Managing Gut Symptoms: Introduction
Part of HIV & You: Managing Gut Symptoms
A HEALTHY LIVING GUIDE FROM
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What Causes Gut Problems?
Nausea & Vomiting
What Can You Do About Gut Problems?
The Bottom Line
AS MORE AND MORE PEOPLE with HIV get connected to care and start HIV treatment, it is vital that they understand all the details about the drugs they are taking, especially regarding any potential side effects. Side effects are the number one concern for many people starting a new medicine.
Gastrointestinal (GI), or "gut," problems are the most common symptoms experienced by people with HIV. Diarrhea, soft stools, nausea, flatulence (farting), constipation and heartburn are the unpleasant symptoms of GI distress. Although people living with HIV may experience many side effects, it is the gut side effects that are often the most bothersome. Not only can they disrupt your daily routine, but they can be embarrassing. Gut problems may also affect the way you take HIV meds, since they are often the culprit in GI discomfort.
There are many reasons people experience gut-related problems besides medications, so it's important to get to the root cause of the symptom in order to lessen its severity -- or to completely stop it.
Signs, symptoms, side effects
Technically, a side effect occurs as a result of taking a medication. Symptoms refer to a set of complications that you as a patient notice. Doctors take note of any signs they are seeing with their patients. In any case, the causes of gut problems can be challenging to uncover.