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Dh And The Military?
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18 posts in this topic

Ok, so my wife's friends are in the National Guard, and I mentioned to them that I had thought about military service before, but my DH would probably cause me to be rejected. However according to the recruiter the told me to talk to I can at least try for a waiver and probably get in. I just have DH and not celiac (which is an instant rejection). Anyone here know anything?

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Policies and requlations on this are always subject to change. The link below is to the DoD Instruction on medical standards. I didn't see dh specifically listed in my scan but there is a catch-all of any skin condition that "shall interfere with the proper wearing of military clothing or equipment" as being disqualifying.

http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/613004p.pdf

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I believe that a diagnosis of DH is also an automatic diagnosis of Celiac--meaning a gluten-free diet for life. I'm afraid that somewhere along the line, that will be picked up.

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At this point you have no celiac symptoms other than DH, that would be very likely to change under the stress of military training and service. With DH you have an 'automatic' diagnosis of celiac. The military is not going to be able to feed you gluten free and you really don't want to do 20 mile hikes with a 75 lb rucksack on your back and weekend manuvers with DH sores on your body. The chance of a serious infection alone is really high, it is not like those guys get daily showers, even in training let alone the field. Even if you can get a waiver as the Mom of a undiagnosed celiac who did join the Army I would strongly advise against it. We sent a relatively healthy young man into the Army and a year later got home a medically discharged man who took months to recover.

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Regardless of if you can get past the screening, I would be very concerned about the foods for deployment. On base you can always work somethign out, but in the field you have to rely on what food arrives. Technically they can handle a vegitarian, but I have heard of several who for whatever reason do not get their vegetarian MRE and have to go around in the field trying to trade the non-vegetarian parts of their MRE with others. Just logistically, I can't see how they could accomodate your gluten-free foods.

However, if you are looking for a reserve service type of job, try looking outside of the military. Sheriff Department, Fire department, EMS, Power Squardron, Red Cross disaster teams...I think all of them have different types of auxillary jobs that might give you the fullfillment you were looking for in the military without the food problems and DH infection risks.

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Thanks for all the replies guys. This question has been driving me nuts all week mainly because no one will leave me alone about it. I had talked to the recruiter and made my decision not to even try to join after I left his office. However my wife and her friends kept on insisting I keep looking into it. Perhaps now I can get them to realize what I already pretty much knew.

Also I didn't really know that DH could also mean an automatic diagnosis of Celiac. That would probably explain some random stomach flu symptoms I had in the past.

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Also I didn't really know that DH could also mean an automatic diagnosis of Celiac. That would probably explain some random stomach flu symptoms I had in the past.

Yes, I'm sure it would explain the stomach flu symptoms--are you on the gluten-free diet now? If not, you really need to be to heal and prevent any further damage to your intestine. ;)

Perhaps show this thread to your wife and her friends--this can all be pretty hard to understand. Good luck with everything :)

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Also I didn't really know that DH could also mean an automatic diagnosis of Celiac. That would probably explain some random stomach flu symptoms I had in the past.

Whoever diagnosed you with DH did you a great disservice by not telling you that you have celiac disease. Not everybody with celiac disease has DH, but the only thing that causes DH is celiac disease.

And the only thing that will heal and control DH is a strict, 100% gluten-free diet. The diet is the only viable treatment, everything else is just a bandaid.

I imagine you are likely on the drug Dapsone to control the DH. That drug is very hard on the liver and should never be used long term. It is good when DH is severe, until the DH is completely controlled by the diet, which can take a little while.

So, please do yourself a favour and start the gluten-free diet immediately!

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Ok, so my wife's friends are in the National Guard, and I mentioned to them that I had thought about military service before, but my DH would probably cause me to be rejected. However according to the recruiter the told me to talk to I can at least try for a waiver and probably get in. I just have DH and not celiac (which is an instant rejection). Anyone here know anything?

I would be leary of going on the recruiter's word. Their job is to recruit, and many have lied in order to meet their requirements. Not all recruiters are bad, but there are some that will say whatever it takes! I dont' know for sure, "just" being an Air Force dependant wife, but I doubt there are gluten free MREs. Some jobs don't allow for a regular lunch time close to a fridge and microwave for you to bring your own food (my dh works the flightline, there is no such thing as a "lunch hour" and there certainly are no fridges out there. On the flightline they sometimes eat whatever the chow hall sends or whatever the "roach coach" has for sale (and either way, I'd worry about cross contamination on any potentially non-gluten items). Sounds like you have decided not to join, so I guess I'm just chiming in to say good choice, don't do it!

