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Lipodystrophy and WastingLipodystrophy and Wasting
           
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Weight loss normal in early stage?
Aug 27, 2003

Hello Cade. A very quick question for you. Would weight loss and wasting gums likely occur within the first three months of contracting HIV. I'm definitely losing weight and am pretty sure this gum wasting has just started to occur. When I say wasting I mean I can see my teeth through the gum under my upper lip. The weight loss may be attributed to the panic of the gums. Its a vicious circle, is this normal? It is possible that my gums have always been like that? I'm just inspecting every pimple on my body currently. Thank you.

Response from Ms. Fields-Gardner

Weight loss and wasting is primarily associated with two scenarios:

1. You aren't getting enough calories and protein in, or

2. You are in a catabolic state because of acute infection or injury and are not taking in enough calories and protein.

So, the first recommendation is to look at your diet and see what has changed. Head to a dietitian to get your basic nutrition education under your belt to turn your diet into a favorable thing.

For the gum issue, you should probably visit your dentist to check on the state of your gum and dental health. Gums can waste if you lose lots of weight, but the teeth will often feel loose when that happens. Gums can recede on the teeth with gum disease. Your dentist and dental hygienist can recommend a routine for your dental health.

Best wishes!


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