Find common veterans health and medical topics starting with the letter J that are related to military service history. The guide covers health topics from A to Z. Read on for more information about jet lag and other medical issues that begin with “J”.
This is an ongoing series and more veterans health topics and letters are coming soon.
Note: What follows should not be taken as medical advice and is not intended as a diagnosis. This page is general information related to common veterans conditions and should not replace advice from your health care provider.
Jet lag affects everyone differently, but it is commonly described as a kind of sleep problem that occurs when traveling between time zones; international travel can cause jet lag, but so can domestic travel of long durations. The human body has a cycle known as circadian rhythm which is influenced by periods of light and darkness, hormone levels, temperature, and other variables.
The National Sleep Foundation offers advice on fighting jet lag, which includes:
- Travel with a plan to have an early evening arrival.
- Try to remain awake until 10 p.m. local time.
- Avoid napping, but if you must, do not nap for longer than two hours.
- Try to change your sleep schedule to accommodate your new location before you travel.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine at least three to four hours before bedtime.
- Get outdoors in the new location and absorb sunlight whenever possible.
Jet lag is a temporary problem but it can affect your mood, decision making processes, alertness, and reflexes.
Jock Itch (Tinea Cruris)
The condition commonly called “jock itch” is basically an itch or itchy rash in the groin area. There are many physical issues that are commonly labeled as jock itch, but the specific diagnosis identifies a “common fungal infection that affects the groin and inner thighs” known as Tinea Cruris.
Jock itch can occur when your clothing traps heat and moisture, allowing the Tinea Cruris fungus to grow. Contrary to popular belief, jock itch is not a problem exclusive to males or male athletes.
The Tinea Cruris fungus may be responsible for rashes not specific to the groin area; upper and inner thighs, the armpits, and the area just underneath the breasts as well. Jock itch is something you may be able to get VA treatment and/or advice for in addition to other conditions or as a standalone problem that needs attention, but it’s advisable to wear loose clothing and try over-the-counter remedies first.
Kaposi’s sarcoma is caused by Human Herpes Virus 8 and is a form of cancer. Kaposi’s sarcoma tumors may appear as purple or red areas and can form on a person’s skin, mouth, lungs, liver, or gastrointestinal tract. It’s believed that the first recorded discussing of this condition was in 1872; for a time Kaposi’s sarcoma was believed to be harmless. But once the AIDS epidemic started, diagnoses of what Harvard Medical School’s official site describes as an “aggressive form of the disease, AIDS-related Kaposi’s sarcoma” began showing up in people with AIDS and/or severely weakened immune systems.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has screenings, treatments, and advice for those who suffer from AIDS-related medical issues including Kaposi’s sarcoma. Contact your nearest VA medical center to learn what treatment options may be available in your local area.
Keratitis described as an inflammation of the cornea, and like many eye-related medical conditions, may be caused by an injury, or an infection. You may be at risk for this condition if you are a contact lens user; improper care of contact lenses and/or improper wear of the lenses may increase risk of infection which can lead to Keratitis. The Department of Veterans Affairs advises contact lens users:
- Always wash/sterilize your hands before touching your eyes and contact lenses.
- Remove contact lenses and place in the palm of your hand rather than setting them on another surface.
- Use contact lens solution on the surface of the lens for 5 to 10 seconds per side.
- Rinse lenses with contact lens solution to remove bacteria and deposits.
- Store lenses in the proper storage case with fresh solution.
- Never use tap water to rinse your contact lens case.
Kidney Program (Renal)
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers specialty care services for those in need of Nephrology (kidney medicine). If you suffer from chronic or acute kidney problems, the VA can help, up to and including issues that require dialysis. The Department of Veterans Affairs operates dialysis facilities in the United States and offers a searchable map for a dialysis center in your state.
Veterans who are in need of kidney medicine that includes dialysis should know that the availability of specific care including dialysis may vary by location. It is a very good idea to contact the VA medical facilities nearest you to see what options may be available there for treating or diagnosing kidney issues.
The VA official site reminds, “Kidney care may be made available to enrolled Veterans who are currently receiving dialysis care by the VA or enrolled Veterans who have obtained a referral from a VA primary care provider.”
Also known as nephrolithiasis or urolithiasis, kidney stones result when chemical deposits form inside the kidneys. These stones can be as small as an individual grain of sand, but can grow much larger depending on the nature and severity of the condition.
Kidney stones may be present without causing discomfort, but when larger stones start to pass, there can be discomfort and pain. According to the official site of the Mayo Clinic, kidney stone sufferers may experience the following symptoms:
- Severe pain in the side and back, below the ribs
- Radiating pain that reaches the lower abdomen and groin
- Pain fluctuating in intensity
- Painful urination
- Pink, red or brown urine
- Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- Frequent or persistent need to urinate
- Low urine volume
- Urinating more often than usual
- Fever and chills (in cases where infection is present)
Get immediate medical help if any of the following symptoms are present:
- Severe pain that does not let you sit still or find a comfortable position
- Pain, nausea, and vomiting
- Pain, fever, and chills
- Blood in the urine
- Difficulty passing urine
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