools to keep your stress levels under control, you can also support your gut health by:
        •Avoiding sugar/fructose: Eating excess sugar and fructose will distort the ratio of good to bad bacteria in your gut by serving as a fertilizer/fuel for pathogenic bacteria, yeast and fungi that negatively inhibit the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
        •Eating fermented foods: Traditionally made, unpasteurized fermented foods are a rich source of probiotics. Healthy choices include lassi (an Indian yoghurt drink, traditionally enjoyed before dinner), fermented grass fed organic milk such as kefir, various pickled fermentations of cabbage, turnips, eggplant, cucumbers, onions, squash and carrots, and natto (fermented soy).

        •Probiotic supplement: If you do not eat fermented foods, taking a high-quality probiotic supplement is definitely recommended. As researchers stated, “… probiotics may profoundly affect the brain-gut interactions (“microbiome-gut-brain axis”) and attenuate the development of stress-induced disorders in both the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract.”iii
        •Sleeping in complete darkness: This is necessary for proper production of the hormone melatonin. And research suggests “melatonin, an important mediator of brain gut axis, has been shown to exhibit important protective effects against stress-induced lesions in the gastrointestinal tract.”iv


        i Neurogastroenterology and Motility 2011 Dec;23(12):1132-9.
        ii Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Sep 20;108(38):16050-5.
        iii Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology December 2011; 62(6):591-9.
        iv Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology December 2011; 62(6):591-9.

      4. Sauerkraut and Kim Chi, both fermented and tasty, are loaded with great enzymes for the gut. As is yogurt.

        The VA induces Veterans via stress to projectile diarrhea and then you go and use a VAMC patient designated bathroom, and with all the $$$$ the VA receives, the VA has shittiest toilet paper for a bunch of Vets with kim chi flames in bathroom…sounding like a 1776 reenactment echoing on the tiled room. Yeah, I have thought about this a bit…but the toilet paper is shitty and not in the way intended 🙂

      5. I use ginseng and cinnamon as supplements for my immune system. But don’t buy them in capsule form. The dosage at your health food store is way to high. Ginseng dosage is 1000 times to high according to Canadian research for North American Ginseng which is much stronger than Asian ginseng. I also use black beer for cholesterol control. But like any medication too much is far more harmful than not enough. So if you can’t control your drinking to less than 2 12 oz average per day don’t go that way because although it continues to lower cholesterol in larger amounts it also raises triglycerides which is more damaging.

        You can search for the study done by the Houston Medical School online.

  10. Seymore,
    Thanks for the tips. My wife is checking on them now!

    Also, I watched a video this morning about Obama’s filling government jobs. I believe it was from “MLordandGod.com” site.
    He’s sure in a hurry to stab President Elect Trump in the back, ain’t he!

    Here’s an interesting video from;
    “IamAlien.com” via “Fox News” posted 18 Jan. 2017.
    “Dom Tullipso – Your Name (Is FAKE Protesting & YOUR COMPANY IS FAKE) Donald Trump”
    Posted Jan. 18, 2017
    (39:27 minutes long)

    “Trucker Discredits Group to be “Demand Protest””
    There’s additional stories in the Fox News video!

    Here’s something I find interesting; did y’all know the Federal Government has a patent on medical marijuana? True. It’s “Patent # 6,630,507”!
    Now, why would the feds have a patent? Do they know something we don’t? As in; does medical Marijuana help with chronic pain? Does medical Marijuana help people with PTSD? Does medical Marijuana help people with the side effects of cancer treatment? Oh, and so many more “Does Medical Marijuana help in ———–?
    I feel the only reason it’s not in all states, under federal regulation, is because of “BIG PHARMA”!

    Here’s a video y’all might want to view!
    From the “Alex Jones Show”
    Posted, 18 Jan. 2017

    “Senator Jeff Sessions and the Future of Legal Marijuana”

    (7:27 minutes long)
    I know down here in Florida, it took a multimillion dollar effort, and a few years, to get it passed. I don’t remember how many states have it legalized, but if I remember correctly, it’s more than half! Something like 37!?!?!

  11. Anyone looking for work. I see Obama is hiring hundreds to work in the federal government as he is walking out the door.

    “Obama rushes to fill dozens of federal jobs before leaving office”; By Daniel Halper, New York Post, 01/17/2017.


    “President Obama rushed to fill nearly 100 federal government vacancies during a frenzy of appointments in his final few weeks in office.

    Since the new year, Obama has named 72 people to federal job openings and nominated another 17 for positions requiring Senate confirmation, according to CBS reporter Mark Knoller.

    On Monday night, Obama announced appointments for 27 officials to government positions and named two to jobs requiring Senate confirmation.

    The wave of announcements includes several White House officials, who will serve well after Obama leaves office.”


