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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Constipation and jerking of the body
Feb 4, 2000

Dear doctor, I've been infected for 13 year with 30 T-cells and 500,000 viral load, I am on Viracept and Combivir, I have serious constipation, days at a time sometimes the whole week, could this be a result of the meds, I've tried laxatives but I have to take at least five or six to work and they upset my stomach. Do you have any suggestions on how I could have normal bowel movements.

I also have jerky movements of the entire body hourly during the day, what could be causing this.

Please any suggestion would help.

Thank you very much.

Response from Dr. Henry

Well you do identify a number of issues that need to be addressed. First, a T cell count of 30 and a viral load of 500,000 would indicate poor control of your virus. I would consider a change in your HIV drugs. You should also be on Septra/Bactrim and Zithromax to prevent infections. You also should consider vitamins (see Jon Kaiser's book Healing HIV which has a good section on gut health as well). Some neurologic conditions can cause jerking so I suggest you get evaluated by an HIV specialist or neurologist. Drinking lots of water and getting exercise are good ways to help the bowels work better (day after day). KH

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