Nutritional Deficiencies

Topics:

Avitaminosis
Beriberi
Pellagra
Other Nutritional Conditions
DBQ for Nutritional Conditions
Principles that Apply

Reminder: The VA will give a Military Disability Rating for each service-connected condition a service member has, but the DoD will only rate service-connected conditions that make a service member Unfit for Duty.

 


Avitaminosis

Code 6313: Any condition where the body does not have enough of any vitamin is considered avitaminosis. These conditions can cause many different kinds of symptoms and side effects.

If the condition causes obvious mental changes, moist rashes, exhaustion, loss of weight, weakness, and it is not possible to regain proper nutritional health, then it is rated 100%. If there is loss of weight, decreased appetite, stomach pains, weakness, irritability, loss of focus, diarrhea, rashes, stomatitis, achlorhydria, some mental changes, and low energy, then it is rated 60%.

If there is only stomatitis, diarrhea and rashes, then it is rated 40%. If there is only stomatitis, diarrhea, or achlorhydria, then it is rated 20%. As long as the condition has been properly confirmed and has minor symptoms, it is rated 10%.

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Beriberi

Code 6314: Beriberi, besides having an awesome name, is a serious disease where the body does not have enough thiamine (Vitamin B1). Symptoms can include loss of feeling, difficulty walking, loss of muscle function and paralysis.

If the disease causes congestive heart failure, swelling all over the body, or Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome then it is rated 100%. If the heart is enlarged or there are nerve problems in the legs that cause the muscles to waste away or that cause the toes of the foot to drop because of weakness, then it is rated 60%.

If there are nerve problems in the leg that cause the knee to lose its reflex movements or lose feeling, or if there are symptoms like fatigue, weakness, dizziness, stiffness of the legs, anorexia, headaches or sleep disturbances, then it is rated 30%. If the condition does not qualify for a 30% or higher rating, then rate the symptoms separately.

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Pellagra

Code 6315: Pellagra is a vitamin deficiency caused most often by the lack of niacin (Vitamin B3).

If there are definite mental changes, moist rashes, exhaustion, significant weight loss, weakness, loss of appetite, and it is not possible to regain proper nutritional health, then it is rated 100%. If there is loss of weight, decreased appetite, stomach pains, weakness, irritability, loss of focus, diarrhea, rashes, stomatitis, achlorhydria, some mental changes, and low energy, then it is rated 60%.

If there is only stomatitis, diarrhea and rashes, then it is rated 40%. If there is only stomatitis, diarrhea, or achlorhydria, then it is rated 20%. As long as the condition has been properly confirmed and has minor symptoms, it is rated 10%.

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Other Nutritional Conditions

Nutritional deficiencies caused by eating disorders are rated separately from ones caused by diseases or other infirmities.

All other nutritional conditions will be rated analogously (see the Analogous and Equivalent Codes page) with the above ratings. The bottom line rule is to rate any condition under the code that BEST describes it, even if it is not exact.

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DBQ for Nutritional Deficiencies

Here is the Disability Benefits Questionnaire (DBQ) used for nutritional deficiencies: Nutritional Deficiencies DBQ.

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Principles that Apply

Pyramiding: A single condition can only be rated once! However, if another condition exists that is additional to the nutritional condition (not simply caused by it), then it can also be rated.

Probative Value: If two exams record the condition differently, the exam with the most thorough data and performed by the most qualified person in that specialty will be the exam the rating is based on.

A Tie Goes to the Veteran: If there are two equally strong exams with conflicting information, or if the condition can be equally rated under two different codes, then the one that gives the highest rating will be assigned. Every conflict should be resolved in favor of the higher rating.

Accurate Measurements: It is essential that the necessary information to rate your condition is recorded by the physician in your exam. With the information on this page, you should know what needs to be measured and recorded. Make sure this happens correctly to ensure that you receive a proper rating.

Hospital or Convalescent Ratings: Some conditions require periods of hospitalization or constant medical care (at-home nurse, etc.). Any condition that requires this is rated 100% during this intensive treatment. Once it ends, then the 100% rating will continue for a certain period. This period is 3 months unless another length (6 months, 1 year, etc.) is directly specified in the condition ratings. Some patients may need more time to recover than others, so the physician or Rating Authorities can lengthen this time period if they see fit.

Please see the VASRD Principles page for further guidance.

For nutritional deficiencies caused by eating disorders, see the Mental Disorders page.

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