    I’m impressed by how many picked up on the vitamin D discussion. I won’t pretend to know more about it, however I will say that I’ve done enough research to feel comfortable sharing what I do know.

    Through independent research, and following a group on Facebook titled ‘Vitamin D Deficiency and Treatment’, I’ve learned a great deal about vitamin D and B, and the co-factors that go with D. The cofactors that are synergistic for D are; vitamin K2, zinc, boron, vitamin B2, and magnesium. Also, vitamin D take, D3 ONLY, D2 has been proven to be ineffective and in some cases life threatening.

    Vitamin D is a hormone, and as we all know hormones are small and powerful. Vitamin D effects the health of your whole body, and in ways that most don’t consider. Low D can cause chronic pain, fatigue, diabetes, asthma, infections, kidney disease…

    I encourage you to take charge of your health, pay cash, if you can, to get your blood tested, and go from there. Doctors, not just VA doctors, are generally unaware of vitamin D, let alone what to do when they find you’re low.

    Be well…

    1. Hey Elf,

      Did you hear about the snowflake that started a fire near Trump Towers and burned himself a little bit then claimed he was trying to light himself on fire. He used paper and wood to try and start the fire.

      Seems all the main stream media is covering the story. The title should be snowflake gets to close to flames trying to melt himself.

      All these main stream fake news networks didn’t really touch the story when the veteran, who was not getting proper care, in New Jersey actually set himself on fire and died outside the VA Clinic. But when a snowflake gets a little owie from playing with fire it is front page news.

      1. Sorry Vic,

        I wasn’t trying to tag your important information on Vitamin D. That is some great information by the way.

      2. The Snowflakes are all acting as if they are all ‘Chicken Littles’ and the sky is going to ignite and fall on the earth come Inauguration Day.

        Was at grocery store yesterday and the checkout person was acting as if she did not know what to do come Friday and she wanted to make sure she knew where all her family was and have a “Plan B” just-in-case….WTF??? Over!

        Poor Snowflakes. Play with fire (Hillary) and bound to get burned. Let’s see here, an all marble, stone, & metal building and you are using paper and wood to start a fire. Brilliant.
        What’s scary is they say not one snowflake is identical…

    2. @Vic- I learned a while back that only *I* can take charge of my own medical treatment and am fortunate that my ID Specialist is very up on this (Medicare, non-VA but I am 100% Svc. Connected), and by learning I had to commandeer my treatment and options, I was educated by this Dr., a non-profit social agency at that time in my life also helped in educating me, but also my own determined research.
      It also helped that I have pretty much always been (not to much these days with health crap) a walking brick wall corn fed farm boy that for many years in service pumped weights responsibly, learned Kinesiology, and about supplements, and also used to swim a mile with a kick board every other day in lieu of squats…those guys that used to laugh at me now bemoan doing squats as all their joints are screwed-up and the VA even made a few much worse with their *tinkering*.
      So Vic, if the VA is not going to discus proper healthy living and responsible naturopathic methods but yet continue to push antiquated meds on the VA Drug Formulary, Veterans need to take charge or more charge of the direction of their health, esp. if you are single and have nobody to help with such things.

      All great stuff on helpful supplements. Magnesium and Potassium help considerably with my chronic leg cramps but those are known medication side effects I have so it’s an uphill battle, but since it’s like pulling teeth to get muscle relaxers these days, you again have to take charge of your health…responsibly.

      1. I do not understand why a lot of Veterans have the chronic leg cramps. The night terrors or lack of sleep? Almost every Veteran i know have the leg problems.

      2. Ex va – And one the VA’s favorite med for leg cramps or tingling is Gabapentin [Neurontin]. They love prescribing this med.

      3. @Ex va , @Namnibor , @Vic – Read this; “Gabapentin capsules, tablets, and oral solution are used to help control certain types of seizures in people who have epilepsy. Gabapentin capsules, tablets, and oral solution are also used to relieve the pain of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN; the burning, stabbing pain or aches that may last for months or years after an attack of shingles). Gabapentin extended-release tablets (Horizant) are used to treat restless legs syndrome (RLS; a condition that causes discomfort in the legs and a strong urge to move the legs, especially at night and when sitting or lying down). Gabapentin is in a class of medications called anticonvulsants. Gabapentin treats seizures by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain. Gabapentin relieves the pain of PHN by changing the way the body senses pain. It is not known exactly how gabapentin works to treat restless legs syndrome.”

        The VA pushed Gabapentin due to its versatility in treating many conditions. I can take it because of side effects.

        @Namnibor – Your right. Try to get the muscle relaxer called Soma [Carisoprodol]. They will label you a drug seeker, even if you had it prescribed to you in the past and had no contraindications. Flagging will accelerate if you take a benzodiazepine or a pain medication. I believe they refer it as cocktailing to enhance the affects of the pain medication. I’ve been there with these people [VA].

