frequent sore throats thwart attempt to stay in shape


Hey Nelson,

I've been poz for 10 years. Viral load under control, and cd4s remain around 700.

I've been a bodybuilder since I was a teenager. When I became infected, I lost around 10% of muscle and it converted to fat. And since that time, my set-point for fat is higher than it was pre-infection. Gradually, I lose more muscle and gradually gain more fat over the years (I'm in my late 20s now). So gradually, my fat set-point increases.

I have increased the intensity of my training to balance out this new set-point. But here is the problem. Every time I get on a good roll with the fat burn, I get a sore throat after a few weeks of the intense training. And the sore throat (and whatever is going on in my immune system as a result) causes me to shed a few more pounds of muscle, converting it to fat, undoing all my hard work.

This happens no matter what I do for fat burn: whether it's resting less between sets on weights (making it a more intense workout), cardio, aerobics, pretty much anything. The exhaustion on my body, plus the irritation of the air on my throat from the increased breathing during intense exercise, always seems to lead to a sore throat/respiratory infection within a few weeks.

Now, I'm not training at some ridiculous level of intensity. I do weights with 30 second rests in between, or longer rest periods accompanied by 20 minutes of cardio 3 times a week, but I assure you, I'm experienced with exercise, and I'm not overdoing anything by normal standards.

Is the answer that I must just accept that my body wants to be at this set-point, and I have to just live with having a gut, man-breasts, and love handles? Is there any clever method of avoiding the respiratory infections while doing intense fat burn training? Have you any experience with this dilemma?

Thank you for any help


I bet you just suffer from allergies that need to be pretreated with prophylaxis. It is not uncommon that people tend to have more drainage in the back of their throat after exercise and sweating for a while. It happens to me when I do not take medications to keep me from having that problem that used to make me have a dry cough and frequent sore throats. Try taking over the counter larotadine every morning when you wake up for a month and see if you end up with the same issue after you work out. It has done wonders for me.

About the man-breasts and fat: Have you had your testosterone, estradiol and thyroid function checked?

Let me know any updates!