Most frequent symptoms of body fat alterations are:
- Loss of body fat: most visible on the face, but also legs, arms and buttocks.
- Fat accumulation: this happens in the abdomen, chest (in men and women), shoulders and neck (where a sort of hump may develop). There can also be internal fat accumulation, in the organs.
A person who’s under treatment may present only one of these symptoms, and it may be due not only from one specific medication, but because of several reasons, which can include ARV treatment background, current treatment, the lowest CD4 cell count ever had, age, diet, exercise and family health history.
Does it always happen?
It’s important to clarify that lipodystrophy does not appear in everybody who is under treatment, and that the newer the medication being used is, the less probability there will be of developing it. But, since who may experience this can’t be predicted, it’s important to pay attention to any change whenever a new treatment scheme is initiated.
What’s the solution?
Depending on the symptoms that appear, solutions for lipodystrophy will vary.
For the loss of fat in the face, for example, some injectable treatments have been developed in order to fill the parts that have lost volume. There are few approved substances, so it’s better to consult all available options in each country. For fat accumulation, changes in diet and exercise routines are often a good method to counteract this.
In the case of metabolic changes, it’s important to talk to your doctor about follow up tests for cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose in the blood, which must be part of the follow up routine of any person who has started an antiretroviral treatment.
At AHF, we offer free counseling and we are with you every step of the way in order to access free treatment. If you have any questions, write to us via WhatsApp or make an appointment today. We can help you.