Lightheadedness

Question

Dear Doc,

I have over the last 6 months or so have had many spells of lightheadedness and slight dizziness, and have also been experiencing fatigue. I tested positive slight over a year ago when my CD4 was 600 since when it has progressively dropped to 380, with a VL of around 70,000. People suggested the lightheadedness was due to stress and/or depression, but I am not convinced. I know it is recognised as a symptom for people on meds, but what about in my case, could this swimming head be caused by the virus? And sorry to be greedy, but another question is working out at the gym good or is it putting undue strain on my body? I am often very tired afterwards, much more so than I used to be.

Btw, great website your work is much appreciated,

Thanks again.

Answer

Hello,

Lightheadedness, dizziness and fatigue can be symptoms of a number of different underlying conditions, such as anemia or anxiety/depression. I suggest you discuss these symptoms with your HIV specialist, so that he can begin the proper evaluation. I do not believe your symptoms are directly due to HIV levels.

As for the gym, I'm a big proponent of both aerobics and weight training. Not only does it increase the feel-good endorphin levels, increase testosterone levels, pack on lean body mass (muscle) and reduce fat, but perhaps most importantly working out regularly makes us look better naked! If you are excessively, rather than normally, tired after a routine gym workout, again I would check with your HIV specialist and also make sure you are getting adequate sleep/rest and have optimized your diet/nutrition. In addition to that, I find an espresso really helps!

Dr. Bob