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ADDITIONAL
HIV-SPECIFIC
HELP:


HIV + AGING

As with any serious medical condition, especially HIV/AIDS, we cannot risk having less than OPTIMUM NUTRITION.

Start now thinking, eating and training more LIKE A FULL-TIME ATHLETE. Our bodies are stressed first by the virus. Medications and side effects demand as much of our resources and stamina as the virus itself. Our job is to help it all work better together by using the muscles with which we have evolved (EXERCISE!) and feeding them properly.

Our nutrition needs are perhaps TEN-FOLD what an HIV-negative person is! In conjunction with what is provided here, perhaps your physician or healthcare plan offers a formal dietician consultation. I can only recommend and offer what I've learned from experience and my own quest to better myself despite the odds.

THE MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE BASE acknowledges that HIVers often experience loss of appetite, mal-absorption of nutrients, have increased metabolism and do not exercise or are inactive altogether. That's a sure-fired formula for:
• Loss of weight
• Decreased energy levels
• Increased risk of disease (diabetes,  cardiovascular/heart disease)
• Decreased overall sense of well-being

ALL HIV MEDICATIONS register a very acidic pH. Acids are breeding grounds for diseases and harboring fatty waste. That's yet another reason to balance this with alkaline foods and high alkalinized water, fewer simple carbs (bread, corn, wheat, potatoes), more brown rice, more complex carbohydrates (raw vegetables and sub-acid fruits, brown rice) and quality protein (nuts, fish and poultry white meat) every day.

Growing evidence indicates that some HIV medical treatments are ineffective without adequate nutritional support, while other HIV medical treatments could be avoided or minimized through proper nutrition. ("Positive Communications," the quarterly newsletter of the HIV/AIDS Dietetic Practices Group, Office of the US Global AIDS Coordinator, May 2006)

'NUTRITION'

DEFINITION = "foods, liquids, supplements, calories, carbohydrates, fats, proteins and minerals"



KEY
ELEMENTS

There are 3 vital links in a proper nutrition program (or chain):

1) Food and drink choices - ingesting lousy food compromises the 1st link.
2) How they're digested - raucous food combining (wild food combining), inadequate digestive enzymes, vomiting and diarrhea disturbs the 2nd.
3) How nutrients are utilized - fevers, abnormal metabolism and infections jeopardize the 3rd link.

If one link is out of whack, the other two are too, meaning your health is suffering ... it's called malnutrition!


Lean protein helps build and maintain a healthy body 'machine.' A vital musculature and having general strength bolsters the immune system.

But eating proteins IN EXCESS can lead to liver problems, a susceptibility to pollen and animal dander or cause auto-immunity (adding Milk Thistle to your supplement regimen can help).

There’s no compromising the quality of the protein we need. It’s crucial to regulate our animal fat intake. A smart HIV fueling regimen never overlooks fresh vegetables, quality dairy and seasonal fruit.

CARBS

The GOOD carbohydrates (‘complex carbs’) are fruits and vegetables, raw foods, unprocessed & whole grain products.

BAD carbohydrates (‘simple carbs’) are bread, chips, cookies, fries, ice cream, potatoes, corn, table sugar, white stuff that doesn’t grow in the ground.


HEADS-UP

WASTING … may be caused by:
a) Inadequate intake of calories and nutrients
b) Malabsorption (food not breaking down into nutrients; simple food combining and digestive enzymes will help. Medications can be the cause, too.)
c) Metabolism abnormalities, ask your doctor
d) Loss of musculature from disuse: inactivity, depression, lethargy, being sedentary, solitary.. Take the baby steps to get more active. It gets easier the more regularly you get your heart and breathing rate up to the point of having difficulty talking normally (120 beats).

WEIGHT LOSS
Periods of weight loss are common with any infection or illness, they signal that the body needs more nutrients than its getting. If you have no appetite or aren’t eating normally for TWO days in a row, act fast! Call your doctor for help and aggressive nutrition support!

PROTEIN
… is a crucial dietary element for us pozzies because protein builds muscle, muscle builds immunity regardless of how you use it: gym, jog, bike, hike, stairs, or walk. Muscles are meant to be used, otherwise they're abused. Find your niche for exercise!

Imbalanced fueling will cause catabolism (the breakdown of and use of protein for fuel, when other nutrients are lacking). Bad bad situation! Catabolism can result in AIDS wasting (cachexia), a decrease in immunity, higher risk of infections (i.e., PCP (Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia) or atrophy of the small intestine (meaning even worse digestion, absorption and nutrient use).