Nancy

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Whoever diagnosed you with DH did you a great disservice by not telling you that you have celiac disease. Not everybody with celiac disease has DH, but the only thing that causes DH is celiac disease.

And the only thing that will heal and control DH is a strict, 100% gluten-free diet. The diet is the only viable treatment, everything else is just a bandaid.

I imagine you are likely on the drug Dapsone to control the DH. That drug is very hard on the liver and should never be used long term. It is good when DH is severe, until the DH is completely controlled by the diet, which can take a little while.

So, please do yourself a favour and start the gluten-free diet immediately!

Actually I've been on a gluten free diet for years, I think any flare ups I have come from either handling food for my kids who don't have DH, or accidentally eating something that I didn't realize had gluten in it.

And no I'm not on Dapsone, thankfully. I hate taking any type of medicine.

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Actually I've been on a gluten free diet for years, I think any flare ups I have come from either handling food for my kids who don't have DH, or accidentally eating something that I didn't realize had gluten in it.

And no I'm not on Dapsone, thankfully. I hate taking any type of medicine.

Oh good, I am glad you know to be on a gluten-free diet after all.

But there are plenty of people, some of them now on this site, that were just given Dapsone, instead of being told to be on the gluten-free diet. There are so many ignorant doctors out there!

Still, you should have been told that you have celiac disease. At least your doctor knew enough to tell you that you needed to be gluten-free, that is worth a lot.

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BTW.. Myself and two of my sons have DH flare up if we eat EITHER Gluten OR Casein. Only one of my Five boys so far can tolerate Casein actually :( We've taken him on/off milk and he didn't have a problem or change at all. All my other boys either break out or get Chronically constipated.

Funny enough my dad is very sick right now from a life in the military (btw he has DH) and he has the allergy to Gluten. All that time in service DESTROYED his Kidneys. He's slowly recovering but will never be 100% so I highly do NOT recommend you go into the military with such a severe allergy. IF the military decides to go gluten-free on rations and such then maybe... and I think in our future this WILL happen.

You can also be a career Civil servant (that's what I do) versus join the military. I wasn't able to join the military due to medical reasons.

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To the poster above me-What branch was your dad in? Army or Marines im guessing? I've been wondering if the soldiers who have a known gluten intolerance that are still in are in because they have more access to "normal" foods IE Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy instead of the Army and Marines that really rely heavily on MRE's and what they can carry. I was speaking with a Air NG member the other day and she mentioned that some people have food allergies and are still in on base, but have to have their food sorted before eating. So it sparked this question.

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maybe all the people in your life that are pushing you to do this need to understand the severity of it. having been in the military myself i know that when you are going to the field or overseas you are NOT going to have access to a gluten-free diet. and even if you are willing to put yourself in danger maybe the people around you dont want to be as this will effect your ability to do your job. that being said, i think the idea of police, emt or fire is a great alternative, as you will have total control over your diet. tell these people pushing you to mind there own buisness.

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Well no ones pushing me really but myself. It was my grandfathers wish that one of the remaining sons in my family go the military route again-as he served in the Navy during WWII. So it had always sorta been my dream since i was young to be a military officer and go through the training school and i decided on the air force before i was diagnosed but i am still attaining my 4 year degree. As i am awaiting my diagnosis, a diagnosis that was started by DH that i had, then didn't have, then had again from my derma biopsies. No one in my famiy really understands because no one has ever had DH/celiacs in my family and I am the first. I don't have very severe abdominal symptoms but i do have the DH as far as i can tell from experimenting with the gluten free diet. So no one is really pushing me to do this, its just a career dream that i had lurking in the back of my mind ever since my grandpa passed. Thats all.

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hi, im not trying to be rude, just that right now with whats going on you could very easily be sent overseas, and stress can make any condition worse, including DH and trust me you would not come close to getting gluten-free food overseas, maybe educate your family, DH is celiac and the only way to make it go away is through the diet. good luck!

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For some good info to get you started about DH/Celiac, see http://www.celiacdiseasecenter.columbia.ed...nts/A02-FAQ.htm

"Less than 10% of patients with DH have GI symptoms, yet if you have DH, you always have celiac disease. "

Wow. I didn't know this either. Thanks Happygirl (and Ursa) for this information. I clearly have DH and other symptoms but am self-diagnosed. Since going gluten-free and seeing obvious improvement, I've been telling myself and others that at most, I can say I'm "gluten intolerant" or "gluten sensitive" while being unsure that I have celiac disease. Hmmm. This kind of takes the wind out of my sails. Although I've been committed to staying gluten-free forever, I was hoping somehow I'd have a reprieve from the actual diagnosis. :(

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