Thursday, August 11, 2022

Parkinson’s And Weight Loss

No Matter What I Do I Keep Gaining Weight Whats Happening And What Can I Do About It

Parkinson’s & Weight Loss Success Story

Weight gain is another common side effect that can occur from a decreased ability to exercise or as a result of gastric emptying, in which you may feel like youre uncontrollably gaining weight despite not eating much. The discrepancy may have to do with your body going into starvation mode as it tries to recalibrate your energy input and output. Again, the best course of action is to speak with your doctor about a weight loss plan that aligns with your specific issues and goals. Also, you might consider an anti-inflammatory diet if youre suffering from weight gain associated with gastric emptying.

Enteric Nervous System And Gastrointestinal Disorders

Gastrointestinal functions are regulated by the enteric nervous system, a neuronal network organized in two plexuses, myenteric and submucosal, which control gut motility and secretion .

In PD, the enteral nervous system is affected by alpha-synucleinopathy which may explain the high incidence of gastrointestinal disorders, beginning in pre-motor stages of the disease. The most frequent symptom is chronic constipation affecting up to 89% of PD patients . The primary cause for constipation is impaired peristalsis with slow colonic transit due to neurodegeneration of myenteric neurons, which may be modulated by dopamine . In some patients, constipation is secondary to abnormal coordination of the rectoanal reflex with paradoxical contraction of the puborectalis muscle, which leads to defecatory dysfunction . Loss of serotonergic neurons in raphe nucleus is thought to be involved in this clinical feature . Gastroparesis is characterized by slowed emptying of food into the small bowel leading to postprandial fullness, early satiety, nausea, vomiting, and bloating . Gastrointestinal disorders affect the quality of life and may limit food intake thus contributing to mal- and under-nutrition in PD .

How Is Parkinson Disease Diagnosed

Parkinson disease can be hard to diagnose. No single test can identify it. Parkinson can be easily mistaken for another health condition. A healthcare provider will usually take a medical history, including a family history to find out if anyone else in your family has Parkinson’s disease. He or she will also do a neurological exam. Sometimes, an MRI or CT scan, or some other imaging scan of the brain can identify other problems or rule out other diseases.

Read Also: Cleveland Clinic Parkinson’s Bicycle Study 2017

How Does Parkinsons Disease Change The Way You Eat

If youve been diagnosed with Parkinsons disease, you may have noticed some changes in your appetite and eating habits, says Dr. Subramanian.

For example, some of your prescription medications may work best on an empty stomach, but they may also cause nausea in some people when taken without food.

We advise people to take their medication about an hour before meals, if possible, to avoid any protein interaction, Subramanian says. Eating protein-rich foods like meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, and beans too close to the time you take medications can interfere with how the body processes some medications prescribed to treat Parkinsons disease, which may cause them to work less quickly or less effectively.

If you experience nausea after taking your medication on an empty stomach, your doctor may recommend eating a small, light snack like crackers or applesauce before taking your pills.

Subramanian also notes that loss of appetite and subsequent weight loss are a major concern for people with Parkinsons disease. This may be caused by symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, decreased ability to taste or smell, nausea side effects from medications, or movement problems that make it difficult to eat.

To address these issues, the Parkinsons Foundation recommends:

What Are The Best Foods To Eat For Parkinsons Disease


If you had a healthy diet before being diagnosed with Parkinsons, theres a good chance you dont have to overhaul your eating habits very much. But there are a few additional considerations you should be aware of.

The Parkinsons Foundation recommends eating a diet thats full of grains like brown rice and breads vegetables fruits, including berries and sliced apples and lean protein like beans. Collectively, these foods provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, and complex carbohydrates to help you lower your intake of fat and maintain a healthy weight while giving your body the nutrients it needs.

The Mediterranean Diet has become popular in Parkinsons disease, and we recommend it to a lot of our patients, Subramanian says. We also recommend the Mind Diet, which is low in salt and is designed to improve brain function. Generally, its best to avoid processed foods and foods with artificial or simple sugars. Try to stay as much as you can in a whole-food and plant-based diet.

