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Home > Wellness Resources > Health Library > HIV: Why Healthy Eating Matters
Eating a nutritious, balanced diet is an important part of treating
HIV. Good nutrition can help your
immune system stay strong, which in turn may help your
body fight HIV. Knowing the best way to nourish your body will help keep it
strong and allow your HIV medicines to work effectively.
It is important to maintain lean muscle mass while fighting HIV.
Maintaining a healthy weight can be a challenge because weight loss is common
with HIV and is a side effect of some HIV medications. You may also have
digestive problems associated with HIV or its treatment. Sometimes you just
won't feel like eating.
protein and calories may help your immune system fight
the HIV infection and improve your overall health. Nutritional counseling has
been shown to improve your health while living with HIV. Your doctor may periodically assess your diet after you are diagnosed with
HIV.1 If you have trouble eating or maintaining your
registered dietitian or your doctor can
provide you with information to improve your diet.
Marijuana has also been shown to stimulate the appetite of people with HIV. Talk to your doctor if you are interested in trying it.
Nerad J, et al. (2003). General nutrition management
in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 36(Suppl 2):
April 5, 2012
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Peter Shalit, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine
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