AIDS is caused by HIV, namely the human immunodeficiency virus, which attacks the immune system (immune). People with HIV /AIDS (PLWHA) need to undergo lifelong treatment to strengthen the immune system so that they are not easily infected with other diseases. However, this treatment called antiretroviral usually causes a number of side effects. One side effect is increasing the risk of diabetes. Therefore, ODHA should check diabetes before and during HIV treatment. If you or the person closest to you has HIV, know how antiretroviral drugs can increase the risk of diabetes following. That way, you can anticipate and find solutions to overcome them.
How can diabetes develop?
Diabetes is a disease in which insulin in the body is damaged or not produced at all. Insulin is a hormone that is responsible for processing glucose (sugar) in the body. So, insulin disorders cause glucose that is too high in the blood.
Glucose comes from the breakdown of food and beverages consumed and is the main energy source. Diabetes can cause serious health problems, including heart and blood vessel disease, nerve damage, blindness, stroke, and kidney disease. Fortunately, diabetes can be controlled with diet, exercise and medication.
Glucose is carried in the blood to cells throughout the body. The hormone insulin helps move glucose into cells. After entering the cell, glucose is used to produce energy. If the body has difficulty transferring glucose into cells, glucose will settle in the blood and can cause diabetes complications.
Why should ODHA check diabetes?
Diabetes risk factors include those over the age of 45 years, family history of diabetes, being overweight, lack of physical activity, and health conditions or a history of certain diseases.
Now, using some HIV drugs such as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) and protease inhibitors (PIs) can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in people with HIV. These HIV drugs make it harder for the body to respond and use insulin (known as insulin resistance). Insulin resistance causes high blood glucose levels, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Because of this treatment PLHIV becomes more susceptible to diabetes. So, diabetes can appear as a side effect of treatment from AIDS which has already attacked patients.
How do ODHA check diabetes?
The general test used to diagnose diabetes is a fasting plasma glucose test (FPG). The FPG test measures the amount of glucose in the blood after a person has not eaten or fasted for 8 hours.
People with HIV must know their blood glucose levels before starting treatment with HIV drugs. People with above-normal glucose levels may need to avoid using some HIV drugs. Blood glucose testing is also important after starting HIV treatment. If testing shows high glucose levels, changes in HIV drugs may be needed. However, all this must be consulted with the doctor who handles you.
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