In addition, following the guidelines established by the US Department of Agriculture MyPlate program will enable you to have a balanced diet that provides your body with the energy, protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber it needs for good health. For example, eating meals rich in calcium, magnesium, and vitamins D and K can help strengthen bones, which is especially important given that Parkinsons disease can increase your risk of bone-thinning.

  • Salmon
  • Spinach
  • Certain nuts, like almonds

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Dietitians Speech Pathologists And Mental Health Experts Can Help Too

Talking to a registered dietitian can help you make changes to your diet for example, by learning how to use thickening liquids or soften solid foods.

If swallowing continues to be a problem, a speech-language pathologist may be able to help you find ways to make swallowing easier.

A speech pathologist who is also a swallow therapist can do a swallow study, a test during which you try different foods and they monitor how you swallow using an X-ray machine, Subramanian explains. Food aspiration, or when food gets into your lungs, can be a problem with Parkinsons disease, so the swallow study can identify problem foods and your doctors can recommend changes and diet modifications to make eating safer.

Finally, as anxiety or depression are common in people with Parkinsons and can suppress appetite, its important to recognize symptoms associated with these behavioral health conditions and seek out treatment if needed.

Predictors Of Weight Loss In Pd

Increased energy expenditure

Despite eventual weight loss, PD patients increase their energy intake by about 350kcal/day, mainly due to increased carbohydrate intake .2). This suggests that weight loss is induced by increased energy expenditure . Indeed, metabolic studies had shown that resting EE is increased in PD in ON and OFF-medication state. The main factors for this increase seem to be dyskinesia and rigidity . Consequently, when patients with severe dyskinesia were excluded, resting EE was not increased . Dyskinesia and rigidity as well as tremor may be considered as spontaneous physical activity, like standing or fidgeting. In healthy volunteers, it was shown that spontaneous physical activity may account for EE up to 700kcal/day . If this is not compensated by energy intake, weight loss is inevitable.

Mechanisms of body weight loss in PD. Mechanisms of body weight loss in Parkinsons disease according to the stage of the disease. Factors with important contribution to weight loss are dark grey.

Impaired homeostatic regulation of energy metabolism

Ghrelin, the gastric «hunger hormone» is reduced in PD and has even been considered as a potential biomarker of the disease . This could be due to impaired gastric mobility and contribute to weight loss in all stages of the disease . Furthermore, evidence from studies with rodents indicate that hypothalamic leptin signaling might be enhanced in PD .

Impact of dopaminergic treatment

Other factors

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What’s Hot In Pd Should We Be More Aggressive In Preventing Weight Loss In Parkinsons Disease

Slow and steady weight loss is a known feature of Parkinsons disease. Weight loss may initially be a positive and popular disease related feature. However, as patients dip below their ideal body weight, this may possibly impact quality of life and other outcomes . In this months Whats Hot in PD?, we will discuss a recent article on weight loss in Parkinsons disease.

In this months issue of Neurology, the Parkinsonism Incidence in North-East Scotland focused on weight loss . The study examined newly diagnosed patients and followed them, as well as matched controls, longitudinally for about five years. Of 515 participants and 240 controls, 187 had Parkinsons disease and 88 had atypical parkinsonism . In general, both Parkinsons disease and atypical parkinsonism cases had lower body weights and lost weight faster when compared to controls. Atypical parkinsonism cases had the lowest body weights and most rapid weight loss. Older age was the factor that was most associated with weight loss however, in cases with weight loss in the first year, there was a strong association with dependency on a caregiver, dementia and death .