      4. I discovered, reading my medical file, that in 2001 I was used in a study by the DC VA for the use of Gabapentin as a seizure medication–no notes admitting I was having temporal lobe seizures but an entry about “my seizure medication”. I thought and was told it was for sciatic pain. The record of seizures were not included in my record and were probably maintained separately.

        Gabapentin wasn’t recognized by the DEA for seizures until 2011, 10 years later.

      5. Had I known that taking Gabapentin was the reason I wasn’t experiencing enervations (aftermath of complex partial seizures) was Gabapentin I would have made a greater effort to get it from Japan during the next 11 years. It wasn’t available in Japan but I could probably have continued it using telephone calls to a Neurologist at the DC VA and having my family trans ship it to me.

      6. I can only take Lyrica, the gabapentin the VA pushed onto me made my calves and feet swelled-up 6 shoe sizes (at least). I had already looked-up online what was taking place but the VA said, “give it time, but we are not going to RX you Lyrica”. I gave it time and ended-up in a private ER and then hospitalized then my private ID Dr. told me to get the hell away from the VA or they are going to kill you. Have not been back since as that was not the only bad call on RX’s the VA made on me.

        Anyway, there’s only a molecule difference between gabapentin and Lyrica but the difference is enough and was told it was initially developed as an answer to JUST what I was going through and more. Swelling went magically away after a week on proper RX of Lyrica. If you happen to have an allergy or liver or kidney problems processing gabapentin, that swelling in lower extremities can and will eventually turn into blood clots that will kill you. FYI.

        That was all done to me because a VA HACK did not want to bother placing paperwork in order to have an at the time, a non-VA Pharmacy Drug Formulary approved…fact. No apology, of course.

      7. Likely you were enrolled in a study without your knowledge. We have to be acutely aware when out physician will not change our medication because of side effects. The study investigators want to see how bad you as a research subject will get! Malpractice at the extreme for the benefit of a drug company on someone who probably won’t sue them. I’ve often wondered if a suit in your instance couldn’t reach through the VA to the Drug company and get the research documents out in the open in addition to compensation. (the way the class action on agent orange reached through the military to the chemical companies.)

        It happened to me with Tegretol and I was punished by not being medicated after I stopped taking Tegretol. The side effects were worse than the partial and complex partial seizures.

        Good point to bring up and discuss, namnibor.

    3. @Vic – Yea, Vic try to explain what we have been discussing about the difference between D2 and D3 with a Clinical Pharmacologist or Pharmacist at the VA. Even your VA PCP for the matter. They aren’t informed enough. When I tried to explain the difference between D2 and D3 I had an argument with these so called “no-it-alls.” They talk out their ass, while shoveling out nutraceuticals that are dangerous. They want to fight, they get it from me. Snowflake buttfarts.

      Cofactors like you referenced are; Magnesium, Vitamin K, Zinc, Boron, and Vitamin A [or Beta-Carotene]. I would also add a good Vitamin C with Rutin and other bioflavonoids as well. You must also, . . .

      Examine your medications before taking vitamin D supplements. Certain medications interact with the absorption of vitamin D supplements and prevent healthy absorption. These medications include: Antacids, Lipitor, Dovonex, Lanoxin, Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac, Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP 3A4) substrates, Verapamil and water pills.

      Hope this helps. Check with you doctor because this not medical advice only supplement information.

      1. I’m always amazed at how so many know so little, but it is the ‘practice’ of medicine.

        I’m on it for supplements, especially when I started paying for my own blood work. “I” was the one that had to inform all my doctors that my testosterone and vitamin D were both in the toilet. You’d think that some point in 27 years being diagnosed and treated for AS and graves disease someone would have checked, but NO! that’d be too easy…let the bastard suffer.

        Thanks for being supportive, who knows, maybe others here will read about vitamin D and B deficiencies and get on the path to health. Those that are having cramps, pains, and sleeping issues should look at what’s missing.

  13. The botched surgeries they do not know exactly how many deaths they estimated 2007 and earlier the time frame.

  14. It was in 2007. And Before 2007. Marion has had more corruption i believe than any other va medical center.

  15. Can you file a claim because when you enter a va medical center your blood pressure rises? I cannot go into the va because of what they put me thru. I have chronic pain and my blood pressure rises, the appointment at a va causes you to be there all day. That is efficient? You are made to go and get blood work, wait for it, meet your doctor, get some scripts, at least 8 hours for a typical trip. They do this to WWII,Korean, Vietnam and some of these gentlemen are getting in the elderly category, it is even harder on them to go thru this.

