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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Oct 23, 2005

I commenced my first treatment regimen in April 2005 with Sustiva/3TC/Tenofovir. Within a month my VL was undetectable and continues to be undetectable (6 months later) My CD4 count is 380. I have very few side effects and am thankful. I work everyday and have a more or less normal lifestyle.

My doctor specializes in HIV treatment and has me do significant blood work every 3 months.

At my last appointment I advised that I have abdominal discomfort on the left side (no pain) My doctor sent me for an abdominal ultra sound and I am waiting for the results.

When reviewing my results my doctor advised me to reduce my sugar intake or I might have to take two more drugs. I was completely unaware that there is sugar in everything. I have reduced my sugar consumption significantly.

My question is a) Do you think the abdominal discomfort is related to the excess sugar in my system as I have much less discomfort since reducing my sugar intake? b) If I am unable to reduce the sugar enough should I consider a change in medication or should I take drugs to deal with the sugar issue? c) I have tingling in my feet. Do you think this is related to the sugar in my system or another problem?

Thank you in advance for your assistance. I review this forum regularly and find it extremely helpful and comforting.

Response from Dr. Conway

The issue that is being raised, I think, is whether you have glucose intolerance or diabetes. This is NOT often associated with the regimen you are taking, so I am not concerned about this. In theory, glucose intolerance may be associated with tngling in the feet, but there are many other causes of this.

I would start by figuring out how abnormal your blood sugar is and what is required of you to address this. Although it is true that there is sugar in almost anything, there are diets that help control the kind and amount of sugar you take and that lead to a better control of your blood sugar, so you should make sure you have a good idea of the diet you are being asked to follow and what result is expected.

I do not see how this all could be linked to your abdominal pain, and I would await the results of your ultrasound before proceeding with this any further.

Severe hip pain

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