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Jan 8, 2002

I have been taking AIDS medications for ten years now and my health is much better than it use to be, but it has caused one side effect that really has really effected my self esteem and causes me to have serious bouts of depression. My stomach has become so swollen and bloated from taking some of the mediations. I have been told by my physician no matter how much I excercise it will not go away. I have even tried some medication (enzymes) to no avail. Does anyone know of any study, research or have advise advise to give me? I have tried going to support groups before but never do well in them. Any help/information that you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Currently I am taking: ziagen, kaletra, sustiva and videx ec. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Boyle

There are very few effective treatment options for lipodystrophy. One option is stopping or changing therapy, but based upon the regimen you are on and your history I suspect antiretrovirals are pretty essential. In addition, even if you did stop or change your current medications, your lipodystrophy is likely to improve very slowly and not much, if at all. One relatively effective therapy for fat accumulation is human growth, but if you also have facial or periperal atrophy, this treatment may make those worse. Exercise and diet do help some, although not a lot. Other treatments are being studied, but nothing is proven at this point. Hopefully, additional research will yield some additional treatment options in the near future.

Numbness/Heat in Feet/Legs
Dr. Boyle

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