Being infected with HIV can make it hard for you to eat
sometimes. You may be unable to digest certain foods that you used
to eat all the time. The medicines you take may make you feel sick
to your stomach. You may have infections in your mouth which hurt
when you swallow. You may just feel too tired to eat. And you may
worry a lot because you know you should eat, no matter how you
feel! The good news is that there are certain foods that can
help you feel better when you are having these problems.
Help for Specific Problems
Some of the eating tips that are given for
certain problems may conflict with tips that are given for other
problems. For example, a tip for gaining weight is to put gravy,
butter or creamy sauces on your food. If you have diarrhea,
however, the gravy, butter or sauce could make that problem
If you are having more than one of the individual problems
listed below, be sure to read the information in all of the
sections that apply. Avoid eating foods which either section tells
you might be harmful.
Your doctor or dietitian can also help
you sort out the differences.
You are not alone in your struggle to eat right. Talk to your
doctor. There are medicines that could help you with nausea, dry
mouth, painful swallowing and other problems related to eating.
There may be times when you will be unable to eat or drink anything
at all. At these times it may be necessary for your doctor to
arrange for you to be fed by tube or intravenously till you get
your strength back.
If you would like to speak with someone about food or your meals
in more detail, ask you doctor. He/she can refer you to a
registered dietitian in your community. They are trained health
professionals who are experts at food and good eating habits. There
is a lot of misinformation about nutrition and HIV/AIDS. People
working in health food shops, for example, are often not
professionals. The advice they may give is often not based on
scientific facts and could be harmful. If you have heard something
about nutrition and HIV, check it out with your doctor or dietitian
first before trying it.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a