    I see the va police always walking around too. They listen to conversations, in case Veterans get too agitated. Why would a Veteran get agitated? They treat us as non human. There is a massive disconnect the va is disconnected from any kind of reality in life and how to treat a human being decent.

    1. Or…the VA knows *exactly* what they are doing when agitating Veterans, always trying to push the threshold with, as Dennis rightly says,”while VA police swarm around their hive like warrior drones escorting the sick and elderly against their will”, but the VA is more concerned about the welfare of their employees, that’s why a VA Medical Assistant that kills a Veteran via blunt force in his hospital bed receives paid time off for the *stress* and *recovery*…that VA Medical Assistant has now had -2- years PAID LEAVE while awaiting his 7th attempt to dodge the State of LA prosecuting his ass for murder…-2- years PAID LEAVE. And the wonder why so many Vet’s blood pressure is so high?

      1. How do they do these things murder is murder. The botched surgeries at Marion VA medical center, marion, illinois which they believe led to over 20 deaths. As of this date i do not think one doctor or administrator has been held to any accountability. It is sickening. The director just got transferred to another job and with other in administration that knew what was going on.

        No justice…

      2. @ that Marion VA Medical Center in Illinois, were not the cause of 20+ deaths directly from Legionella Outbreak, that one it got so out of control last year that the CDC had to come-in and tell the VA to let them take over? Or was it something in addition to the Legionella Outbreak or combination of both?

      3. @namnibor, and others who may be interested of justice simply not given for crime. “VAOIG Report No. 07-03386-65”. Remove quotations. I would like to state an outside agency initiated the audit. The medical center had to be made to stand down on surgeries. Credentialing and priveledging was a big part of this tragedy.

  16. They have condusted massive research into helping lower vets blood pressure while VA police swarm around their hive like warrior drones escorting the sick and elderly against their will. Does anyone else see the massive disconnect here?

  17. Board certification [the process of examining & certifying the qualifications of a physician or other professional by a board of specialists in the field] is not a requirement of VHA who also don’t keep their Doctor Directory updated. When it is not a requirement to continue education that certifies high-quality health care Gov’t physicians are 2nd rate & so is your health care.

    Dr. Daniel Krawczyk, deputy director of the Center for BrainHealth at UT Dallas has been awarded a $2.7 million grant from the Department of Defense under the Joint Warfighter Medical Research Program. The study will include more than 100 veterans, regardless of service status, who have sustained traumatic brain injuries. The team will collect structural & functional brain imaging & neuropsychological evaluations from participants before & after training via a virtual technology platform which may assist in the development of more effective or customizable interventions & more sensitive evaluation methods.

  18. I started treatment for my thyroid and ankylosing spondylitis in 89, from that time till now only ONE PCP even looked at my vitamin D level. Not one ever looked at vitamin B or testosterone levels, so I took it upon myself to get my blood tested. My vitamin D was in the toilet, as was testosterone and my B’s were low as well.

    Vitamin D and B, as well as testosterone, are key to mental stability, and ultimately overall health. If you’ve never considered any of these, PLEASE do so since they are key.

    As far as the VA, they are totally untouched by science or facts, and will kill you with their collective ignorance.

    1. Don’t forget that it’s even better to take vitamin D with a calcium supplement and take it with food to be better absorbed. Calcium plays a key role as well as D and Magnesium for nerve and bone health. Nerves/Anxiety are a huge part of a lot of Veteran’s high blood pressure problems and add to that, if you need to loose weight, it only compounds things when you figure-in cholesterol into equation.

      For the last 15 months I have been dieting using Weight Watchers Point Plus system, but not going to meetings to anything, all on own, and in those 15 months I have lost a total of 40 LBs and only have 15 LBs to go to where I am comfortable with myself. I am fighting major RX side effects and three of my meds are known for inducing weight gain.
      Now when I go to a medical appointment in private sector with Medicare (until/if the VA is ever safe again), my blood pressure is not as ghastly as high as it had been before the weight loss but markedly higher before any appointment…classic PTSD bleeding through there.
      Also, all natural goji berries have been known to help with high blood pressure and even diabetes…and anxiety. It’s got the nickname of ‘Wolf Berry’ and ‘The Feel Good Berry’. I eat about 20 berries a day, dry like raisins but sweeter. 5 LBs of Goji Berries bought in bulk last me a few years.

      However, it is always wise before doing any naturopathic method to ensure none of your natural supplements are causing inhibited absorb in your system. There’s some herbals I cannot take at all because of that. Lastly, even with serious health issues, exercise of some sort even in small amounts is beneficial to attempting to stabilize BP and body. Low-impact, if able, such as an elliptical machine goes a long way.

