Thursday, September 22, 2022

Nutritional Support For Parkinson’s Disease

Who Can Give Me Advice On Diet And Eating Problems

On the Menu: Nutrition in Parkinson’s with Northwell Health

Depending on the country you live in your doctor may be able to refer you to any of the following specialists to give advice on diet or eating problems.

  • A dietitian can provide advice on all aspects of nutrition and diet. They will advise on maintaining a healthy diet to suit your needs and symptoms, bearing in mind the medications you take
  • A speech and languagetherapist will be able to help you with swallowing problems and strategies to overcome these, as well as speech difficulties. They can also help eliminate any other possible causes of swallowing problems
  • An occupational therapist will be able to look at ideas and equipment to make food preparation and mealtimes easier .Simple changes to your kitchen and dining area can make all the difference, for example:
  • adding grab rails to help you move around safely
  • moving the position of equipment so that food preparation tools are grouped together so you dont need to move around as much
  • buying a blender, microwave or small chopper, for example, to ease preparation and reduce the amount of time spent manually preparing food.

Eat Well Stay Well With Parkinsons Disease: A Nutrition Handbook For People With Parkinsons

This book, written by a registered dietician and PD professional, includes recipes and menus specific to the needs of those with PD – especially those who may be working to coordinate meals with medication timing, nausea, constipation, weight loss, protein timing and more.

Check your local library, or inquire at any bookstore.

Combine Exercise With Diet

Dr. Gostkowski says if you want to feel your best, combine a healthy diet with exercise. Research has shown that regular exercise can improve PD symptoms.

Do exercise that raises your heart rate, Dr. Gostkowski says. Aim for about 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Dont worry about specific exercises. Do an activity you enjoy, as long as it gets your heart rate up. Try brisk walking or biking or more advanced exercise for veteran athletes. I recommend seeing an occupational therapist. They can tailor an exercise program to your needs.

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Foods Containing Nutrients That People May Be Deficient In

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Some research suggests that people with Parkinsons often have certain nutrient deficiencies, including deficiencies in iron, vitamin B1, vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin D.

The above study points out that some of these deficiencies may be associated with neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration, which are key factors in Parkinsons.

Therefore, people with Parkinsons may wish to consume more of the following foods.

Foods containing iron

The following foods are good sources of iron:

  • liver
  • certain fortified foods

Read Also: What Foods Should You Avoid If You Have Parkinson’s Disease

Nutrition The Genome And The Epigenome

A poor diet will have a negative impact on an individual’s health. With regards to neurodegeneration, nutrition affects multiple aspects of neurodevelopment, neurogenesis and the functions of neurons and neural networks . Nutrition-gene interactions play a critical role in dysfunction and disease . Individual differences in genes such as single nucleotide polymorphisms, mutations and copy number variants significantly modify the effects of nutrition on gene expression .

How To Eat Well

Eat a variety of foods from each food category, like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. If you think you need vitamin supplements, check with your doctor first.

Keep your weight in the healthy range for your age and height with exercise and a good diet.

Load up on fiber with foods like broccoli, peas, apples, cooked split peas and beans, whole-grain breads, cereals, and pasta.

Cut down on sugar, salt, and saturated fats from meat and dairy, and cholesterol.

Drink 8 cups of water every day.

Ask your doctor you can drink alcohol. It may keep your medications from working right.

Read Also: How Do You Treat Parkinson’s Disease Naturally

Best Diet & Nutrition For Parkinsons Disease Know More

1. Dr. Doshi always suggests to the Parkinsons patient to increased fluid intake and fiber which helps to maintain regularity.

2. Patients need to drink 2.5-liter water daily .

3. Drink some warm liquids in the morning time, which can stimulate bowel movements.

4. Low blood pressure is a symptom of Parkinsons and a side effect of some medications. Raising fluid intake will boost blood pressure and also you have to consult with the Physician. If Parkinsons patient has any other physical problem, must discuss with your doctor, before any medicine or diet.

