AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) causes damage to the immune system, which makes it difficult to fight off infections and diseases. AIDS is caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and sometimes it takes years after being infected, before a person actually develops AIDS. People can get HIV from infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids or breast milk. Many AIDS patients experience various symptoms form this disease. However, there are treatment options to help minimize these symptoms and help people better cope with this illness. There are few things that you can do to treat AIDS symptoms.
- Identify your symptoms and make a list of them. It is important to be aware of all of your symptoms, so your doctor can properly treat you. Some of the common symptoms of AIDS include diarrhea, thrush or a bad taste in mouth, rapid weight loss, fatigue, nausea, depression, white coating on gums or tongue and a persistent cough. Be sure to write down how often you have the symptoms, the time of day they occur and whether or not they or mild or severe.
- Call your doctor for an appointment. You should see your doctor as soon as possible in order to get treated for your symptoms. Your doctor can give you a medical evaluation, analyze your symptoms, switch your current medications or prescribe you a new treatment drug.
- Go to your appointment and meet with your doctor. Your doctor begins by asking you a series of questions about your symptoms and gives you a complete medical evaluation. He may also take a sample of your blood to send to the laboratory for testing. This can give him more feedback about your current health status, viral load and CD4 cell count (T-cells).
- Inform your doctor if you’ve been diagnosed with an opportunistic infection or if you signs of having an infection. AIDS patients may get many infections due to their immune system being damaged. Opportunistic infections such as tuberculosis (TB), cancer (Kaposi’s Sacroma and Lymphoma), herpes, hepatitis, human papiloma virus (HPV) and syphilis, can be very dangerous to people who have AIDS.
- Discuss your treatment options with the doctor. Your doctor may start you on an antiretroviral medication (or other appropriate medication) or she may change your current medication to one with fewer side effects. Your doctor may also suggest some over-the-counter medications for symptoms such as diarrhea and nausea. In addition, your doctor may adjust or restrict your diet, recommend an exercising routine for you to follow and help you make some necessary lifestyle changes (such as eliminating alcohol and tobacco from your life)
Follow a well-balanced diet. Be sure to eat healthy and nutritional foods, along with plenty of fruits and vegetables. You should also drink plenty of water and exercise on a regular basis (if you feel up to it).