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Lipodystrophy and WastingLipodystrophy and Wasting
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Jun 30, 2003

I am hiv+. I am having a weight loss problem. I am currently taking mct oil to help. It helped for awhile but now the weight lost has gotten worse. Is there anything else i can do? What information can you give me. I don't know what else to do. Thank you

Response from Ms. Fields-Gardner

Hi there! For those of you "listenting in": we are referring to a type of fat that is partially broken down to smaller, more easily digested molecules called Medium Chain Triglycerides or MCT.

If you were taking MCTs to help regain weight or to maintain weight then it is possible they were recommended to you because of a fat malabsorption problem. There are a number of reasons why it may not be working as well as it used to. Let's make a plan:

1. Get a referral to a dietitian and provide your dietitian with any of the appropriate diagnoses that may have bearing, such as gastrointestinal infections, fat malabsorption, medications that may cause malabsorption, and others. Find out if you are eating enough to begin with and if you need diet changes beyond MCT to deal with malabsorption, such as a low residue diet, supplements, and the like. It may also be helpful to have a body composition evaluation done to see where you are as far as fat vs. lean and to help decide the best course of action (nutrients and/or medications).

2. If you do have a problem with fat absorption, you can request a prescription for pancreatic enzymes or you can try some digestive enzymes.

3. Shore up any issues that may be leading to nutrient (especially calorie) losses, such as nausea/vomiting and diarrhea.

4. Get monthly check-ups until you are stabilized and then check in once a quarter to keep on top of any changes.

Weight is a very, very important issue that should not be pushed to the back burner. It is a good idea to get the help you need sooner rather than later on this.

Best wishes!

Oxandrine and Deca

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