VEGETARIAN / VEGANISM and HIV
Plant-based, vegetarian diets are rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, and are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. People on vegetarian diets generally have reduced incidences of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and gastrointestinal abnormalities. Protective components of the foods vegetarians consume include fiber, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals. Although considered healthier than a typical Western diet and therapeutic for people with various chronic diseases, this diet may pose a challenge for people living with HIV who have increased nutritional needs.

A vegetarian diet can be too low in calories and protein essential for maintaining weight and lean muscle mass long-term. Therefore, an HIV-positive individual may need additional protein, calorie and vitamin B12 supplementation (since vitamin B12 is found primarily in animal foods).

-Anya Romanowski, M.S., R.D., C.D.N. is the Director of Nutrition Services at God's Love We Deliver. She also offers her services to other New York City non-profit organizations as a nutrition consultant and Lisa Zullig, M.S., R.D. is an HIV Nutrition Specialist at God's Love We Deliver and at Michael Callen-Audre Lorde Community Health Center.


It behooves all pozzies to seek out all nutrition options. Ask questions, become your own best resource and ally. Be proactive in your healthcare. Ask good questions. You need to know yourself better than anyone.


STAYING HEALTHY

FUEL
High protein, high complex carbs, moderate fat foods, plenty of clean fluids. Regular meals every few hours. A high-dose multi-vitamin/mineral supplement and B complex daily and then some.

MOTION
Do physical activity on a regular basis. Whatever you can do faithfully and DAILY. It might lead you beyond the walk around the block, the treadmill or bicycle some day. Our bodies have muscles for a very good reason. Our forebears used their bodies a lot more than we have to, so it behooves us to USE the muscle or lose ‘em. Weight training, cardio, yoga, walking, jogging... whatever. Something!

SLEEP
Set a routine prior to sleeping normal # of hours, hit the pillow at the same time every night, arise about the same time every morning. You body will love the solid and reassuring biorhythm. Even on the weekends.

STRESS
Identify and eliminate stressors! Be proactive in doing things that make sense to you and bolster your self-esteem (as long as they’re kind to others). Learn how to relax alone in your nest AND in weird situations.

LOVE
Do things for yourself that are nurturing and kind to yourself. Self-respect starts at home. Everything else gets easier when you know how to and DO love yourself.

WATER
The very smartest water to drink is high alkaline water. It is unique, photosensitive, antioxidant-rich, almost alive compared to tap water, so it can't be bottled or shipped
. Faucet-attached units restructure and tailor the pH output for initial purifying through advanced usage.

KANGEN WATER has a great track record in helping a wide range of diseases.

WATER STUDY
In 2010, The Muscle Kitchen's Steve Perkins conducted an informal lay study comparing before and after lab results in a small number of positive people (Palm Springs, CA) over six month's time. The results monitored regular lab reports regarding T-cell, viral load, weight, energy and general health issues. The results varied somewhat according to dietary habits, substance use, medications, detoxification issues and levels of dedication. By and large, the study subjects felt the great cleansing and hydration impact of Kangen Water on their condition(s).

Much more controlled and thorough studies need to be mounted regarding HIV health and wellness using Kangen Water.

For many, KW removes unpleasant side effects and helps make HIV a more manageable condition.

LEARN MORE ABOUT KANGEN WATER HERE

 

THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR EATING PURE WHOLESOME (ORGANIC) FOODS. THAT MEANS HIGH QUALITY, NOT-OVER-COOKED FOODS AT EVERY MEAL AND SNACK. Supplements should do exactly what how they're defined: to supplement, add to or compensate where nutrients from foods are otherwise lacking.

HERE ARE A FEW IMPORTANT SUPPLEMENTS TO BE CONSIDERED. CONSULT YOUR MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL FOR GUIDANCE AND FEEDBACK.

ASTRAGULUS, antioxidant (anti-free-radicals); IMMUNE-, gastroinstestinal- and cardiovascular-SUPPORTIVE

BRANCH CHAIN AMINO ACIDS: Bodybuilders and HIVers need all of ‘em. L-glutamine, and L-lysine in particular and in abundance

VITAMIN C (take more in the winter, lots more when fighting a cold or the flu)

CALCIUM CARBONATE, helps diarrhea and the immune system plus solidifies bone structure

CO-ENZYME Q10: Important to heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, IMMUNE SUPPORTIVE

CURCUMIN (essence of), also called tumeric: Anti-tumor, anti-oxidant, anti-amyloid, anti-inflammatory. A free-radical scavenger inhibiting lipid peroxidation and oxidative DNA damage. Use wisely; not for all maladies.

