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Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
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when does fatigue and Anemia start
Mar 14, 2001

i am worried about my mother who is HIV positive and has been away for awhile, she contracted the virus about 4 or 5 years ago, is she now feeling fatigue and Anemia, should i rush down to go see her

Response from Dr. Frascino


First off, is your mother just fatigued, i.e. overly tired, or is she indeed anemic? Anemia means her red blood cell count would be down. The red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body. Symptoms caused by the body not getting enough oxygen are fatigue and exercise intolerance. Anemia can be diagnosed with a simple blood test called the hemoglobin level. For women, the lower limit of the normal range is 12 gm/dL.

If your mother is just fatigued and not anemic, the potential causes can include lack of adequate rest, diet, and exercise; opportunistic infections; depression/anxiety; medication side effects; hormonal problems like low thyroid; and a host of other possibilities.

If she is anemic, the potential common causes include medications -- particularly AZT-containing drugs; blood loss; opportunistic infections such as MAC or Parvovirus; iron, vitamin B-12, or folic acid deficiency; and even HIV itself.

Once the cause of her anemia and/or fatigue is diagnosed, the treatment will become more evident.

Should you rush down to see her? Well, you know moms: They are always delighted to see the kids, but I doubt this is an emergency situation. Talk to your mom and/or her doctor to see what's going on before making your decison. You might want to send her some of the informatoin from this website if she's having trouble with fatigue and/or anemia.

Best of Luck,


Possible iron deficiency

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