How Medical Marijuana Can Help Aids Patients Live Life to the Fullest
HIV and AIDS can happen to people of all ages and from backgrounds, and often, heterosexual people are infected as well.
An HIV infection interferes with the body’s ability to fight back against infection and disease. Today, patients and doctors can manage infections better than ever before. Many people can live with an HIV infection for years, decades, or the rest of their lives.
However, a cure for HIV has not yet been found. In time, for some, HIV can advance to AIDS due to the weakening of the immune system if it is not treated.
Fortunately, most people with HIV in the USA today don’t become AIDS patients. Medication exists to help support the immune system so that AIDS never occurs.
However, some people do still develop AIDS in the USA and worldwide. In 2018, 17,032 Americans received a Stage 3 AIDS diagnosis.
If you or a loved one is diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, medical marijuana can help to alleviate symptoms. Read on to learn more.
HIV and AIDS in America
In 2018, 37,832 people were newly diagnosed with HIV in the United States.
However, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that there are additionally at least 240,000 people living in the United States that are infected with HIV but don’t know it. These people have not been tested and they may be unknowingly spreading the infection to others.
HIV and AIDS Progression
Some people infected with HIV experience an illness that is similar to the flu two weeks after the virus enters the body. They may have a fever, a headache, muscle and joint pain, a rash, a sore throat, a cough, or night sweats.
In time, this infection will go away and the individual may not have any symptoms. However, if left untreated, the virus will continue to multiply and will destroy immune cells, resulting in mild infections or chronic symptoms such as fever, fatigue, diarrhea, weight loss, swollen lymph nodes, or even shingles or pneumonia.
Years later, if left untreated, HIV can progress to AIDS. When this happens, many of the earlier symptoms will reappear. Someone with AIDS might experience weight loss, diarrhea, a fever, a cough that won’t go away, frequent infections, and mouth and skin problems.
However, the real danger to people with AIDS is the development of infections and cancers that only attack people with compromised immune systems. A healthy body would be able to fight these conditions off, but a weakened immune system will be unable to. People do not die from AIDS, but rather from a disease or infection that affects them due to their AIDS diagnosis.
Medical Cannabis and HIV and AIDS Patients
HIV and AIDS patients are people who wish to be free from pain and suffering just like anyone else.
Fortunately, the availability of medical cannabis has been a big help to people suffering from these conditions. In fact, in a way, doctors used medical cannabis to help HIV and AIDS patients even before it was legal.
A side effect of HIV is a condition known as HIV wasting syndrome. Many patients with HIV lose large amounts of weight due to diarrhea, weakness, and fever. When they lose more than ten percent of their body weight, they are additionally diagnosed with HIV wasting syndrome.
Before cannabis was prescribed even in clinical settings, doctors recognized the ability of cannabis to stimulate feelings of hunger. In the mid-1980s, a synthetic form of cannabis called Marinol was prescribed to HIV patients to combat wasting syndrome.
Marinol is still used today, but many HIV and AIDS patients use medical cannabis to this same end at home in combination with a Marinol prescription from their doctors.
Peripheral Neuropathy Reliever
In time, HIV and AIDS patients may suffer from a painful nerve condition called peripheral neuropathy. This condition occurs when the outer coatings of nerve cells are stripped away as HIV attacks the immune system.
As a result, patients with peripheral neuropathy are in constant pain. Initially, they will experience an uncomfortable tingling feeling, but in time, this condition can advance to become debilitating. Some patients lose the ability to walk and touch of any kind becomes painful.
Medical cannabis can help to relieve pain caused by peripheral neuropathy. One study suggests that patients experience a moderate improvement in their pain from this condition when they smoke medical cannabis. Another goes as far as to say that the use of cannabis can help, to some extent, to improve these patients’ quality of life.
The symptoms of HIV and AIDS can take a mental toll on those afflicted. Medical cannabis can help alleviate their pain in this realm as well.
Depression, anxiety, and stress are all prevalent in individuals who have been diagnosed with these conditions, and all of the above can be treated with medical cannabis.
Although medical cannabis is most frequently applied to the physical symptoms of HIV and AIDS as well as to other, unrelated conditions, the euphoric effects of this plant medicine can offer a great deal of additional mental support for all who suffer.
As you can see, there are many applications for medical cannabis for HIV and AIDS patients at all stages of this disease. Again, HIV can be managed with medication and people diagnosed with HIV can go on to live long, healthy, happy, and productive lives. AIDS is no longer an automatic death sentence, and thank goodness for that.
Still, cannabis can be a big help to people diagnosed with HIV and especially to people whose infection has progressed to AIDS.
If you would like to learn more about medical cannabis in Florida, please give us a call today. We are happy to answer your questions and we can’t wait to serve you.