      1. My PCP ordered for me a “vitamin supplement” on my last visit. Because of my blood test results. Which is exactly what y’all have described.
        I take it once a week.
        Here’s the kicker. My provider said the VA doesn’t like ordering these types of “meds” because, quote; “it costs too much!”
        Yet, the pharmacy did fill it. I received 8 pills with NO refills!
        I called yesterday. I was informed, “it ( the refill) would not be refilled!” No explanation. Just “NO!”
        Now, after this prescription is gone. I’ll go out and get over-the-counter products!

      2. Another example from my own experience of a paradoxical reaction to a med is I have learned I absolutely cannot take any statins. I have a similar reaction to almost all antidepressants, it makes my anxiety level rise and then all else follows, blood pressure, et al. The VA is also averse to accept that a given Veteran cannot TAKE statins or any given RX…the VA will make you remain in agony over a period of time while they RX what YOU KNOW you already cannot take, until the higher priced RX or one that’s not on the VA”s Pharmacy Drug Formulary will be even tried or paperwork filed to get approved.

      3. @Crazy elf- A pretty great, reliable and inexpensive source for purchasing some supplements and even just to gain info on natural supplements is at Swanson Vitamins and of course wherever you find best deal but lots of great info on naturals and vitamins here: “https://www.swansonvitamins.com/?SourceCode=INTL129”

      4. @namnibor: You might already know this, just throwing it out there from your post, about waiting for the VA to add a higher priced drug. Drugs I take that the VA does not supply, and are way to expensive for me to purchase, I go to the drug companies website, and fill out the form to receive the drug for free. If by some chance you make too much money, put your income at the cutoff level, they do not check on income. Hope this helps others as well. No need to reply, sometimes I am away from the computer for days. I have been getting angry at some of the post’s here, so I need to stay away for a while. An attack on any veteran, I take as an attack on me personally.

      5. Thanks CJ. I also get to that point of having to stay away because of attacks on other veterans. I’ve been able to deal with it partially by trying to draw the flack to myself and simply pointing that those attacks are divisive and work against what we all want. VA reform. Seems to have worked a little here. I haven’t heard so much name calling the last couple of days.

      6. Lem

        After all your trolling of everybody’s posts yesterday, we all know that you are nothing but a full fledged snowflake.

        Your fake CJ act doesn’t fool anyone.

      7. News for you. CJ is his own man. Leave him alone. What a crappy post Seymore. You can’t help being a schoolyard bully, can you? Name calling has been your forte your entire life hasn’t it. What positive outcome have you ever gotten from it? Where has it added anything to the discussion?

      8. Lem,

        I do have an advanced education and several degrees that support my statements. To bad you have nothing but lies to support yours.

        Your trolling Veterans on this site shows that you are not a Veteran and nothing more than a troll.

      9. You haven’t made a single honest statement in the last couple of days since I called you on name calling Seymore. You know shit about my service time.

      10. Corpsman up probably has some idea of what Danang, Cua Viet, Marble Mountain, Monkey Mountain, Ten Sha, Phu Bai, Dong Ha mean.

    2. @Vic – The VA will prescribe the more toxic and less bioavailable form D2. I use the one that should be prescribed, D3. B12 should be in the sublingual form [lozenge used under your tongue]. Minerals should be in the chelated form for better absorption. To help control arterial plaque [clogs arteries] I consume lecithin granules. Lecithin can be added eaten alone, added to salads, soups, and even put on sandwiches. It is a very versatile supplement. I’ve been doing supplements, juicing, and nutraceuticals since 1975. The VA is dead to this type of medical treatments, assholes.

    3. My vitamin D is always extremely low because of disease. Maybe because i am not taking the right vitamin D. I am going to write this down.

      1. vitamin D-3 with organic coconut oil is what i take,coconut oil helps with absorption. i use sports research brand….works good for me

      2. According to what I’ve read, you can figure your vitamin D intake by taking 1,000IU per 25 pounds of body weight. Also, look for yourself on ‘vitamin D deficiency protocol’. There are what are co-factors with work with the D, and I’ll go from memory. K2, potassium, magnesium, zinc, boron…and I believe that’s it. Do your research, and if you look you can find D3 and K2 together…and gel caps are best for absorbing/breaking down. Check out the Vitamin D deficiency Facebook page, join and ask all the question you need to…plenty of resources there.

  19. Thanks namnibor,
    I’ll try.

    Here’s something that came out late yesterday.
    From “Fox News”
    “News Alert, Donald Trump Latest News Today 1/18/17, Kellyanne Conway Full Interview”

    It’s about the “commuting of Chelsea Manning’s sentence”. He’ll be released in May. Remember, he’s the “TRAITOR” who “…leaked millions of highly sensitive classified documents to Wikileaks…”!
    In my opinion, Obama is setting up a plan to “pardon” all the Clinton people, including “The Butcher of Benghazi” – Hillary Clinton!
    I believe we’ll all know for sure, probably just before noon on Friday!
    Just as “Slick Willie” did for that asswipe “Mark Rich” the morning he left office.
    Google “The Clinton’s ‘Rich’ Friend”, it’s a very good article concerning how Mark Rich’s wife paid the Clinton’s TENS of Thousands of $$$$$$, to the Foundation, for a “late morning pardon” on 20 Jan. 2001!!!!!!! The day Clinton left the “Oval Office” for good!

