Coping With Nausea
Help From Food
Consider the following tips to help manage nausea. These suggestions have worked for others.
Switching or Stopping Therapy
Sometimes people experiencing serious side effects -- like prolonged nausea -- will switch some of their HIV drugs to improve their quality of life, even though the drugs controlled HIV well. This is one way to deal with side effects linked to a particular drug.
Switching a drug solely because of side effects may also save that drug as a future treatment option. In fact, side effects that you experience with a drug at one time may not occur again if or when you try that drug again.
However, it's dangerous to simply stop taking one drug in your regimen, to take it only periodically or to reduce the dose without talking to your doctor. This can do more harm than good as it may lead to drug resistance, making that drug -- and perhaps others like it -- less useful for you now and in the future.
A Note on Pregnancy and "Morning Sickness"
Nausea or "morning sickness" during pregnancy is normal and usually a problem only during the first 3 months. However, pregnant women living with HIV may experience particular difficulty with nausea. This may be because of the combined effect of your body's hormonal changes, using HIV medications and, possibly, HIV disease itself.
If nausea persists into the second trimester (weeks 13-26), or if you cannot hold food down at all or lose weight, consider seeing a doctor at once. It could be a sign of a more serious problem.
Everyday Causes? Try the Following
Some Final Thoughts
Feeling sick to one's stomach can be a disruptive side effect of medications to treat HIV or an uncomfortable symptom of some other problem. Fortunately, there are often simple solutions that exist to lessen nausea. Determining what these solutions are takes a bit of planning and effort, but can be well worth it.
Other Publications That May Help
An Exploration of Factors Influencing Adherence to Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) Among People Living With HIV/AIDS in Northern Thailand
This article was provided by Project Inform. Visit Project Inform's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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