|Losing Weight Quickly
May 24, 2000
Dear Doctor: I've lost about 24 lbs. in about 2 1/2 months (214 to 194). I am still overweight, 5' 11" stocky build. I've been infected for about 18 years, CD4+ 880, VL 2000. No meds. In research studies. All non-HIV tests fall in the "normal" ranges for a 44 year old. While I like the results, and while I've been under a lot of stress, and am not eating as much lately, this just seems like an awful lot of weight to lose without dieting. Can one start "wasting" even with a relatively intact immune system? I'd hate to mention this situation to my docs in Boston, if it is just a normal thing happening to me. So far I've managed to resist any physical damage . . . despite the emotional roller-coaster. . . Should I be concerned? I guess I create and lose a lot of cells every day, and expend a lot of energy. And the good part is, I can eat as much ice cream as I like without ever gaining weight. But I am a bit concerned. . .
Response from Dr. Feinberg
Rapid weight loss without trying is cause for concern, but may not be related to your HIV. Wasting syndrome is typically part of endstage HIV disease and you have normal CD4 cells and a very low viral load. Please do tell your doctors in Boston so they can check you out for other possible problems, like thyroid dysfunction.
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