Gastric diseases can range in degree of seriousness and some may be painful, debilitating and disabling. Some gastric conditions require ongoing medical treatment and hospitalizations. Patients may experience ongoing symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and pain.
More serious conditions such as inflammatory bowel diseases can require long-term medication and dietary restrictions and/or surgery to control. Quality of life for many patients can be affected.
While many gastric diseases are the result of unknown or mixed causes, environmental factors may play a role in some cases. Genetics and lifestyle often also play a factor, but if you’re suffering from a gastric condition, you may want to explore the possibility that an environmental hazard is the cause of your condition. Some common conditions are discussed in the following paragraphs.
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) include the conditions of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These conditions involve inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract caused by an autoimmune response.
This inflammation can be very serious and surgery may be required to repair section of the tract when inflammation cannot be controlled. People who suffer from IBD often experience severe pain in the gastrointestinal system and have to adjust to dietary restrictions. Hospitalization is common when inflammation becomes severe or blockages in the tract occur.
While genetics and other factors such as use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or smoking can either cause these diseases or affect their course, there is also evidence that links environmental factors to the existence of IBD in some people.
If has been discovered that both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis occur more often in individuals with white-collar (office) jobs than those who have blue-collar occupations. This increased incidence in office workers suggests that exposure to indoor environments may be a contributing factor to IBD.
In addition, IBD is more prevalent in urban areas and developed countries, suggesting that environmental factors such as industrial chemicals and air pollution may be factors that contribute to these conditions.
There is a link between stomach cancer and asbestos exposure. Workers in the following industries may be at an increased risk for developing stomach cancer.
- Nickel refining
- Coal mining
- The rubber industry
- The timber industry
Lifestyle factors such as alcohol consumption, smoking, and poor diet are also considered causes for stomach cancer.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is not as serious in nature as the IBD diseases, but can still cause uncomfortable symptoms.
Dietary restrictions often help alleviate the symptoms of IBS. Causes of IBS vary and include hormonal influences, diet or other illnesses. Stress and air pollution may also contribute to the cause of IBS in some cases.
Gastric Diseases, Environmental Exposures & Filing a Claim
While many gastric diseases may be linked to genetics, lifestyle choices, or other factors, if you believe that your condition was caused by environmental factors out of your control, you may be entitled to compensation. Some cases may be more difficult to prove than others. For example, you may have a more straightforward case to prove stomach cancer is related to asbestos exposure, than to prove IBD is related to your indoor office environment.
An attorney can review your case and help you explore whether you have sufficient grounds to file a claim. You must be able to prove a link between an environmental condition and your gastric disease. If you cannot, you may not have a valid claim. In some cases, workers who develop illnesses may recover workers’ compensation if linked to a work environment or task.
Gacovino, Lake & Associates in New York helps people obtain fair benefits if environmental hazards cause them injury. Call us today at (800) 550-0000 to set up your free case review.