| of subcutaneous fat
Feb 28, 2003
I am a 39-year old male infected 18 years. I have been on HAART for four years, and diagnosed with lipoatrophy just one year ago. I weigh the same as I did before the lipoatrophy (maybe a couple of pounds lighter at the most), yet there is noticable loss of fat in my face, arms and legs. My question is how much subcutaneous fat is there and could I have only lost a couple of pounds making that much of a difference? Thanks.
Response from Ms. Fields-Gardner
Losing weight is one of the risk factors for lipoatrophy, but it sounds like your weight has been pretty stable (a couple of pounds shouldn't do it).
There are other things that change the patterns of body composition change. Without disease you can expect that a substantial amount of the fat in your body is stored subcutaneously. It turns out that this is important to hormonal balance and function and a bit of a vicious cycle when things start to changes. If you lose weight and fat under the skin then you are more likely to have problems with insulin resistance which can further cause you to lose fat under the skin... which can cause more insulin resistance... you get the cycle thing.
There are a few treatment options. An intriguing one is the potential to improve insulin resistance and favor subcutaneous fat storage with the medication rosiglitazone (an oral antidiabetic drug). Investigations are ongoing and we are hoping and looking forward to a number of them yielding some good news.
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