Everything You Need to Know About Secondary Conditions to PTSD
Updated: May 7
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is the fourth most claimed VA disability. However, PTSD is not always (or typically) a stand-alone condition. Several secondary conditions may develop with PTSD.
Keep reading to learn what the most common secondary conditions related to PTSD are.
Migraine headaches, post-traumatic headaches, and tension headaches are all common in veterans. While this is true, this is not a comprehensive list of the types of headaches you may experience.
According to medical studies, there is a direct connection between PTSD and headaches. The symptoms of PTSD can cause several headache types, from hypertension headaches to migraines. In fact, it’s estimated that about 32% of veterans with PTSD have issues with headaches.
Veterans are up to four times more likely to deal with Obstructive Sleep Apnea than the civilian population. In fact, this is another common secondary condition related to PTSD. In fact, the probability of a veteran developing Obstructive Sleep Apnea increases as the symptoms of PTSD increase.
The relationship between these conditions is attributed to the change in a person’s physical structure or other medical conditions. Some of the conditions that can lead to this include kidney failure, premature birth, some genetic syndromes, heart failure, neuromuscular disorders, endocrine disorders, large tonsils, and obesity.
Another condition veterans may develop due to PTSD is GERD. A study conducted in 2013 who were deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq discovered that about 45% of participants were positive for PTSD while about 23% were positive for symptoms of depression.
Even though only 11% of the people in the study reported any type of GI symptom or issue, about 73% of these people screened positive for PSTD. This shows a direct link between the two conditions.
Patients who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome have a higher rate of psychological trauma along with PTSD. Some veterans who have IBS, especially those diagnosed after leaving the military, are eligible to receive benefits based on IBS secondary to PTSD. To receive these benefits, though, it is necessary to show a link, or nexus.
Compared to numbers from the civilian population, veterans who have PTSD are at a higher rate of sexual dysfunction, including Erectile Dysfunction. In fact, it was found that male veterans diagnosed with PTSD are much more likely than civilians to report sexual problems or ED. This is a common problem and found in veterans of all ages.
As you can see, there are several secondary medical conditions related to PTSD that a veteran may be diagnosed with. It is important to know what these are and know when it is time to seek this condition. Taking time to fully understand this will help you know when to take action or seek care for the secondary condition you are suffering from. While there are no guarantees, in most cases, getting benefits for these is possible. You can also seek professional help with these claims to ensure you get the deserved benefits.