5. Dont consume caffeinated beverages, hot liquids, alcohol as these encourage dehydration and low blood pressure.

6. Drink green tea, bone broth, or ginger tea to boost your immune system.

7. A healthy diet means all type of grains , green vegetables, vegetables, and fruits. Choose a Parkinsons patient diet with plenty of grain foods.

Example of whole grains

  • Whole-wheat flour
  • Replace white rice with quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, barley or bulgur.

8. Eat lots of green vegetables such as spinach , fenugreek , amaranth and mustard greens are leafy greens, Romaine Lettuce, Broccoli also.

9. Keep also vegetables such as Beetroot , white gourd, bitter gourd , cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, pumpkin, tomato, corn, green Jackfruits, green papaya, etc.

11. Increase your fiber intake. Consuming high-fiber vegetables and other food aids digestion, help to eases constipation and also help you feel full longer.

Best For Starting Out: Dailystrength Parkinsons Disease Support Group

Nutrition, Parkinsons Disease and the Gut Microbiome

DailyStrength

DailyStrength is a division of Sharecare, which was created by WebMD founder Jeff Arnold and the famous Dr. Oz in 2009. The DailyStrength Parkinsons Disease Support Group is a free and welcoming online support community with more than 400 members and 3,000 posts.

The mission of the group is centered around empowering and inspiring each other to overcome PD-related and life challenges.

Overall, the DailyStrength website is inviting and easy to navigate, and registration is straightforward and quick. Posts are informational, practical, and thoughtful. This is, perhaps, a good place to start for people looking for a smaller, more intimate online support group that is not overwhelming or associated with a national organization.

Even though the site is not moderated, to keep the support group safe and positive, DailyStrength has a set of guidelines that the members are asked to follow.

Recommended Reading: Does Sugar Affect Parkinson Disease

Vitamin B12 And Folate

Vitamin B12 is an antioxidant. It helps keep red blood cells and nerve cells healthy and helps produce DNA. Sources of vitamin B12 are typically red meat, chicken, sardines, eggs, fortified cereals and bread, and nutritional yeast.

Researchers discovered that patients with early-onset Parkinson’s disease had lower vitamin B12 levels, which reduced motor and cognitive functions. In some cases, taking a multivitamin that included vitamin B12 slowed the loss of those functions.

Folate is found in organ meats , yeast, and leafy green vegetables. Folate plays several roles in the body and brain.

Both B12 and folate are involved in the metabolism of homocysteine, an amino acid. High levels of homocysteine are seen in various cognitive disorders. Studies show that Parkinson’s disease patients taking levodopa for the condition are also more likely to have elevated homocysteine.

In one meta-data analysis, researchers investigated the correlations between cognitive function , homocysteine, folate, and vitamin B12 levels in patients with Parkinson’s disease. They discovered that patients with cognitive dysfunction had high levels of homocysteine and lower levels of folate and vitamin B12.

Parkinson’s Disease Causes And Related Conditions

The cause of Parkinson’s Disease is unknown although there are several theories. Parkinson’s patients lack dopamine in their brains because the cells that manufacture this important chemical messenger have been lost or blocked.

When the nerve cells within the basal ganglia of the brain are damaged or destroyed the brain is unable to adequately control the body’s muscle tension and movement resulting in the trembling muscles and body stiffness associated with Parkinson’s Disease. One theory concerning why these cells are destroyed states that as we age the liver loses its efficiency, and the cells are destroyed by the toxins that the less efficient liver can’t filter out or detoxify. Others believe that environmental toxins and genetics play a part in who will get Parkinson’s Disease. Free radical damage may also play a part in Parkinson’s as free radicals steal electrons allowing dopamine to be lost through oxidation.

The elderly will commonly develop drug-induced Parkinson’s disease after having been prescribed antipsychotic drugs such as Haldol, Thorazine, Mellaril, and Stelazine. Antipsychotic drugs like these are often used to sedate nursing home patients with chronic anxiety and dementia . Many newly diagnosed Parkinson’s patients will return to normal if these drugs are discontinued.

