Weight loss in people with HIV has many possible causes. If
you lose weight fast, it may be because you have another infection along with
HIV. This type of illness is called an
loss may be due to problems with nutrition. You may lose weight if you can't
eat enough food or if your body can't absorb all the nutrients from the food
Wondering if you should get an HIV test? The answer is: Yes.
"Everybody needs to be tested for HIV at least once," says Brad Hare, director of the HIV/AIDS Division at San Francisco General Hospital. Fortunately, HIV testing is easier, quicker, and more accurate than it used to be. And because HIV treatment is more effective these days, getting tested isn’t as scary.
not feel like eating because you are sick to your stomach or food just doesn't
appeal to you. HIV itself or HIV medicines can cause you to feel this
You may not feel like eating because you are depressed.
Depression can make you lose your appetite. If you
have lost interest in activities you used to enjoy or have other depression
symptoms, tell your doctor.
If you have diarrhea, your body may
not be able to absorb all of the nutrition from your food.
are a man and you have a low level of the hormone
testosterone, your body may not be able to turn your
food into muscle tissue.
When you lose weight, you lose muscle,
fat, or both. Exercising to build muscle and eating healthy foods are part of
treatment. Your doctor also may change your medicines or add new ones.
Marijuana has been shown to stimulate the appetite. Talk to your doctor if you're interested in trying it.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet with
enough protein and calories may help you keep weight on. It also can help your
immune system stay strong to fight infection.
If you are sick to your stomach or don't feel
like eating, discuss your medicines with your doctor. It may be possible to
change medicines. Do not change medicines on your own. Always discuss changes
in medicines with your doctor, and make those decisions
If you don't feel like eating, eat your favorite foods.
Eat smaller meals several times a day instead of a few large
Drink high-calorie protein shakes between meals. Try
nutritious drinks, such as Ensure. Protein or energy bars are another good way
to get extra calories between meals.
If you have diarrhea, eat
bland foods like rice, bananas, or bread. Avoid high-fiber foods. Milk products
can cause diarrhea for some people who react to the sugar or lactose in the
milk. If you have this problem, try lactose-free or soy-based
If you have mouth sores, avoid spicy foods, hot or cold
foods, oranges, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits. Stay away from hard or
crunchy foods. Use a straw when you drink.
If you are sick to your
stomach, try drinking peppermint or ginger tea.