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Lipodystrophy and WastingLipodystrophy and Wasting
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time period (wasting)
Oct 10, 2002

Dear Doctor,

Can wasting occur after only about 3 or 4 months after HIV infection? After about 4 months of possible infection I seem to have shown no symptoms of HIV except muscle and weight loss. Can this be due to HIV at time period? Thank you for your response.

Response from Ms. Fields-Gardner

Wasting can occur with our without HIV if you don't consume enough food to hold onto your weight for whatever reason (physical or psychological). HIV adds the burden of an infection which predisposes for diminished appetite and some additional loss of important protein stores (such as muscles).

While HIV infection can initiate some of the factors that can lead to weight loss, the time period is less dependent on HIV infection alone and more dependent on blunting the responses, which includes eating enough fluids, calories, and protein even when you don't feel like it.

So the rule of thumb for feeding and maintaining weight includes eating well throughout any time period. Losing weight can predispose you to other problems and regaining weight can sometimes be tough. It is certainly worth preventing the problem to begin with.

You can talk to a dietitian about regaining that lost weight and you should take care of it as soon as possible! Best wishes!


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