Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Lipodystrophy & Metabolic Problems

Lipodystrophy FAQ?

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Zcor, I have to ask,do you have lipodystophy? Have to tried metaformin or serostim? Many of us have. They dont work for many. Now maybe serostim will add some pounds to those of us who have lost pounds but it doesnt help redistribute fat or metabolize it. It if did everyone would be using it. I used it for a year. It was a waste of time and had horrid side effects.
I was able to lose all my lipo fat on a three drug vacation.  I also have had liposuction twice. You have a problem with that?
Lipodystrophy is not the fault of HIVers, it is what happens when drugs are rushed to mkt without knowing the full side effects and then Drs. and drug companies blame the side effects on patients diet or lack of exercise.
do you have a hump? or gobs of fat on the back of your neck the size of softballs? Or how about fat deposits the size of golf balls behind your ears? What about thirty pounds of fat on the middle of your back? Till you do,dont belittle those of us who have gone the cosmetic surgery route. Its the only thing, outside of stopping drugs,that really works.
Oh yeah, metaformin is no picnic and it doesnt work either.

I just want to weigh in here on a couple of things.  First of all, Jack, HIV certainly does cause lipodystrophy.  It is not caused exclusively by drugs.  I am relatively newly HIV+ (about 2 years) and I am experiencing lipodystrophy even though I have never been on meds and all of my numbers are good.  So it's a mistake to think that this condition is exclusively the result of antiretroviral medication.  It isn't, and I'm living, breathing proof of that.

Second, ZCorker, I have responded elsewhere to your comments about those of us who seek cosmetic treatment for our condition, and I will not repeat myself here.  I do think that you should take a look at the attached link to the interview with Dr. Kate Mulligan at UCSF and read what she has to say about the glitazone class of drugs.  The studies are inconsistent in her view.  It appears that pioglitazone (Actos) may have some marginal benefit in fat restoration, but as Dr. Mulligan notes, the effect is quite small.  So, although no one would be happier than I to discover that there's a drug I can take for my lipo, it doesn't look like there's any magic bullet at this point.

Finally, lest I be accused of insufficient activism, please note that I am volunteering for studies conducted by Dr. Mulligan and her colleagues at UCSF.  It may not be earth shaking, but I think that it's the best use of my time.  Advances in this area depend on HIV patients who are willing to sacrifice their time to serve as guinea pigs.  I will let all of you know whether I qualify and what, if anything, I learn from the studies.


Interview with Dr. Mulligan:

Hello Alex,

In case you may have missed it, there was this podcast ( from the Toronto convention) that you may find interesting ; ( lets see if I can link this properly ;

(it will need to download)

If that link doesn't work, in the "News Section" under the podcasts, look for this :

Podcast: Are Crix Bellies & Buffalo Humps For Real? Kotler Responds to Critics of FRAM (8/16/06)
8 minutes (7.2MB mp3) 

AIDSmeds Founder Peter Staley interviewed Dr. Donald Kotler, Chief of Gastroenterology at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital and one of the investigators in the controversial FRAM study, which concluded that the fat gains seen by some people with HIV might not be lipodystrophy, just people getting fat.


Thanks Ray. I've never heard of the FRAM study ....while it's very likely many people gain fat from common overeating, lack of exercise, blah blah, I assume they're referringto the belly. Because (someone correct me if I'm wrong!) buffalo humps!? - come on - HIV negative folk don't get buffalo humps

Hello Alex,

Unless I am mistaken One can get Buffalo hump, if you are HIV negative. I believe it also can be hereditary. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.... ???



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