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Lipodystrophy and WastingLipodystrophy and Wasting
           
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No more prescription meds for him to use
Apr 11, 2002

We are having so much trouble getting some help with alternative meds, vitamins, and herbs! Which ones, how much? These have to take the place of prescription meds, since he has become resistant to all. We are stalling for time till new ones are available. Please help?

Response from Ms. Fields-Gardner

I am not surprised about difficulty in getting inforamtion and recommendations on these treatments. In other situations it has been easier to say, "While there is no current viable research to support use of X, it is not likely to cause a problem." That is not the case in HIV infection.

There are a couple of things to consider: First, the lack of current knowledge (real knowledge, not just hearsay or opinion) is very intimidating. The amount of harm that can be done is unknown and we only find out about potential harm of therapies (including approved medications, alternative medications, vitamins/minerals, herbs, and other substances) when harm has already been done. There are so many potentials for interactions, even with the food you eat, that it is difficult to provide guidance.

In a nutshell, we are all guessing and hoping for the best. Many recommendations are based on risk vs. benefit, or dealing with the most important (or sometimes just the most annoying) problems first. A lot of experience is really hit and miss... works for one person, but not another or works this week, but not next week.

What you can do is investigate items that may be recommended by some practitioners. One place to start is a book called "The Health Professional's Guide to Popular Dietary Supplements" by Allison Sarubin. It is one of the few peer-reviewed publications that reviews claims and research in an organized fashion. It is published by the American Dietetic Association (800-877-1600). While it won't provide you with everything you are looking for, it will help to sieve through some of the recommendations and guesses you will encounter.


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