WHY IT HAPPENS

A number of factors may contribute to HIV-associated wasting

HIV-associated wasting is complicated, and the exact cause is unknown. However, there are several theories as to why it may occur.

WHY IT HAPPENS

A number of factors may contribute to HIV-associated wasting

HIV-associated wasting is complicated, and the exact cause is unknown. However, there are several theories as to why it may occur.

Experts believe that a number of factors contribute to HIV-associated wasting

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  • The body turns food into energy through a series of processes known as metabolism
  • An abnormal metabolism changes how the body uses carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
  • If your metabolism is abnormal, your body may draw energy from lean body mass (LBM)
  • Losing LBM means you are also losing
    • Muscle
    • Organ tissue
    • Blood cells
    • Bone
    • Water
  • Diarrhea can be caused by several factors, including:
    • Infections
    • Irritable bowel syndrome
    • Food allergies and intolerances
    • Digestive tract problems
    • Side effects of medications
  • Diarrhea can lead to abdominal pain, dehydration, weight loss, and other health problems
  • Inflammation occurs naturally in the body as a response to infection, stress, trauma, and cell injury
  • It helps control tissue damage
  • If the body produces too much inflammation, metabolism may change, muscle can break down, and you may have less or no appetite
  • Testosterone is a hormone that helps maintain muscle mass, bone growth, adequate levels of red blood cells, and sexual function
  • Low levels of this hormone may result in significant loss of lean body mass
  • Growth hormone (GH) resistance involves a decrease or absence of the effects of GH in the body
  • Your body may be having trouble using the GH it makes naturally or it may not be making enough of the GH it needs
  • Loss of LBM may occur if your body is resistant to or has trouble using GH
  • Infections may make food difficult to swallow or cause a loss of appetite
  • You may skip meals due to this discomfort
  • Some infections have been reported to cause changes in metabolism or to increase the body’s caloric needs
  • Increased energy needs and decreased nutrient intake may result in weight loss

This is not a complete list of all the factors that may contribute to HIV-associated wasting. Remember that only your healthcare provider can diagnose you with HIV-associated wasting, so this list should not replace the advice of a medical professional.