PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

How can you treat weight loss from HIV?

ANSWER

Shedding pounds without trying is an obvious sign that your HIV may be going in the wrong direction. Untreated HIV itself or infections you get because of it can make you lose weight. Plus, if you’re sick, you may not feel like eating. If you lose 10% or more of your body weight (like 15 pounds if you weigh 150 pounds), you could have what’s called wasting syndrome. You may also have diarrhea, weakness, and fever for about a month. This mostly affects people with advanced HIV. It’s important to try to put weight back on. In addition to taking your HIV medications, a few things can help:

  • Talk to a dietitian to make sure your diet is balanced and gives you the calories you need.
  • Build up your muscle mass with workouts like weightlifting or resistance exercises, like pushups, planks, and squats.
  • Try high-protein supplements. (First, ask your doctor or dietitian if you need them.)
  • Treat infections that may cause diarrhea or loss of appetite.
  • Your doctor may prescribe medicines to help with wasting syndrome, called megestrol acetate (Megace) and dronabinol (Marinol).

SOURCES:

Gary Sinclair, MD, HIV/AIDS specialist in Dallas.

Averting AIDS and HIV: “Symptoms and Stages of HIV Infection,” “Tuberculosis and HIV Co-infection.”

AIDS.gov: “Viral Load,” “HIV Lifecycle,” “Changing or Stopping Treatment.”

U.S Department of Veterans Affairs: “CD4 counts and infections,” “HIV Wasting Syndrome."

NAM AIDSMap: “Fact Sheet: Unintentional Weight Loss,” "Fact Sheet: Skin Problems,” “Cough.”

American Academy of Dermatology: “Molluscum Contagiosum.”

The Mayo Clinic: “HIV/AIDS Symptoms.”

CDC: “Shingles (Herpes Zoster),” “Pneumocystis pneumonia.”

AIDS Education and Training Center Program: “Guide for HIV/AIDS Clinical Care: Fever,” “Guide for HIV/AIDS Clinical Care: Diarrhea.”

International Hyperhidrosis Society: “Night Sweats.”

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: “Mouth Problems and HIV.”

Reviewed by Jonathan E. Kaplan on May 04, 2019

SOURCES:

Gary Sinclair, MD, HIV/AIDS specialist in Dallas.

Averting AIDS and HIV: “Symptoms and Stages of HIV Infection,” “Tuberculosis and HIV Co-infection.”

AIDS.gov: “Viral Load,” “HIV Lifecycle,” “Changing or Stopping Treatment.”

U.S Department of Veterans Affairs: “CD4 counts and infections,” “HIV Wasting Syndrome."

NAM AIDSMap: “Fact Sheet: Unintentional Weight Loss,” "Fact Sheet: Skin Problems,” “Cough.”

American Academy of Dermatology: “Molluscum Contagiosum.”

The Mayo Clinic: “HIV/AIDS Symptoms.”

CDC: “Shingles (Herpes Zoster),” “Pneumocystis pneumonia.”

AIDS Education and Training Center Program: “Guide for HIV/AIDS Clinical Care: Fever,” “Guide for HIV/AIDS Clinical Care: Diarrhea.”

International Hyperhidrosis Society: “Night Sweats.”

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: “Mouth Problems and HIV.”

Reviewed by Jonathan E. Kaplan on May 04, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

How can you treat skin problems related to HIV?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

    Other Answers On: