Osteoarthritis & Radiation Exposure

Posted by walpar @walpar, Sun, Aug 11 3:16pm

I've tried researching and can't find anything specifically related.
I'm 59, active and been pretty healthy. I have been diagnose with severe osteoarthritis in my hands (every joint is affected) and the same with my feet. Getting more x-rays I have degenerative discs in all regions, plus hard lumps on my sternum where ribs attach that is said to be osteoarthritis. My blood work has back neg for autoimmune (though some of my blood work like white blood count being high is off) and I don't have any family history of arthritis.

Back in the 80s, I was in the Navy and served aboard submarines and I exceeded my maximum lifetime dosage of radiation (more from the warheads than the reactor) and was given a waiver and told to reduce my exposure. Could this be the culprit behind my condition?

Hi @walpar — Welcome to Connect. I served on two different destroyers back in the 60s in Vietnam and our concern was agent orange. I did find a couple of references for you but you may have already seen them.

Military Occupational Exposure to Radiation
https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/radiation/sources/occupational.asp

Diseases Associated with Ionizing Radiation Exposure
https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/radiation/diseases.asp

When I'm looking for medical research information I also use Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/). Have you used it? Here are the search results for the phrase nuclear submarine radiation exposure +diseases:
https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C24&q=nuclear+submarine+radiation+exposure+%2Bdiseases&btnG=

Have you been in contact with any of your Navy crew shipmates to see if any are having the same medical issues? One of the ships I was on has a reunion ever 2 years which might be a good place to meet and discuss health problems due to military service. The Together We Served website might also be a source to find shipmates: https://navy.togetherweserved.com/usn/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=Landing

John

REPLY
@johnbishop

Hi @walpar — Welcome to Connect. I served on two different destroyers back in the 60s in Vietnam and our concern was agent orange. I did find a couple of references for you but you may have already seen them.

Military Occupational Exposure to Radiation
https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/radiation/sources/occupational.asp

Diseases Associated with Ionizing Radiation Exposure
https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/radiation/diseases.asp

When I'm looking for medical research information I also use Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/). Have you used it? Here are the search results for the phrase nuclear submarine radiation exposure +diseases:
https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C24&q=nuclear+submarine+radiation+exposure+%2Bdiseases&btnG=

Have you been in contact with any of your Navy crew shipmates to see if any are having the same medical issues? One of the ships I was on has a reunion ever 2 years which might be a good place to meet and discuss health problems due to military service. The Together We Served website might also be a source to find shipmates: https://navy.togetherweserved.com/usn/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=Landing

John

Jump to this post

THANK YOU, I hadn't seen those.
I haven't been in touch with any of my shipmates or crew members. Most of mine came from working around the warheads both on the tender & the sub. I'm 6'4" so maneuvering around them doing guidance system work is clumsy.
It doesn't mention arthritis though I've read that radiation from medical equipment like x-rays can damage joints.

I guess I need to get into the VA system 1st.

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.