    “Clinton Corruption” knows no bounds when it comes to money!

  20. Question;
    Does anyone know about the drug
    Is it a “man made drug”? Does it have anything in it that is ‘synthetic’? Which would be harmful to humans?
    Who makes it? What country does it come from?
    Lots of questions, no answers when I’ve attempted to research it!
    Of course, maybe I’m not savy enough on the computer to do it!

      1. @Crazy elf- Try this and make sure to click the tabs on side effects, interactions, precautions, etc. I like WEBMD for many things as one of many sources:


    1. Hey elf,

      Like Namnibor points out WebMD is a good site for starters. it contains all the information that is distributed about the Drug from the drug company. Including fda required notices of possible side effects.

      If you want to know more about a drug just google the drugs name and add Wikipedia.

      Example “LISINOPRIL Wikipedia”

      Link to the page is: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisinopril”

      Then you will find out more on possible Adverse effects. Including side effects that are not currently being required by the FDA. Including things like this drugs connection to “Stevens–Johnson syndrome”, Hypotension and a whole host of others. That Stevens-Johnson Syndrome sounds like a real horrible way to die.

      Next I would recommend all veterans always check their meds at Clinical Trials dot Gov.


      Currently they show that there are 121 research trials ongoing for this drug. You can look through the list and see if it looks like you are being used as a lab rat. It also links pages of information on each of the studies. In some cases they list all the locations where the studies are ongoing and the researchers name.

      1. If you find some thing that concerns you about the drug you can then always go to “PubMed.com”.


        Currently they list 2721 published peer reviewed research studies on the drug.

        Also on pubmed you can query your doctors name by using his last name first and then his first initial to find out what kind of research he or she has been involved with.

      2. All great resources. Thanks Seymore Klearly. It’s great to have a variety of sources to weed-out the Big Pharma ‘fake news’, which in Big Pharma-speak, that’s anything they simply are not required to disclose and if that does not cut it, proprietary rights or privacy is invoked. That clinicaltrials dot gov is particularly useful.

  21. From; “military.com”
    “Purple Heart Would Receive More Protection With New Law”

    17 Jan. 2017
    “Northwest Florida Daily News, Ft. Walton Beach | by Jennie McKean

    Basically, if you find a “Purple Heart”, (at a pawn shop, flea market, etc.) send it to the “Purple Heart Society”! They will do their best to get it back to the owner or relatives.
    No longer will people be able to sell, trade or barter the “longest and oldest combat issued medal in US history”!!!!!!
    A Representative from California is going to reintroduce the bill soon!

  22. What the VA fails miserably to get is if you suffer from PTSD and anxiety/depression, the BS the VA dishes-out inevitably affects a Veteran’s blood pressure even the week of or day of a scheduled visit…I am a firm believer that the VA agitates Veterans so badly at times it has a detrimental affect on our health. Oxymoronic in the way things should really work in a healthy system, not a systemic mess.

    1. @namnibor,
      I have noticed, as my wife has noticed, my blood pressure starts to rise to a dangerous level about two to three days before my VHA visit.
      All because of some of the things they have put us through.
      I use as much self-control as possible while sitting in front of the idiots.
      Yes, I do believe they know what happens to veterans with PTSD. Especially when they say things we know aren’t factual.
      My wife was a “healthcare giver” out in Arizona. Licensed and all through the state.
      She’s gotten into some “heated arguments” with the “VHA quacks” over my healthcare. When they realize she was right, they back off. Some have even apologized to her.
      I’m almost 70, come April, and cannot be screwed with on my healthcare.
      I believe, like you, the VA needs a complete enema.

      1. @Crazy elf- Yes, I agree. I also believe certain trolls come on here to purposefully agitate PTSD Veterans with their politically correct policing. Almost thinking of the VA variety…psyops, at this point. The smell is overwhelming and I am no longer feeding that troll. Just like the passive-aggressive VA, as go the trolls. Not a coincidence.

      2. Thanks, namnibor. Glad to see you got the message. Yes, not name calling a PTSD victim or a TBI victim is politically correct for a reason. It drives some to suicide. How would you like one of them to blow their brains out at your front door just to make the point?

        There are just reasons for certain mores that are extremely harmful. Live with it. And find a way to laugh it off without getting on another veteran.

