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Lipodystrophy and WastingLipodystrophy and Wasting
           
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Please Help Me - Am I Seeing Things?
Mar 13, 2003

Hello Cade Fields-Gardner,

I am appealing to you for an answer to a question I posted on another forum but received no response. I'm not sure if this is the right forum but I have really enjoyed the answers and research you do for individuals writing to you for guidance and assistance. Your responses are well thought out and supported by links to additional web sites which I greatly appreciate.

I have been experiencing a lot of peripheral wasting, inluding my buttocks and have gained a lot in my belly. It seems to me that lately my head size has shrank. Is this possible? I seemed to recall reading information on the brain and how it can shrink due to advanced HIV disease. I am so afraid that this is what I am seeing. Is it all in my head? Could it be that I have lost so much that it just seems by headsize is smaller? I would really appreciate your answer. Thank you for your time.

TB

Response from Ms. Fields-Gardner

It is good to keep track of changes that you see and report them to your doctor. In your case it is likely that you are seeing some loss of either facial fat or facial muscle (or both). It would be a good idea to find out which one it is (or if it is both) to seek out appropriate ways to tackle the problem.

An interesting abstract was presented during the International AIDS Conference in Barcelona last year suggesting that there may be some benefit to facial exercise. In addition, if wasting of muscle tissues are involved you can check with your doctor about treatment options. The treatment options for lipoatrophy are mostly experimental at this point, but may include diet and exercise, medications (such as insulin sensitizing agents), medication switches, and plastic surgery.

Whatever you decide to do, check on your head circumference from time to time by using a tape measure just above the eyebrow level around the head. Good luck with this!


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