Dec 18, 2007
I'm an HIV + patient diagnosed on 2002. I'm currently taking Kaletra + Truvada and my body is getting deformed due to the uncontrolled increase of body body fat specially in the abdomen,lower and upper limbs. Nothing I do trying to stop it seems to help What can I do about it?
Response from Dr. Wohl
It would be helpful to know what you have tried to do. There are some data that suggest vigorous exercise daily and a diet that is low in saturated fats can help. As you are gaining all over a reduced intake of calories should also help.
Although we first thought that fat accumulation was due to protease inhibitors (like Kaletra). Subsequently, we have learned that other types of HIV meds can do this too. Therefore, fat gains during HIV treatment seems to be related to some extent to feeling better and eating more. Switching HIV meds is unlikely to help.
For those who have been unable to lose fat despite all efforts, growth hormone may be an option. It is expensive, not usually covered by insurance for this problem and has side effects like aches and water retention. There are clinical trials on going for growth hormone releasing factor, which may be better tolerated than growth hormone. Check with a local university medical center or look on line to see if this study is being offered near you.
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