by David Evans
Not all body fat is alike. Nor are the fat gains and losses seen in people with HIV.
There are two types of fat:
This is the soft, mushy fat that sits just below the skin all over the body.
This is a dense, harder fat that usually lies primarily under the muscles and deep in the gut.
There are three types of HIV-related fat changes:
Lipo means fat, and dystrophy means change. This refers to a cluster of symptoms that includes both unusual fat losses and gains and abnormal changes in cholesterol, triglycerides and sugar in the blood.
Atrophy means to shrink or disappear. Lipoatrophy refers to the loss of subcutaneous fat. It is most noticeable in the face, arms, butt and legs.
Hypertrophy means to grow or accumulate. This condition refers to increases in visceral fat within the abdomen as well as subcutaneous fat between the shoulder blades (“buffalo hump”) and in women’s breasts.
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