IMPORTANCE OF NUTRITION IN HIV PATIENTS : A REVIEW
Dr. Sayyed Habib Karim
Dr. Rehan Safi
Dr. Farha Rizwan
1) P.G Scholar Dept of Tahaffuzi-wa-Samaji Tib Z.V.M Unani Medical College and Hospital
2) H.O.D, & Professor Dept of Tahaffuzi-wa-Samaji Tib Z.V.M Unani Medical College and Hospital
3) Asst. Professor Dept of Tahaffuzi-wa-Samaji Tib Z.V.M Unani Medical College and Hospital
HIV infection can not only contribute to malnutrition but also susceptibility to various other infections. As a result, HIV patients generally suffer with diarrhoea, fever, nausea, vomiting, mouth ulcers, loss of appetite and loss of weight. Unani System of Medicine focuses on the importance of dietary pattern of an individual for a good quality life as Ilaj bil Ghiza (Dietotherapy) is one of the modes of treatments in Unani. A balanced nutrition as per the Mizaj of the patient can control the progression of this disease and can strengthen the immune system of an HIV patient to deal with HIV and its associated symptoms and to avoid opportunistic infections (OTIs).
Unani dietary pattern serves as a good option in HIV patients those who are undergoing treatment with ART (Anti-Retroviral therapy) as the well-known side effects of ART and its toxicity which causes lipodystrophy and wasting syndrome resulting in the lean look and slim appearance of HIV patients. Unani system of medicine recommends intake of dry fruits like Black dates, Almonds, Walnuts and Pistachio which serve as natural Multi-vitamins proven to increase the actual CD4 (immunity) of the patients and beneficial to increase the body weight. Citrus fruits and Vitamin C rich fruits like Amla (Indian Gooseberry) and Guava has found to be very beneficial to boost the immune system. Fruits like Pomegranate and Figs have served as Blood Purifier as per Unani concept. Vegetables which are Anti-oxidants like Onion and Garlic have found be very effective in strengthening the immune system. Apart from carbohydrates and vitamins, Unani recommends intake of proteins for body building and resistance of the body against infections. Unani recommends to eat the right type of foods in the right quantities at the right time which suits the Mizaj of the individual to improve the quality of life. A good diet pattern will build new healthy cells and tissues for proper maintenance of the body and to resist and fight infections.
There is a great potential for a Good Nutrition among HIV patients as per Unani concept to increase the resistance towards the infection thereby supporting the management of HIV-related complications which are increasingly prevalent among individuals with HIV.