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Calcium And Vitamin D

Osteoporosis is a condition that affects the bones, causing them to become weak and fragile and more likely to break. It is often diagnosed in people with Parkinson’s.

It has been suggested that increased severity of Parkinson’s symptoms is linked to reduced bone density.

Some experts suggest that people with Parkinson’s should be taking calcium and a vitamin D supplement daily, especially those who are bed-bound or house-bound or immobile.

This is because most of our vitamin D comes from exposing our skin to the sun.

Your levels of calcium and vitamin D should be assessed in the early stages of your condition to prevent or lower the risk of poor bone health.

Speak to your health professional if you think you may need to take calcium or vitamin D.

Fatty And Sugary Foods

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Fatty and sugary foods, such as cakes, biscuits, and pastries, contain lots of calories, fat and sugar. Try to reduce how often you eat them, especially if you are trying to lose weight.

If you have high cholesterol or are diabetic, you should seek further advice from a dietitian.

Generally, unless your GP, specialist or Parkinsons nurse have advised you not to drink alcohol, a small amount, such as a glass of wine or a beer every now and again, should not cause any problems.

People can respond to alcohol in different ways, so talk to your medical professional if you have any concerns.

Remember to take into account any medication you are taking for other conditions. Alcohol can also cause problems with low blood pressure.

Men and women shouldnt drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week. Keep at least 2 days each week free of alcohol and avoid binge drinking.

For more information on drinking alcohol and alcohol units, visit the NHS website.

It is important for everyone to maintain a healthy weight, as being overweight or underweight can affect your health. You can find out more about what your healthy body weight is by speaking to your GP.

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Eating To Ease Symptoms

For some Parkinson’s symptoms, the first step in treatment is to adjust your diet.

  • Constipation: Drinking more fluids and eating more fiber can help maintain regularity. Aim to drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Warm liquids, especially in the morning, can stimulate bowel movements. Dietary sources of fiber consist of fruits , vegetables, legumes, whole grain breads and cereals. Most of these are high in antioxidants, as well.

Talk to your doctor or a dietitian to craft a diet that helps you manage your Parkinson’s symptoms and feel energized and healthy.

A Nutritious Diet Is Essential For Healthy Living With Parkinsons

For people with Parkinsons, nutritious foods can help manage some of the common symptoms of the disease and support healthy brain functions. While more evidence on the effect of diet on the progression of Parkinsons disease is needed, educating yourself about the benefits of a healthy diet is still important for your overall health and symptom management. The information on this website is a good place to start learning about nutrition.

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What Causes Parkinsons Disease

Parkinsons is caused by the degeneration of brain cells in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra. These neurons are responsible for the production of a particular neurotransmitter called dopamine and it is the lack of this neurotransmitter that is responsible for the main Parkinsons symptoms. The cause of the disease is not known. However, like most degenerative illnesses, it is likely to be due to a range of factors including interactions between genes and environment. Contributory factors may include environmental toxicity, physical trauma, genetics, drugs, disease , nutritional deficiency, mitochondrial insufficiency, enzyme deficiency and unremitting stress.

Best Diet & Nutrition For Parkinsons Disease

Nutrition and Parkinson’s Disease Webinar

There is no specific diet can treat Parkinsons disease or its symptoms. It is true that a healthy and balanced diet can improve general well-being. Parkinsons patient should eat fruit and vegetables, fiber-rich foods and fluids that may help keep you energized and hydrated and ease of constipation or low blood pressure. Malnutrition and weight loss are often problems for people with Parkinsons. Read the full article Best Diet & Nutrition for Parkinsons Disease.

So its good to keep track of your weight. Work with your physician or a dietitian to design a diet that fits your needs.

Most of the Parkinsons patients complain about Constipation.

