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sporadic diarrhea and bloating
Sep 25, 2000

I am experiencing severe diarrhea, but only periodically. Is there any way to tell whether this is a result of the anti-viral drugs I am taking or an opportunistic gastrointestinal infection? When I started taking the drugs, I had no diarrhea for more than a week. Then, for one day it was a problem, and then I was fine for a week. Then, more diarrhea and bloating. Since it's so sporadic, I am uncertain whether or not to consider this a side effect of the medication, or that I ate some bad food, or?? Can you help?


Thank you.

Response from Dr. Feinberg

You can eliminate the idea that it is an infection by having a set of tests done on stool samples obtained when the diarrhea is active. It could also be from the medicines, because side effects are not always the same all the time. Work with your doctor to figure this out. If you decide that it's due to the drugs, then you can take anti-diarrhea medication, or you can switch your antiretrovirals around, and see what works best for you.

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