VICTORY OVER HIV
Tips to help you manage your weight gain
MANY people gain weight when they start taking their antiretroviral drugs (ARVs). This leaves them puzzled and even worried about the changes happening to their bodies. It is therefore important to look at the issue of weight gain when you are living with HIV.
MEDICATION IS WORKING
Gaining weight when you start taking your ARVs is a positive thing. You need to cherish that the medication is effective in that your body is able to repair and build cells. The circulation of nutrients in your body is good as your body is adequately supplied with nutrients.
In the process, your bones and tissues are getting stronger.
WHEN TO BE WORRIED
In one of the previous columns, I mentioned lipodystrophy, which is a problem with the way your body makes, uses and stores fat. Some ARVs may cause this problem due to the unequal distribution of fats in your body. If you are gaining weight in your tummy area, upper arms and perhaps losing it in some parts, it could be lipodystrophy.
Check with your doctor if he or she can change your medication. You can also start exercising and changing your diet, which will need more fibre.
Please note that in most cases, lipodystrophy may be reversed. But you will have to be patient with the process of reversing it. Meanwhile, do not stop taking your medication even if it has not been changed.
GET PROFESSIONAL HELP
If you gain a lot of weight all around and do not like it, visit a dietician as they are trained to guide you through an eating plan, which will ensure you gain weight in a manner you are comfortable with.
In addition, the dietician will ensure whatever you are eating is nutritional and will make a suitable contribution in you living a healthy life with HIV.
While gaining weight when you start taking your ARVs is a good thing, you need to be alert that it is happening in the right manner.
If it’s excessive weight gain that is making you uncomfortable, exercising correctly and getting the right person to guide you with your eating plan will help you.
HAVE A POSITIVE MINDSET
Adopt a positive mindset about your status and embrace living with the virus.
Fall in love with your medication while adhering to taking it.
Believe that you can achieve so much with your life and avoid those who bring your spirits down.
Treat any changes with caution using professional help. I have been living positively with the virus for 22 years and I apply these things as I continue to reach greater heights in my life. You too can do it.
ADOPT A POSITIVE MINDSET ABOUT YOUR STATUS