Everyone exposed to dioxin (Agent Orange - herbicides), or other toxic substances must be proactive. They should seek a means to better health on their own. The US Government, its bureaucracy, and departments (VA Hospital, Health Departments, etc.), offer very little, if any, real assistance. Several things can be done by persons exposed to toxic substances.
The following are suggestions and not scientific facts. These have helped me personally. I sincerely believe that I am healthier (mentally and physically) because of these practices. They are not a prescription to instant vigor and vitality, rather, a long term approach, nor can they be unconditionally guaranteed. Please review and determine if these suggestions make sense to you.
Drink Cranberry or Cran-Apple (or Cran-whatever) juice (about 16 ounces) in the morning (to filter your system). (Note: Because I have allergic reactions to some medications... I drank a half gallon of Cran-Apple per day to get rid of a nasty kidney infection (within a couple weeks... Cran-Apple juice cured the infection.) Cran-Apple juice flushes toxic substances out of the body (via the endocrine system). However, to complete the flush cycle, eat roughage so that the "junk" (toxins) can be passed.
Grapefruit juice is also effective. It does much the same thing as the Cran, and also needs roughage to complete the task. However, grapefruit juice is too strong for most people. Alter drinking the juices daily.
Vinegar (Apple Cider, the tan colored one) is good for you. A friend recommended that an "organic" be used rather than Heinz. To me, the taste was not much different (both are nasty... but medicine is supposed to taste bad!!!). Vinegar cleanses the system. I do not know all its properties, but drinking it (about one to two ounces) in a glass of orange juice is not too bad. Give it a try for a couple months (a quart or two in total). This helps people with arthritic proglems as well.
[Note: Dioxin is stored in adipose (fat) tissue. These juices help break down fat. But, the "toxin" in the fat tissue must be purged from the system via the bile duct and out through the intestines... it must complete this process to get rid of toxins.]
Vitamin E is also recommended. I take 200 I.U.s in the morning, and another 200 at lunch, rather than one 400 I.U.s once a day. (Vitamin E is not stored so twice a day makes sense to me.) Vitamin E enhances several body functions. Take it regularly. I take E with Folic Acid (B6 & B12) [Sundown Label].
I also take CO Q-10. It is a Coenzyme (antioxidant) that boosts the energy level. CO Q-10 increases oxygen levels in the blood. It works for me! There are several makers of Q-10, and as many dosages... I purchased CO Q-10 at GNC (30 mg), but found a supply at K-Mart or Meier's (Sundown Label). CO Q-10 works well when combinated with vitamin E.
Selenium-200 [Sundown Label] boosts the immune system. I can tell when I do not take this supplement.
An essential is: Ester-C... again, I prefer the Sundown Label's, Ester-C with Rose Hips. The more natural, the better.
I also take Tomato Lycopene (TwinLab Label). This is available at GNC or Meier's. Tomato Lycopene is a strong anti-oxidant. Take it in the morning (or when you get up)... the first time I took it at noon... I did not sleep well that night.
A friend in Florida told me about L-Glutamine. This amino acid is called brain-food for many reasons. But one thing it does, is purge your body of ammonia (and other toxins) by dumping the junk into the bile duct, into the intestine, and out (you know the routine).
Note: I start slow with vitamins. I am taking 500 mg of L-Glutamine twice a day. Another amino acid that works in conjunction with glutamine is L-Tyrosine. See: (Gary's Daily Vitamin List).
Consult with your physician, or a nutritionist before using them especially if you are taking other medications. (Also... you may want to challange them if they object as to why a person should not rely on a natural approach. gdm) There are warnings in various health food/nutrucian books about some of these. Again, research before you buy, or try... and balance is key to any diet! Recommended reading is Prescription for Nutritional Healing (2nd ed.) by Balch & Balch. This book is available at most GNC, (General Nutrician Centers), and has a wealth of information not available in other resources.
Oh yes, the small sores (I nicknamed them, red burnies) that break out especially during hot wheater (though my worst time is, oddly, during the Winter months... go figure???). The itching is alleviated when using a (yellow) creamy balm intended for use on cows. The best brand is Utter Balm by Dionne. It comes in a big plastic jar for about six/seven bucks, and can be purchased at most animal feed stores (big city dwellers may have to look a little harder). Utter Balm contains vitamins A, C, D, and aloe vera. Yes, it is supposed to be used on animals, but works very well on light burns (sunburn), bed sores, and the red burnies. This is not an over night cure, but Utter Balm relieves the burning and itching (especially in Summer heat). Spots (typically) appear on my abdomen. I apply the balm after a shower, and sometimes at night before going to bed. It is worth a try.
In-country Vietnam vets should register with (the VA) Agent Orange Registry. Call your local VA for information. Note: Regarding the VA... I have heard good and extremely bad reports about various VA centers. The only encouragement I offer is to hang-in-there. And, please send me information when you find a good VA center, doctor, or other VA that is helpful. It'd be great to collect a list about the good centers (we could then lobby to close up the bad ones). Changes in the VA Hospital system will occur. We, as veterans, must act positively about the changes.
VA toll free number: 1-800-827-1000
Veteran's Administration Web Site
VA 'Hepatitus-C' Web Site
Not a (physical) health solution, and although many of us aren't joiners... but, you consider joining an organization that does something for vets. Most VVA Chapters are made up of a few doers, and the rest... social veterans. VVA is not perfect, and I did not join for years. But, I have met some really great people, and do see the result from cooperative efforts (Chapter 154 coined the phrase: Veterans Helping Veterans). Chapter 154 also has an outstanding PTSD support group (my long-time theory is that dioxin exposure and PTSD are connected). Investigate veteran organizations in your area, and join one! They need your support (monetary and otherwise).
Remember: Bureaucrats like nothing better than for us (vets) to sit at home and not involved, or to argue among ourselves... think about it, and get proactive... please!
Gary D. Moore, (The Last) Chairman, Michigan Agent Orange
5161 Howard Road
Smiths Creek, Michigan 48074-2023 USA
Update: February 18, 2013
Gary's Main Web Page
Gary's PDF Files (Downloads)
Agent Orange Information
Agent Orange Talking Paper #1
Contaminated U.S. Military Bases
Agent Orange and Diabetes March 29, 2000 interview
Agent Orange Summary Report, 1996 Disease and Cancer List
Agent Orange Summary Report, 1998 Disease and Cancer List
Chemicals Used In Military Operations During The Vietnam War
Veteran Information & Calendar
VVA Chapter Locator (National)
VVA Chapter Site List
Veteran's Administration Web Site
VA 'Hepatitus-C' Web Site
Department of VA AO Information Web Page
VA Claim, List of Documents Needed to File a
Women In-Country Website - Learn about the Women Who Served in Vietnam
Arlington National Cemetery Web Site
Eligibilty for Burial in a VA National Cemetery