      3. @namnibor,
        Yea, I get kinda upset at some of the people who come on here also. Then I think, WTF OVER!
        They’re only coming on to get a rile outta us.
        So, I leave for a short time. Laugh at what they say. Then come back and post information which may be important to all.
        Like what I just put on about the “Purple Heart”! And how it will be illegal to sell, trade or barter it once the law is put into effect!

      4. Lem you are nothing but a snowflake full of BS.

        Your disrespect for all veterans the past few days show just how trollish you are.

      5. Disagree. I’ve only been trolling trolls who call other veterans names like “snowflake”. So you still want a fight? direct it at me and leave the rest alone.

      6. No Lem,

        You have only been trolling everyone on this site to disrupt comments and follow-ups.
        You always have been a troll. You are not even a veteran.

        Oh and snowflake, your candidate lost the election get over it.

      7. Your are right you bleeding heart liberal bully. I’m trolling the site to disrupt the name calling posts like this one of yours. Want to fight it out. let us get it on. Keep your sites on me and leave the others alone. What remarks have you made that contributed to the discussion other than name calling in the last couple of days. Don’t have it in you to make a post without calling someone a name do you?

    2. I am totally with you on this one. I am 100% PTSD (and another 40% for other crap). I take my vitals daily, (weight, temp, 02 BP and blood sugar after a mile and half walk and 5 minutes rest). My BP is in the 100-110/70-78 range. When I get to the VA, I start to feel my anxiety level to sharply increase. By the time they read my BP I have been as high as 175/100. This doesn’t happen when I go to a private physician.

      I got referred to the cardio specialist and he put me on a BP medication. I told him I didn’t think I needed it and he said try it out for a couple of weeks. I took it for 3 days and I was getting BP readings at home of around 85/55 and discontinued it.

      Now, whenever they tell me it is high, I say, yep and that is okay because coming here is what is causing it. My blood sugar readings are also high in comparison to home. I have a pretty sharp shrink and she said yep, your flight/fight response is highly elevated by going to the VA.

      Also, going to the damn VA always triggers flashbacks and intrusive memories. This is why we need private care if we so choose. The VA never considers that a reason as of now.

    3. I agree wholeheartedly nam, and I think it would be very clear on any results of the VA or anyone else actually formally studied this.

      Imagine, someone leaving active duty where it’s a very structured environment, and where people are held accountable for simply how they wear their clothes.

      That same person gets thrown into the VA where bureauracy, incompetence and poor attitude are found everywhere, and nobody in a supervisory position cares.

      That would give any former military person a case of the red ass.

      1. @91Veteran- 🙂 “That would give any former military person a case of the red ass” 🙂

        That’s how this nonhuman test subject feels, exactly. Nailed it!

  23. I’ve only had one problem with my blood pressure. It’s always high when I go to the VA. As soon as I leave, it drops down to about 130+/- 10 over 90+/- 10! Which is normal for most people!
    Why? Because I know too much about them!
    They’ve put me on blood pressure medication. 1/2 pill/day. The wife always, since the VHA gave me meds a few months back that caused real problems, checks out any meds given to me.

    I’d like to stay away from VA.

    That said, since Rand Paul has introduced new legislation, within the past few days, on the replacement of Obamacare, it might be prudent, and inexpensive, for me to get outside medical insurance. At least that’s what I’m hoping for!
    If anyone knows of “holistic or natural” ways of beating high blood pressure, please let me know! I’d rather not take ‘man-made synthetic drugs’ from the “big pharma”.
    Most pharma corps, where they make the drugs, are located outside the US. So, in my opinion, there is no real “knowing” of the ingredients.

    1. @Crazy elf- “[If anyone knows of “holistic or natural” ways of beating high blood pressure, please let me know…]”

      Simply avoid the groid called the VA and your blood pressure will be fine.

      1. @Namnibor – @OLDMARINE refers to EDTA [ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid]. Say that 5 times. Here is a WebMD link for you to have a better understanding of this chelating method that treats certain medical conditions, “https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1032-edta.aspx?activeingredientid=1032&”

        @OLDMARINE – When listing abbreviations that relate to medical terms, please share the meaning of the abbreviation. It makes it a lot easier for those of us who don’t have an extensive science background. Thanks Brother.

      2. Namnibor, my husband suffered with high blood pressure for a very long time. The VA just kept him drugged up with many medications. He finally got sick of taking all these medications everyday that he finally weened himself off of everything and his blood pressure returned to normal. He really believes that all these medications were making him worse than he really was. Of course I have a name for over medicating it’s called “Mad VA Cocktail” Because of this over medicating, he now has more medical conditions than before ever seeking medical care through the VA. However, how he beat the high blood pressure was through DIET. He eliminated all fat, sugar and salt. The salt intake is what really raised his blood pressure. But he’s a diabetic was well. Now his blood pressure is that of a healthy person, his blood sugar is under control, hardly has to take insulin. It’s all about eliminating salty and sugar foods from your eating habits. Try to eliminate as much fat as possible. He now eats lots of fruits and veggies and he also cooks different too. Either baked, steam or boiled. Avoiding frying as much as possible.

