"Concerns about medication toxicities and side
effects run high with anyone infected with an infectious disease.
Multiple medications are being prescribed not just for HIV infection,
but also for prevention and treatment of other infections, high
cholesterol and fat accumulation, diabetes, heart, liver, kidney,
and digestive diseases, cancer, hormonal deficiencies, pain syndromes,
and mental health concerns. Nutritional risk factors, such as poor
quality diet, weight loss, mild to moderate nutrient and hormonal
deficiencies, dehydration, high levels of oxidative and emotional
stress, and substance use aggravate these conditions and worsen
toxicities. Seldom addressed by primary care providers, alternative
therapies flourish in this environment, with susceptible consumers
searching for anything from a prayer to a cure. Limited income dollars
are spent on supplements that may be covered by state Medicaid or
ADAP programs, on products that are irrelevant or on formulations
that contain inadequate levels of nutrients. Use of extreme "detox"
diets and enemas is also common practice.
Research suggests that aggressive nutrition support
boosts the immune system and detoxification, improves digestion,
and produces positive health outcomes. Eastern approaches such as
traditional Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurvedic medicine focus
on the value of whole food choices and mind-body practice as the
basis of healing and longevity. These concepts are integrated with a
harm reduction philosophy that relates success to the continual
cycle of involvement and motivation for personal change, growth, and
Nutrition for Health and Healing in HIV By Jan
Zimmerman, M.S., R.D.
Document Name & Link to Document
File Size /Type**
Diet, and the Liver
One of the most common
causes of liver problems is drugs, of both over-the-counter
and prescription variety. These can affect the liver in
predictable and unpredictable ways. Many herbal or alternative
remedies taken for medicinal purposes can also cause liver
** In order to view PDF files, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on
your computer. Many computers already have this software; however, if you need
it, a free copy is available for download at this site: Click
here to get Adobe Acrobat Reader.