Health experts have urged people living with HIV to embrace healthy eating habits, noting that it would not only help prevent complications from the viral infection but could also help them avert developing diabetes.
The experts say while people living with HIV may be prone to developing diabetes due to the medication they take, good nutrition practice could help them prevent the health condition.
They recommended strict adherence to nutrition guidelines, especially for those who may be prone to diabetes due to their family history.
They noted that the consumption of fewer carbohydrates, fats and the intake of more protein and vitamins could be crucial in their quest to avoid developing diabetes.
Speaking in separate interviews with PUNCH HealthWise, the health experts explained that protease inhibitors, one of the medications people living with HIV take, can cause insulin resistance which is a feature of type 2 diabetes.
According to drugs.com, protease inhibitors are synthetic drugs that inhibit the action of HIV-1 protease, an enzyme that cleaves two precursor proteins into smaller fragments.
These fragments are needed for viral growth, infectivity and replication, the site explained. “Protease inhibitors bind to the active site of the protease enzyme and prevent the maturation of the newly produced virions so that they remain non-infectious.”
Furthermore, according to webmd.com, people living with HIV are more likely to develop diabetes than people without it. The site noted further that a study had also shown that diabetes was up to four times more common in people with HIV.
A professor of chemical pathology, Dr. Christian Isichei, speaking in an interview with PUNCH HealthWise said people living with HIV need adequate nutrition with fewer carbohydrates and fatty foods to combat the side effect of the medication which makes them more susceptible to developing diabetes.
“There’s a group of drugs for people living with HIV that tends to increase their sugar called protease inhibitors. Their side effect is that they increase their glucose level. Some of them may increase their glucose level and cause diabetes.
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