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fatigue due to allergy?
Apr 25, 2003

I have been allergic to ragweed since my teens.I would get the classic allergy symptoms and that was it. Many years later after becoming hiv positive I would also get extremely fatigued. This lasts the entire fall it goes away after a good frost. Is there any reason why some one with hiv would get significantly more fatigue than an allergic person with out the virus?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Well, I can only hypothesize here. HIV alters our immune system in many ways. Allergy is an abnormal immune reaction to something, which generally doesnt bother most people in your case, ragweed pollen. Ragweed pollinates in late summer and early fall. Allergy symptoms can include fatigue, as well as the usual itchy eyes, runny nose-type symptoms. Its possible your HIV infection could have altered your allergic reaction symptoms to the ragweed pollen. Another possibility also comes to mind. Do you take medication in the fall for your allergy symptoms? Allergy meds, like antihistamines, can cause significant fatigue.

So, 2 options:

1. Check to make sure its not your allergy meds that might be causing the problem and 2. Consider more aggressive treatment for your seasonal allergies in the fall nasal steroids, non-sedating antihistamines, etc., and perhaps, even see an allergist.

Since your fatigue is so seasonal and corresponds to ragweed pollen season, I doubt the cause is related to other common HIV fatigue inducers, like anemia, hypogonadism, depression, etc. Check out the 2 possibilities I mention above. If that doesnt work, write back with additional information -- T-cell counts, viral loads, allergy meds, other meds, etc., and Ill see if I can come up with any other ideas.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob


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