DIGESTIVE ENZYMES, the natural ones are made from pineapple, kiwi or papaya (my preference). Chewing a few digestive enzyme tablets breaks down proteins prepping it for digestion and absorption through the body. Especially helpful after a big meal.

GOJI BERRIES: 15% protein, 21 essential minerals, 18 amino acids, lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP); STRENGTHENS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM, provides antioxidant and anti-aging effects, protects the liver, builds strong blood and promotes cardiovascular health, supports eye health and improves vision. Wow!

GOLDENSEAL cleanses, purifies the blood

MACA ROOT promotes the male libido and stamina

MULTIPLE VITAMIN COMPLEX (micronutrients): A twice-a-day or sustained-release version delivers the goods over a longer period of time. Don't skimp on the expense here. There are immune-support specific multi's available in more progressive pharmacies and natural food stores. Look and/or ask for them. RECOMMENDED BRANDS: K-PAX, SUPER NUTRITION.

MILK THISTLE (Silymarin) for prostate problems, incontinence, liver function. May be combined with Saw Palmetto, Pygeum Africanum bark extract, Stinging Nettle root extract, Pumpkin seed oil, Lycopene for further prostate support.

MSM (metholsulfonylmethane) best combined with other joint and bone compounds: glucosamine and chondroitin). MSM supplies sulphur which is lacking in processed foods and anyone over 40. Sulphur (I.e., MSM) REPAIRS CONNECTIVE TISSUE. Awesome supplement your doctor probably has never even heard about. Vital for anyone over 40!

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS: EFAS, EPA & DHA (no more than 3g per day). The good oils found in fish. Polyunsaturated fatty acids. “Essential’ because they cannot be synthesized in the body.

OREGANO (oil of): Used for digestive distress, athletics foot, yeast issues, PROMOTES THE IMMUNE SYSTEM, fights joint and muscle stiffness, parasites, clears sinuses and respiratory systems, soothes skin rashes. Creates a toxic environment for certain germs, fungi, parasites, and bacteria. A good soldier to have in our arsenal.

SAM-e: Natural treatment for depression, arthritis, and liver disease. homeopathic version preferred, very safe, no-side-effects. Calmative. A MUCH safer and saner alternative to expensive prescription mood elevators. SUPPORTS IMMUNE FUNCTIONS.

SELENIUM: usually slows the progression of viral load while increasing CD4 cell counts. Dosage suggestion: up to 650mg per day

Complementary Medicine Resource (PDF)


WE NEED
Daily multi-vitamins containing vitamins A, B, C, D, and E

Daily multi-minerals containing zinc, selenium, calcium, magnesium, and folate

Daily anti-oxidants containing 400mg alpha-lipoic acid; 1,000mg acetyl-L-carnitine; 1,200mg NAC
(N-acetyl-cysteine)


HERBS

Sadly there are very few definitive, recognized clinical studies on the efficacy of herbal treatments (cost vs. profit vs. pharmaceutical drug competition). So, of course, pharmacuetical focused doctors disagree about whether certain immune-boosting herbs, such as echinacea, goldenseal, astragalus, cat's claw, and pau d’arco, are effective for treating HIV and AIDS.

Most doctors who DO prescribe them suggest taking one herb for two or three weeks, analyze the results, then substitute for another one. This rotation cycle is important because the body develops a tolerance for each immune-stimulating herb when it's consumed over a long period.

SOME HERBS INTERACT UNWISELY WITH HIV MEDICATIONS! YOU MUST FIND OUT WHICH ONES COMPROMISE THE POTENCY OF YOUR MEDS, WHICH ONES ARE SAFE.

READ THE ACCOMPANYING DOCUMENTATION WITH YOUR MEDICATIONS; SEARCH FOR PROBLEM COMBINATIONS; ASK YOUR PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN AND PHARMACIST DIRECTLY!


a) Stabilize all the other things you're taking and doing, so you're making just one change at a time.

b) Start around the time of new bloodwork

c) Add or change one element at a time. Give it time, a fair chance to work.

d) Follow up: record your feelings, results, the effects, present to your physician or healthcare professional of trust, evaluate, scrutinize, go forth and flourish

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