Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Questions About Treatment & Side Effects

Bowel function - this is gross but I have to ask

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Alright, normally I would reserve this question for my doc but he books 3 months in advance and I don't want to wait that long.
 Since I came down with seroconversion sickness my bowel function has never really gone back to normal. namely diarreah at least once a day. Since I started HAART, sustiva and kivexa, however the problem has gotten significantly worse and appears to be getting worse every day. Now it's at least 4-5 times a day and has been this way for a couple of months. I usually only have one normal bowel movement in the morning after I wake up every day. I plan my diet very VERY carefully, I make sure to get at least 120% of my daily recomended intake of fibre every day as I take a mild protein supplement (25g per serving) after the gym every day. My diet is almost completely based on whole, unprocessed, unrefined foods with tons of raw or lightly cooked veggies and I'm not allergic to anything. I have been drinking tons of water to try and stay hydrated and I also take the k-pax mega-vitamin supplements to support my immune system. I don't know if this whole diarreah thing is just a side effect that I'm going to have to learn to live with, if it will get better or if it is an indication of something more serious. What's scaring me is that I'm noticing things coming out of me that I can distinctly recognize only 4 or 5 hours after I've eaten it which probably means I'm missing out on all it's nutritiony goodness. Is there anything else I can do? I've also noticed that I have to pee WAY more often than I use to but I think that's cuz I've started drinking more water. The weird thing is that I don't feel physically ill at all!

oh, and while I'm asking about side effects... the only other thing I have never asked anyone about is my vision. I know that it's been getting steadily worse since I started school (thank you glaring white pages with tiny little text) but recently, and more specifically since i started the drugs it's been getting markedly worse. It's inconsistently unreliable as well, some days I can barely read the board without squinting something fierce and some days I don't notice anything. The right eye seems to be worse than the left as well, it's so blurry some days that I feel like I have something in it that I need to rub out, others it's fine. It's gotten to the point where I will come home and have to actively relax my face because it's all tight from the squinting. I don't get any floaters or 'holes' in my vision like I was warned to watch out for but before HIV I definitely had 20/20 vision. Can screwy eyesight be a side effect?

woops! I was just asked to update this... I started taking my meds at the beginning of september and nope, the "dreaded D" (Alex, that's hot... I'm gonna use that phrase again) come with no cramping whatsoever. Though I do get the random, short duration stomache/abdomen pain now and again. Nothing that I wouldn't blame on gas though.

yes, now you all know more about me than you ever wanted to. HAH! don't you wish you could un-read something?

You need to get this checked out, it may not be the drugs, plus HIV affects the gut, and if you acquired this recently, your gut may still be upset.

But also it may....

Try this: eat less insoluble fibre (veg etc) and more soluble fibre (oats, bran tablets etc). This page has more tips: Diarrhoea - i-Base. 

A number of medicines can help, for a start you can bung loperamide down you til the cows come home, maybe a short intervention like this, or sommat stronger, is needed cos your gut can go into a kinda anxiety where it just gets stuck trying to expel some kind of poison (er, like new meds) and don't go back to normal.

Vision: hmmm, if this kicked in time wise with starting meds it is probably meds related.  This needs checking out pronto.  It can be a side effect of Sustiva, and also the abacavir in Kivexa.

The K-Pax, when did you start on this? A friend of mine tried it n after 5 weeks he got the squits bad like.

- matt

the k-pax was within two days of starting the meds. Did your friend quit K-pax or did it get better?

and yah, I'll definitely be talking to my doctor the next time I can get in to see him... which will be after 2006 is just a distant memory I think.

Thanks matt, I agree with blonde beauty... you do know everything.


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