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HIV + Diet
Jun 8, 2001

I am a female that is HIV +. My TC count is 757 and Viral Load is 101. I weigh 133 pounds, I am 5' 0". I want to go on a diet. Is it safe? I would like to lose some weight. The diet consists of liquid for the first 48 hours and its supposed to detoxify the body. I am currently taking Comvibir and Viramune. Is it safe for me to do this? Thanks

Response from Ms. Fields-Gardner

Diets can be rough on the body. Whether it is safe depends on what type of weight you have (body composition) and how you lose it. A liquid diet for the first 48 hours is probably not your best bet.

First off, you need to get a body composition evaluation done to see if you have some extra muscle in your body. If you lose weight through diet restriction, you will also lose some of the important protein tissues. This protein tissue (called body cell mass or BCM) is responsible for most of the metabolic activity in your body and uses up most of your calories. The protein in this compartment is also responsible for processing your medications. If you don't have some extra BCM then you cannot afford to lose weight through dieting. In other words, dieting will not be safe.

If you do have some extra BCM (usually in extra muscle), then you should talk with a dietitian about safe ways to shed a few of those extra pounds while protecting your health. Ask your doctor for a referral to an HIV-specialist dietitian who can put the pieces together with you.

Good luck!


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