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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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Feel bloated all the time
Mar 14, 2000

I am taking Viracept, Zerit and 3TC. I 've been taking these meds for a year now. I am doing great--viral-load wise--i'm undetectable. But I have terrible gas, I feel bloated and have a stomach ache a lot of the time. I never had so many problems like this before. Is it true

that I should avoid lactose? Do I have to give up my Mexican food addiction? Do I have to change my diet? Help!


Response from Dr. Henry

It is hard to comment without a more complete HIV/CD4 and treatment history. Lactose intolerance can often be managed with Lactaid. A consult with a nutrition expert could sort out how to improve your health with diet changes (decrease risk for diabetes, heart disease, etc.). I assume that you have been checked for liver disease, pancreatic disease, and any GI infections. Fatty liver or fat shift to the gut can also cause some bloating so you need to be checked for that. For some good general advice about diet check out a self help book like Healing HIV by Jon Kaiser. Some persons have persistent GI complaints with Viracept that can be helped by different treatments (such as pancreatic enzymes, oat bran, etc). From the sound of it you should put some effort into getting some relief. Keith Henry, M.D.

Persistent GI problems
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