About the Illness

Weight loss occurs when the body is using up more energy than it is absorbing from food.
Weight loss, or wasting, is one of the most common symptoms of HIV infection and can occur at any stage.
It needs to be taken seriously because unintentional weight loss can be a sign of an active HIV-related infection or other diseases. If you are HIV+ you need more energy and nutrients than people who are not infected, and so are more susceptible to weight loss. This in turn makes it harder to recover fully from an illness.
When HIV+ people lose weight, they tend to lose muscle rather than fat, and muscle is more difficult to regain than fat. For this reason, if you are HIV+, you MUST monitor your weight and make sure you take steps to maintain or increase your weight as necessary.



Common Symptoms

N/A



Children's Issues

Children should be de-wormed every 3 months.



Important Information

N/A



Herbal Therapy

Food and Nutrition Advice

  • Eat plenty of green vegetables.
  • Eat plenty of carbohydrates.
  • Eat plenty of proteins.
  • Eat plenty of healthy fat.
  • Eat onions to help boost your appetite.

Body Work and General Advice

  • Monitor your weight and take action immediately if you are noticeably losing weight.
  • Eat a balanced, nutritious diet.
  • De-worm every 3 months to make sure you have no parasites in your stomach.
  • Promptly treat any diarrhoea.

Questions to ask yourself if you find you are losing weight:
  • Am I eating regularly? You need to eat at least 3x daily, if not more.
  • Have I been ill recently? Illness can cause weight loss. Start eating to put on weight and follow the guidelines below.
  • Am I stressed or anxious? Stress can reduce your appetite as well as make your body burn up food too quickly.  Learn to relax and make sure you get enough sleep.
  • How much tea, coffee or alcohol am I drinking? Too much of any of these can cause your stomach to overwork. Cut down on all these substances.
  • Do I have a running stomach? This means you may have an infection that needs treating.
  • Have I been checked for intestinal parasites? You should check for symptoms of parasites and obtain treatment as necessary. 
  • Do I have a low body temperature? Normal body temperature is 37ºC. Any lower and it may mean you are not digesting your food properly and probably don't have much appetite either. Take exercise, sunbathe and eat Cayenne peppers.
  • Do I have a poor appetite? Follow the guidelines in the Loss of Appetite section.
  • Is my mouth too sore to eat? Follow the guidelines for Gingivitis and Oral Thrush.

HIV+ adult men or women should not weigh less than the following, depending on their height.
(Note: these are minimum weights; you should weigh at least a few kilograms/pounds more).

If you are this tall, you should weigh this much:
metres    kilos
1.52     47
1.58     50
1.63     53
1.68     56
1.73     60
1.78     63
1.83     66
1.88     70
1.93     75
1.96     77
1.98     79
2.03     82

If you are this tall, you should weigh this much:
feet    pounds
4'10   103
5'2     110
5'3     117
5'5     123
5'7     132
5'8     139
6'       145
6'2     154
6'3     165
6'4     170
6'5     174
6'6     181