HIV Wasting Syndrome in Adults: Are you familiar with HIV wasting syndrome? HIV wasting syndrome is not a disease but a result of uncontrolled weight loss in people with HIV. In particular wasting syndrome is defined as an unwanted weight loss of over 10% of a person’s body weight, that has fever, weakness, or diarrhea lasting over 30 days. Often, weight loss is either fat, muscle, or both and challenging to gain again.
The wasting syndrome has been shown in many scientific studies as a common complication of HIV disease. It mainly occurs in those who have had opportunistic infections or HIV inflammation.
What are the causes of HIV wasting syndrome?
HIV wasting syndrome can be caused by the following.
Poor dietary habits and inadequate food consumption
There are factors that can cause your body to struggle to take in food.
Some HIV medications can cause a reduced appetite. Also, conditions linked with HIV, such as depression, can influence a loss of appetite.
Fatigue associated with HIV may make it difficult to shop for food and find preparing meals difficult.
Infections occurring in your mouth and throat: Infections in the mouth and throat may make it too painful to eat, causing your food intake to decrease.
Lack of absorption of nutrients
Sometimes your body may be prone to opportunistic infections or cause HIV to affect the intestinal lining directly. Either of which can reduce your nutrient absorption, triggering HIV wasting syndrome. Another contributor could be diarrhea, as you primarily lose nutrients and calories.
Changes to metabolism
HIV can impact how protein builds your muscle and the way you digest food. It can also cause fluctuation to certain hormones like thyroid and testosterone, which can cause changes to your metabolism, contributing to HIV wasting syndrome.
Symptoms of HIV wasting syndrome
There are some symptoms associated with HIV wasting syndrome, such as the following:
- Chronic diarrhea
- Less than 10% or more weight
- Loss of body mass
Treatment for muscle loss due to HIV
The main form of treatment for HIV that a doctor usually prescribes is antiretroviral therapy. This type of therapy decreases the levels of HIV in the blood, reducing the likelihood of muscle wasting occurring and contributing to an increase in weight by 10-25% each year.
Alongside this, there are other things a doctor might prescribe, such as the following:
Hormonal treatment. HGH therapy is known to be effective and provide muscle-sparing effects in HIV-wasting patients. For effective treatment, wasting syndrome patients must choose the best HGH injections on the market to increase their weight and lean body mass most easily and safely.
Resistance exercise. Another option is to add weight to your body through progressive resistance training. This workout involves weights and machines to help increase lean muscle mass. It also helps strengthen bones, lift mood, and better cholesterol levels.
Appetite stimulants. Often doctors may choose to prescribe appetite stimulates like dronabinol and megestrol acetate. However, while they may stimulate your appetite, it’s equally important that you have adequate nutrition and exercise. Stimulants can sometimes have downsides like causing bone problems, blood clots, and diabetes.
Vitamins and supplements. Vitamins and nutrients can help your body absorb the right nutrients slowing down muscle wastage. They also work together to repair damaged cells, and there are some multivitamins like B, C, and E, that can slow the onset of HIV progression.
Can HIV wasting syndrome be prevented?
You can do several things to prevent HIV wasting syndrome from occurring that do not necessarily require intervention from a doctor. You can make simple lifestyle changes.
Changes your diet. Having a good diet might help prevent muscle wastage. Ideally, you’ll want to have a diet higher in protein and calories than average to stop you from losing muscle.
Therefore you might want to add in more peanut butter, eggs, cheese, milkshakes, beans, peas, breakfast shakes, protein shakes, and more.
On the contrary, if you notice you have more gum infections or your mouth is sore. You might want to switch your diet up slightly and try eating softer and bland food.
Another way is to take your mind off your meal and eat your food around others. Simply by having good company, your mind may be distracted from the food you’re eating.
To sum up
Overall, HIV wasting syndrome is a condition that can be triggered by difficulties absorbing nutrients, not enough food intake, lack of exercise, and more.
HIV wasting syndrome can be treated using appetite stimulants, prescribed medications, and hormonal treatments. Some of the best HGH injections on the market are the safest and most effective for slowing down muscle wastage.