What is that?
HIV is a virus that infects the body and attacks the immune system. If a person is left untreated, HIV can progress to a later stage of the disease known as stage 3 or AIDS.
HIV wasting syndrome is a term for the accidental loss of more than 10% of body weight, which results in fever and weakness or diarrhea lasting at least 30 days. For example, for a person weighing 130 pounds (lb), this would mean a weight loss of more than 13 pounds.
Weight loss may be due to loss of muscle and fat. It happens in the last stage of HIV, when immune system damage has accumulated and led to AIDS.
An older study from 2009 reports that despite effective HIV treatment, weight loss remains a problem for many people with the condition. Almost 10% of people with managed care plans are affected.
HIV wasting syndrome can occur due to a number of causes. This includes:
Poor nutrient uptake
Impaired nutrient uptake may be due to opportunistic infections or due to the direct effect of HIV on the intestinal mucosa, both of which reduce absorption. Opportunistic infections are those that people with a weakened immune system are susceptible to.
Diarrhea can be another cause of poor absorption, as it involves a loss of nutrients and calories.
Inadequate food intake
The following factors may cause low food intake:
- of appetite: Decreased appetite is a common HIV symptom. In addition, some medications may reduce appetite due to side effects such as tingling in the mouth area, nausea, and changes in the sense of taste. In addition, depression can cause loss of appetite.
- Mouth or throat infections: These infections can make eating painful. They can cause a feeling of satiety even after eating a small amount of food.
- Low energy consumption: This symptom can cause problems when shopping for groceries and when preparing meals.
HIV has a harmful effect on protein synthesis and food digestion. The condition also changes the levels of some hormones, such as thyroid and testosterone, which can affect metabolism. People with HIV need more calories than people without the condition to maintain their weight.
Symptoms may include:
- chronic weakness or diarrhea
- , fever that lasts for at least a month
- loss of more than 10% of body weight
- loss of both muscle mass and fat mass
Learn more about the symptoms of HIV at each stage of the disease.
An older study from 2004 notes that while HIV-associated waste may be obvious in later stages, it is more difficult to detect it in the early stages because various factors can cause weight loss in people infected with HIV.
The authors state that when there are no other explanations for weight loss, body cell mass (BCM) provides the strongest evidence of wastage. A decrease in BCM means a decrease in the number of cells that use oxygen, metabolize glucose, and produce carbon dioxide.
However, doctors usually pay attention to the characteristic signs of long-lasting fever and unintentional weight loss of more than 10% of body weight instead.
treatment and prevention
The treatment for HIV is an antiretroviral therapy that reduces the amount of HIV in the blood — the viral load. When treatment reduces viral load to undetectable levels, it usually results in weight gain of 10— 25% per year.
Antiretroviral treatment can slow HIV progression and help prevent wastage. Doctors advise a person with HIV to start treatment as soon as possible after receiving the diagnosis. Delaying treatment causes persistent damage to the immune system, and starting treatment early can help a person stay healthy for many years.
Other treatments may include:
Medication for nausea and vomiting
These medications are intended to alleviate the symptoms of HIV. Some people with this condition have also expressed interest in cannabis or certain compounds in the plant, such as cannabinoids. A 2017 report looked at clinical trials that examined the value of cannabinoids in HIV waste. She concluded that any evidence of effectiveness was very low and that the compounds would likely have common side effects.
Sometimes doctors prescribe appetite stimulants such as megestrol acetate (Megace) and dronabinol (Marinol). However, both drugs have drawbacks. Megace causes the side effects of blood clots, diabetes, and bone problems. Marinol is a synthetic form of marijuana that can cause psychosis, addiction, and changes in blood pressure.
Reducing diarrhea due to
The impaired immunity of HIV puts a person at risk of opportunistic infections that can lead to diarrhea. Doctors are trying to treat them, but certain ones are very difficult to eradicate.
The best form of treatment is antiretroviral therapy, as this prevents further weakening of the immune system and leads to weight gain.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the human growth hormone somatropin (Serostim) to increase weight and muscle mass. However, because this drug is very expensive and can have serious side effects, some experts believe that dosages that are less than those approved by the FDA may be preferable yet effective.
Researchers are looking at other hormone treatments, such as testosterone and muscle-building agents. One example is 19-nortestosterone (nandrolone).
Progressive resistance training is a type of workout that uses weights and machines to increase muscle mass. Exercise also provides the added benefits of strengthening bones, improving cholesterol levels, and improving mood.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the right diet can help. The optimal diet may be different from the low-fat, low-calorie diet that doctors normally recommend for people in good health. People with HIV need more protein and calories than the standard recommended amounts to prevent loss of muscle mass.
Examples of foods that can be added to the diet include:
- peanut butter
- beans and peas
- Instant breakfast drinks
Learn more about nutrition and nutrition associated with HIV and AIDS.
Study from 2016 looked at the long-term consequences of wasting HIV. It became the physical functions of
- compared with the following three groups: 85 men with HIV who survived for at least 2 years
- 249 men had died with HIV who were no waste of
- 338 men without HIV or waste
The research results show that the loss of HIV has a negative effect on muscle strength and physical quality of life for years after body weight has stabilized. The authors cite previous studies that link low body weight, poor strength, or both to the following factors:
- Low bone density
- , frailty
The authors note that these effects could result in a loss of independent life. They also point out that previous studies suggest that unintentional weight loss predicts the risk of death more strongly than measures of muscle mass, fat mass, or BCM.
As soon as the wasting syndrome occurs, it means that a person has AIDS. Without treatment, the typical survival time is 3 years.
Physicians define HIV wasting syndrome as an accidental loss of more than 10% of body weight, in addition to fever and weakness or diarrhea, lasting 30 days or more.
The condition results in a number of causes that are attributable to HIV-associated problems with appetite, digestion, and absorption.
Antiretroviral therapy, which reduces HIV viral load, may cause weight gain. In addition, doctors may prescribe other medications to treat specific causes. They may also recommend adding additional sources of protein to the diet.
result of the resulting physical limitations, waste can lead to a loss of muscle strength and an impairment of the quality of life.