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Parkinsons Nutrition & Living Well

In this 1-hour webinar Dr John Eric Duda discusses how dietary choices can affect symptom control in PD, how particular foods and timing of meals may interfere with PD medications, dietary management of some non-motor symptoms, the role of the gut microbiome in PD, how nutrition can change the molecular mechanisms present in people with PD and even provide disease-modifying effects, and more. Registration is required, but it is free.

Maintaining A Healthy Weight

Parkinsons may lead to gain weight due to reduced mobility. Being overweight can strain your joints which can in turn make moving around more difficult. If this happens you may be advised to watch your diet and control the calories you consume, for example by avoiding fried foods, sweet desserts, cakes, biscuits and sugary drinks.

More commonly, people with Parkinsons lose weight. If you lose weight this may be due to a number of factors loss of appetite, difficulty eating or swallowing, nausea, using extra energy to cope with symptoms such as dyskinesia or your body may not absorb nutrients efficiently. Various medications may also affect your body weight.

The following suggestions may help increase your calorie intake:

  • Try eating four or five small but appetising meals a day, with a snack between each meal.
  • Incorporate a little more butter, cream, peanut butter, milkshakes, biscuits, chocolate and dessert, but make sure you take good care of your teeth if you eat a lot of sugary food!
  • Add three or four tablespoons of milk powder to half a litre of full cream milk to make it more nutritious.
  • Try nutritious drinks specially formulated to easily increase calorie intake.
  • Eat food that you like as you are likely to consume more.
  • If you find cutlery difficult to use, try to have some meals that you can manage with your fingers or using only a spoon.

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Vitamin B12 And Folate Deficiency

Some people who take levodopa may have lower levels of vitamin B12 and vitamin B9 . Symptoms of vitamin B12 and folate deficiency can include pins and needles , a sore, red tongue, mouth ulcers and disturbed vision.

If youre worried about any symptoms youre experiencing, you should speak to your specialist or Parkinsons nurse.

Eating a well-balanced diet will give you a good amount of vitamins and minerals.

For many vitamin and mineral supplements, theres no clear scientific evidence they have any health benefits .

So, if you feel you need more of a particular vitamin or mineral, it is advisable to try to eat more of the foods containing it, rather than to buy expensive vitamin and mineral supplements.

You also need to be aware that some vitamins, when taken in large doses, can have side effects.

Some supplements, for example vitamin B6 and iron supplements, may also affect the absorption of your Parkinson’s medication.

Before purchasing any ‘over the counter’ mineral and vitamin supplements from chemists or health food shops, consult your GP, specialist, Parkinson’s nurse or registered dietitian for advice.

When Should I Take My Parkinsons Medication

A quick sheet to help you study Parkinson

When you take your Parkinson’s medication should always be discussed with your GP, specialist or Parkinsons nurse.

Some people with Parkinsons may feel sick after taking medication, especially if they take it on an empty stomach.

Having a snack, such as a plain cracker or biscuit, at the same time as taking your medication can help ease this side effect. Or you may find taking medication with plenty of water can help to reduce nausea.

Your GP can also prescribe anti-sickness tablets if you do feel sick after taking your medication.

Talk to your GP, specialist or Parkinson’s nurse if you have difficulty swallowing your medication. It may help to take your medication with a cold drink, such as water, squash or fruit juice, or with yoghurt.

You may also benefit from a referral to a speech and language therapist.

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Eating When Youre Tired

If you donĂ¢t have energy for meals later in the day, you can:

Pick foods that are easy to fix, and save your energy for eating. If you live with your family, let them help you make your meal.

Look into a delivery service. Some grocery stores have them. Or you can check if you might be able to get food delivered from your local Meals on Wheels program for free or for a small fee.

Keep healthy snack foods on hand, like fresh fruit and vegetables or high-fiber cold cereals.

Freeze extra portions of what you cook so you have a quick meal when you feel worn out.

Rest before you eat so you can enjoy your meal. And eat your biggest meal early in the day to fuel yourself for later.

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