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Weight loss, muscle loss and steamroom
Jul 7, 2009

I am a 43 y/o man, HIV+ for 3 years now but am not taking meds yet since my levels has been acceptables, last time in May 2009 CD4 400 and VL 80000 copies. But until last September I used to have a weight of 163-165 pounds and this was my weight for the last 10 years, I am 5'9" and used be 32 waist. Around last September I started to go to a gay place in my city with a large steamroom and spent hours (3 to 6 hours)in this club with session inside the steamroom of aproximately 10 to 15 minutes each taking some rest of half and hour or so, I did this atleast 2 or 3 times per month until last May when I started to notice and people too of my weight loss and muscular mass reduction, now I am 150 pounds, 30-31 waist, my bisceps and triceps are shrink, my forearms and my legs looks thin and my butts are vanishing too. This situation made me have some anxiety and I went to visit my doctor because I was worried about my weight and mass loss, but I didn't tell him anything about the steamroom visits, he told me that he doesn't see reason at this time for my level counts to loosing weight, he said that could be for some stress, bad food consumption or another reason. Doctor my question is, Is it possible lose that much of my weight and muscular mass because I visit too much a steamroom in the last 9 months and being a seropositive person make this situation worse? What can I do now to recover my weight and muscular mass? Of course I stopped visiting this kind of places.

I appreciate you advice and thank you for your contribution with our community.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

The potential reasons for unanticipated weight loss include: (1) decreased caloric intake, (2) Increased output (diarrhea, etc.), (3) unrecognized opportunistic process (infection or malignancy) and (4) increased metabolism (increased exercise, time in the steam room, etc.). HIV disease itself can be associated with wasting (loss of lean body mass) but this usually occurs in later-stage illness. If your diet and exercise routine hasn't changed and if your HIV doctor has checked you over for other potential causes of weight loss, I would suggest you see an HIV-knowledgeable nutritionist. He will be able to assess your lean body mass and help optimize your diet and exercise regimen. If your weight and muscle mass don't improve, check in again with your HIV specialist for a more detailed evaluation (hormonal imbalance, opportunistic process, etc.).

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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