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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
          
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Answer all this?
Apr 19, 2006

When you go from having diarhea as a symptom of HIV to being on MEDS, does that rule out the symptomatic DIARHEA. Is there a difference? I am taking Norvir, Truvade and Reyataz, and all os a sudden after 3 months of therapy, diarhea has persisted similiar to the way it did when I first got suspicious of having HIV. I can't eat or drink anything without having tot use the bathroom shortly afterwards. I amd in the bed all day and night fighting to get sleep becuase i am up around the clock using the bathroom so I have to struglle with my days AND nights to get some 20 - 40 naps in. For some strange reason I feel in my gut ( no pun intended) that it's the norvir causing the problems. Don't ask me why, I just do. The diarhea looks just like it did when I was admitted to the hospital back in February with a tcell count of 9, which eventualyl fell to 2 and then after getting out and on the meds it got back to 128 last checked. This side effect/symptom is consuming my life, determining where I go, what I eat, etc. Not only am I having diarhea, but I am also in about 15 minutes of pain in the stomach/intestines area just prior to the bowel movement. The movement is very gasy and runny. Nothing really of a form. I go see my doctor tomorrow finally, she was away on vacation. But I want some advice on what to bring up when I speak with her about it. I don't want to beg for a regimen change and complicate things, but I can't take this much longer!

Response from Dr. Henry

Some patients are very intolerant to ritonavir so that is a possible explanation. Switching off it to an alternative protease inhibitor or Sustiva based regimen is often a consideration. Often there is an explanation for the diarrhea that can be treated (such as hyperthyroidism, an infection, lactose or gluten intolerance,etc) if a diagnosis is made (I often involve a gastroenterogist to help out). KH



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