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Lipodystrophy and WastingLipodystrophy and Wasting
           
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Serious Weight Loss
Mar 8, 2003

I have been experiencing a steady weight loss for the approximately the last 8 months. I am 5'11'' and have lost almost 30 lbs, leaving me at 162 lbs. It is apparent that I have lost most fat on my arms, legs, not and but. The dr's are only now beginning to run tests, to include catscans, colonoscopy, but I am very concerned they are simply drawing straws. I am currently on Epivir, Prevacis, Zerit, Viread, Videx and Kaletra. In addition to the weight loss, I have a markely lesser appetite. I can eat three meals a day. Recent lab results ruled out crypto, other parasites, unusual thyroid function. My viral load is 1000 and t-cells approx 200. Any thoughts you might have as to where to focus and how urgent my situation is would be appreciated. I am scared.

Asymptomatic for 17 years

Response from Ms. Fields-Gardner

Weight loss is one of those very vague markers of many things. It really does make sense that your doctors are looking for the cause of the weight loss and with a t-cell count of around 200 there could be any number of them.

Until you find out the cause and can attach some interventions related to it, it is worth making sure that you can shore up your diet. Ask your doctor(s) for a referral to a dietitian who can evaluate what you currently do under these difficult circumstances and help you to outline strategies to get through this difficult time. Loss of appetite certainly doesn't help with the weight loss and you might want to talk with both your dietitian and your doctor about the need for appetite stimulants and appropriate timing of using that type of intervention.

For 5'11" we would figure that your "ideal" weight may be around 170 pounds. If your previous weight was pretty good for you (you may have a large frame and typically hold more weight without being overweight), then your original weight might be a better goal than "ideal" weight. Either way, a weight loss of 30 pounds puts you beyond the 10% mark of weight loss and there are a number of changes that can be related to that alone. You may want to ask your doctor about options for regaining weight that may include supplemental foods and anabolic medications. Working with your team is essential because the best choices for interventions for weight loss depend heavily on the cause.


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