Which Medical Conditions Prevent Someone from Joining the Military?

February 17, 2016

Which Medical Conditions Prevent Someone from Joining the Military?

Questions about military participation have come up in the celiac disease community due to controversial comments from Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz about the gluten-free diet.

In an article from TIME,Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz equated the gluten-free diet with a “culture of political correctness.” Such a statement minimizes the severity of celiac disease and the medical need for a gluten-free diet. The Beyond Celiac community weighed in with their opinions on the topic on our Facebook page. Along with many comments, questions about military disqualifications have come up. Below is an overview of the medical issues which could possibly prevent people from enlisting in the various military branches.

  • Chronic or recurrent esophagitis
  • Gastritis
  • Active stomach or duodenum ulcers
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (enteritis, ulcerative colitis, ulcerative proctitis)
  • Intestinal malabsorption syndromes
  • Stomach bleeding
  • Viral hepatitis
  • Some severe hemorrhoids
  • Hernia
  • History of abdominal surgery within a set time frame
  • Anemia
  • Immunodeficiency
  • Leukopenia
  • Meniere’s syndrome
  • History of any inner or middle ear surgery, with some exceptions
  • Adrenal dysfunction
  • Diabetes mellitus of any type
  • Gout
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Persistent or untreated goiter
  • Nutritional deficiency diseases
  • Endocrine or metabolic disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Hip dislocation
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Chronic conjunctivitis
  • Keratitis
  • Uveitis
  • Papilledema
  • Optic atrophy or cortical blindness
  • Glaucoma
  • Night blindness
  • Some types of astigmatism
  • Endometriosis
  • Severe contusions to the head
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Symptomatic arrhythmia
  • Abnormalities of the arteries and blood vessels, including aneurysms
  • Pulmonary of systemic embolization

For an expanded list of medical disqualifications, visit Military.com here. Each military branch has their own medical requirements and some disqualifications will vary between the branches.