    2. @Crazy elf – I get the same way. When I visit the VA or even when I talk about the VA my blood pressure increases. Even my PTSD symptoms sky rocket. When I visit a VA facility, I feel like I’m on watch for my life, just waiting to hear something that is off the wall and doesn’t make sense. I hear you brother. Your not the only one who goes through this.

  24. Ben,

    Back in ’05 or ’06, I received a cortisone shot in my foot to help with plantar fasciitis related spurs, from which I developed nerve damage. Which is one of the known possible side effects they told me about. Would an 1151 claim benefit me, or would I just be wasting my own time? I have a 30% bilateral pes cavus w/plantar fasciitis SCD rating dated from 03/06.

  25. My understanding of the tort (SF-95) approach which I filed is that you can get “pain and suffering” to the amount the state you file in allows. Some states limit to $250,000. So when you file an SF-95 consider the best state available to you.

    Mine is filed in Wyoming and asking for 500,000 each for me and my wife because of the relegation to poverty for 40 years of untreated temporal lobe seizures finally diagnosed in August of 2015. Problem is my VA attorney is not admitted to the Bar in Wyoming and I haven’t found an attorney to take the case so will have to go pro se.

    The real damages are, according to my understanding, paid in lieu of compensation benefits and if your tort award doesn’t out last your compensation benefit you will again receive your compensation benefit. Like taking the cash option on being medically discharged. If you live long enough you eventually receive a monthly benefit check. (unless that has changed since the gulf war when my son was medically discharged)

    1. @Lem – Are you saying that you can file in any state that you want even though you reside in another state? May be my lack of knowledge, but it doesn’t seem right. Lem fill me in Brother. Thanks.

      1. @ANutterVet, i think it is a matter of what courts have the jurisdiction, Federal courts are different than county courthouses. I think you would have to talk to any attorney who files in federal court systems. I do not have much knowledge about courts.

      2. You may have to have standing in the state, Ex. Your attorney can be on the bar in the state. My attorney was considering CA instead of RI where she is but there is a 250,000 cap on pain and suffering. She is on the Bar in RI, CA and DC. CAVA but not the CAFC if you end up there. CA has better results (being more liberal) for veterans. Wyoming, where I live has no cap and though very conservative politically overall very liberal in some areas. Proud to be the first state to grant women the right to vote. Has a lot of veterans per capita. Old ranchers remember when their grandparents talked about needing the Calvary to exist.

        So in a sense you can pick your state by picking your attorney or the state where you live. I feel I’ll be better off in Wyoming because as stated by an attorney I consulted in 1989 in CA the 9th Court of Appeals won’t give a veteran shit. Thus you’ll get appealed to the 9th by the VA.

        That may have changed now. You would have to go to a law library and look up recent decisions by the 9th on veterans tort cases since SCOTUS opened up VA tort cases to veterans.

        I may do that to see if I can go there. I don’t like the cap of 250,000 because I want the jury to be able to assign a major part of an award to past emotional pain and suffering of both me and my wife on my behalf because of abuses by the VA. In that way I can ask the BVA or CAVA to give me 100% UE and continue the Compensation after using up the smaller amount of the award for damages. At least that is my theory for the moment in what I’ve researched but I haven’t found a president one way or the other. So the question is open unless the VA attorney can show me a case president. Benjamin, if he reads this, may know of one.

        If there are more than 3 of you who could be representative of a class action and Benjamin doesn’t want to give it a try I can run it by my attorney. I can’t be a part of a class action according to my attorney because I’ve all ready filed my SF-95. A Negative response received and I have to file a request for reconsideration by March. I’m waiting because of the delay in my FOIA requests.

  26. The VA has no Homeopathic Medical Program that involves nutraceutical supplementation. There are many organic and chelated compounds that have be proven to help alleviate and cure many medical conditions. Ans these approaches to medical care are safer. The VA is firmly stuck on following FDA guidelines on all modalities of treatment. Even though the FDA is in many cases behind the times in unorthodox treatments. Take off the blinders. The VA supports big pharma while Veterans pay and suffer the consequences of side effects whether they be permanent or not.

    1. Man! you nailed it… I remember my very first appointment with the VA and the NP lied to me and told me that the medication I was on was not authorized by the VA, when in fact it was the weasel doctor that ran the clinic wouldn’t all a prescription for my medication to be written. Me, I follow the VA, but I don’t foresee a time I’ll go back…ever.

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