Many unexpected stuff can make you happy, like getting an unexpected holiday or finding money in your pocket, or like unexpected weight loss. 

NO, unexpected weight loss might just be a real serious problem, so while you may be celebrating for losing some weight, get checked up if it isn’t a symptom to any diseases or disorder! 

1)    Muscle loss (sarcopenia)

People tend to experience muscle loss as they age because they neglect to maintain muscle health. This kind of muscle atrophy is sarcopenia, which can begin as early as your 40s and cause unexplained weight loss and reduced strength, energy, and mobility. To avoid muscle loss, one should add more protein and vitamin D to their diet. Older adults require more protein to build muscle at that age. Also, adding weights to your workouts helps build muscle mass and strength. 

2)    Cancer 
Cancer, in general, can cause weight loss, but there are several types of cancer, such as lung, pancreatic, biliary, and colon, that are known to lead to unexplained weight loss. Abnormally functioning cancer cells grow out of control, speed up your metabolism, and wear out your entire body by using its resources, which causes weight loss. Cancer treatments can also lead to weight loss. Radiation and chemotherapy often cause a decrease in appetite, and it can lead to side effects, including nausea, vomiting, and mouth sores that discourage eating. 

3)    HIV and AIDS 

AIDS, Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, chronic and potentially life-threatening disease that is caused by HIV, human immunodeficiency virus. HIV can make it harder for your body to absorb nutrients, which causes malnutrition and can lead to a decreased appetite. While there’s no cure for HIV or AIDS, there are medications that can dramatically slow the progression of the disease and allow you to live an otherwise healthy life.

4)    Depression

Usually, when a person is depressed, he or she losses interest in almost everything that exists in life, even the ones they enjoyed previously. In this mood-disorder, giving up eating is one common thing that is found, whereas many start overeating. But, depression does result in weight loss which isn’t healthy at all. While there’s no one single cause of depression, many cases can be treated effectively with medication and therapy, although some antidepressants can also contribute to further weight loss.

5)    Diabetes 

Diabetes is often associated with weight gain or obesity, but surprisingly, weight loss can be one of the diabetes symptoms. When the body is no longer able to produce insulin sufficiently, glucose is no longer making it into the bloodstream to be used as energy. When there is an insufficiency in insulin, the body starts burning fat and muscle for energy, causing a reduction in overall body weight. If you are a diabetic and are experiencing weight loss, you need to see your doctor asap. 

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With the help of science, THANKFULLY, HIV and AIDS are not what it was back in the decade that preceded it. Yet, it is a horrible disease with no cure. With the help of proper medication, patients affected by HIV and AIDS are living longer and stronger, whereas the facts have changed. What the disease was back then is nothing that it is TODAY. Let’s find out more!

What is HIV?

HIV is a virus that damages the immune system. The immune system helps the body fight off infections. Untreated HIV infects and kills CD4 cells, which are a type of immune cell called T cells. Over time, as HIV kills more CD4 cells, the body is more likely to get various types of infections and cancers.

HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids that include – Blood, semen, vaginal and rectal fluids and breast milk.

What is AIDS?

AIDS is a disease that can develop in people with HIV. It’s the most advanced stage of HIV. But just because a person has HIV doesn’t mean they’ll develop AIDS. HIV kills CD4 cells. Healthy adults generally have a CD4 count of 500 to 1,500 per cubic millimeter. A person with HIV whose CD4 count falls below 200 per cubic millimeter will be diagnosed with AIDS. A person can also be diagnosed with AIDS if they have HIV and develop an opportunistic infection or cancer that’s rare in people who don’t have HIV. An opportunistic infection, such as pneumonia, is one that takes advantage of a unique situation, such as HIV.

Updated facts?

1)    Time

For Gen Xers, millennials, and the generations that follow, AIDS looks completely different than it did to those who were full-blown adults in the mid-80s. Case in point: If you were diagnosed in 1985, you almost certainly died, but if you were diagnosed in 1995, you may very well still be alive. This is because it took eight years from the identification of the virus for the first drug (AZT) to be approved, which was 1989. 

2)    People ARE aging

As people living with HIV are living longer, thanks to highly effective antiretroviral treatment, the overall population of persons living with the condition are aging. In a few years, it’s estimated that more than half of all people living with HIV will be over 50 years of age. Also, older people may not consider themselves to be at risk of HIV infection or may mistake HIV symptoms for those of normal aging. 

3)    HIV tests

There are different kinds of HIV tests, the HIV antibody test and the HIV antibody/antigen combination test, each with its own testing window and detection method. Basically, the body has to develop an immune response to the virus before the tests can work. The HIV antibody test is a blood test that searches a blood sample for antibodies that were created by the immune system in response to HIV. It can take three to 12 weeks for your body to produce enough antibodies for the HIV virus to get an accurate test result. The HIV antibody/antigen test, on the other hand, can detect antibodies plus parts of the actual virus called antigens, so this combination test is able to reveal HIV earlier. 

4)    The treatment

In the past, taking a cocktail of drugs required regimens consisting of many pills, multiple times a day, and these regimens were associated with many side effects including chronic diarrhea, nausea, redistribution of body fat, increase in cholesterol levels, dizziness, vivid dreams, depression, etc. Now, we have multiple regimen combinations that are very potent and produce minimal, if any, side effects. Today’s AIDS patients can get all the meds they need in a convenient, one-pill-a-day regimen.

5)    If recently exposed, IT CAN BE TREATED IMMEDIATELY 

It might sound like miracle work, but there is an antiretroviral treatment cocktail that, if ingested and continued to be taken within the first 72 hours of exposure, can significantly reduce an individual’s risk of acquiring HIV. This type of medical HIV prevention is called post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and must be taken for 28 days to be fully effective.

6)    HIV + to HIV + organ transplantation 

It’s no surprise that there’s a severe shortage in this country of organ donors. It’s a dire situation even if you have a clean bill of health. Those HIV+ recipients in need of organ transplantation (e.g. liver or kidney) are often less prioritized than those without HIV. To fill this gap, the HOPE Act was signed into law allowing HIV+ organs to be transplanted into HIV+ recipients given the success of treatment regimens for HIV. 

Which of these facts were you aware off?