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Lipodystrophy and WastingLipodystrophy and Wasting
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Aids wasting
Mar 20, 2004

I have a good friend that has the "wasting" type of aids. He is currently taking HGH and testosterone therapy, and I have not seen much improvement in many months. In fact he has lost a bit of weight. He is 60 years old, 5'10" and weighs 110 lbs. I am a bodybuilder and understand nutrition. Is there a specific regimen of nutrients that can rebuild his T-cell count? What should he be doing. His current therapy is just keeping him alive(MAYBE). Any information will be greatly appreciated. Thank You John

Response from Ms. Fields-Gardner

In this case, calories are "king." In fact, any of the fancy modulating you might want him to do are not likely to be helpful until the "big guns" are dealt with. Testosterone replacement can assist to improve appetite and increase body weight and body protein stores if adequate calories are provided and even better if physical activity/exercise is included. Human growth hormone doesn't require additional calories in all cases to improve the body's protein stores, but ultimately weight will be lost if calories intake is not up to snuff.

At 5'10" an initial goal weight would be around 160-170 pounds. However, some people tend to be thin and a goal weight might be better estimated by a "usual" weight prior to wasting. The fact that he has lost weight to the level you describe puts him at risk for all kinds of problems, including getting sicker and losing even more weight.

Ask your friend to keep a record of what he eats these days and take that record (and him) to a dietitian to compare it to what he is likely to need and to put together a plan to get him to the optimal level of calories.

First things first: weight is the nutritional priority and other work is likely to be moot if this isn't taken care of first. He is probably not in any shape to be dealing with micromodulating strategies to improve T cell counts at this time. So, keep this priority in mind and don't bog down in the smaller stuff when you are looking to help a person with much bigger needs to keep his body functioning at all.

Thank you for taking good care of your friend.

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