Selected References

  • Cumming K, Macleod AD, Myint PK, Counsell CE. Early weight loss in parkinsonism predicts poor outcomes: Evidence from an incident cohort study. Neurology. 2017 Nov 28 89:2254-2261. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004691. Epub 2017 Oct 27. PubMed PMID: 29079685.
  • Living With Parkinson Disease

    How to lose weight quicker – Parkinsons LAW

    These measures can help you live well with Parkinson disease:

    • An exercise routine can help keep muscles flexible and mobile. Exercise also releases natural brain chemicals that can improve emotional well-being.
    • High protein meals can benefit your brain chemistry
    • Physical, occupational, and speech therapy can help your ability to care for yourself and communicate with others
    • If you or your family has questions about Parkinson disease, want information about treatment, or need to find support, you can contact the American Parkinson Disease Association.

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    How To Boost Appetite

    If a person has a low appetite due to an underlying medical condition, treating the condition may improve it.

    For longer-term causes of low appetites, such as cancer, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network suggest that people adjust their eating habits to increase their desire for food by:

    • eating foods that look and smell good using aromatic spices and herbs to enhance flavour making meals enjoyable
    • planning meals the day before
    • drinking plenty of liquids

    As other lifestyle factors, such as sleep, exercise, and stress, also influence appetite, PanCAN recommends:

    • getting enough rest
    • taking medications to reduce nausea, if appropriate

    What Should I Eat Before And After I Exercise

    In the same way that theres no one diet for anyone, the timing of your meals before and after exercise will largely depend on you. While its important to limit your protein intake after taking your carb/levodopa, if you want a pre-workout snack, you can choose something light and carbohydrate-based, as this wont interfere with the absorption of your medicine. After you work out, it may be a good time for a protein-rich snack, so long as it is eaten at least 30 minutes before your next dose of medicine. With that framework, the exact type and timing of snacks before and after exercise is something that you can experiment with and talk to your doctor about.

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    How Can Parkinsons Patients Gain Weight

    Pin on Health

    According to a review of the scientific journal on Parkinsons disease, published by the SISSA research scientists states that the weight of patients suffering from Parkinson disease can be affected by the non motor symptoms associated with the disease. Along with influencing the food habits and changing body weight, the disease also impairs the persons ability to derive pleasure from food and discourages any motivation. These studies are helpful in understanding the ways to reduce the adverse effects of the Parkinson disease which aggravates an already harmful medical problem.

    There are a series of changes in body that a patient of Parkinsons go through they may lose or gain a large amount of weight depending on the stage of the disease or they may also end up putting ten kilos after deep brain simulation . These only add to the plight of the patients and negatively affect the quality of life which is already in distress by the non responsive motor disorders. Hence, it is vital to understand the issues causing it. The body weight and eating habits of Parkinsons patients change as the disease progresses. Studies reviewed on the Parkinsons that provided data on the association between non-motor symptoms and dietary habits and body weight evaluated some factors which, beyond the motor symptoms and drug treatments, might play a role in this problem.

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    Management Of Weight Loss

    Patients who have Parkinsons disease will have to look towards a balanced diet that will help in giving the right quantity of proteins, calories, and other nutrients to the body to ensure that there is no weight loss. As the menu changes from one individual to another, the doctor refers to a dietician who will look into the preparation of the chart. Apart from the addition of the mentioned components, the dietician will also include vitamins, fluids, and dietary fiber that further help in preventing the occurrence of weight loss.

    People diagnosed with Parkinsons disease may find losing weight in the initial stage or the final stage. In such cases, opting for high-calorie foods is preferable. The best examples are deserts, biscuits, and peanut butter, as they are rich in calories, and helps in filling the gap between the demand and supply. Furthermore, avoiding three large meals in a day is necessary and is crucial to replace the same with smaller meals at regular interval. It will ensure that the body is receiving the needed quantity of calories, proteins, nutrients, and fluids. It will also help in easy digestion. Apart from this, it is also necessary to time the intake of food in such a way that there will be no interference of protein with the absorption of levodopa. Addition of fluids will prevent dehydration and avoids the occurrence of urinary tract infections or development of kidney stones.

    Weight Loss And Parkinsons Disease

    Dad used to tell us that he has two sets of clothes: a normal set and a set of skinny clothes that emerge when he gets sick.

    Dad was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in his 30s, and the illness caused him to lose a startling amount of weight. He was thin to begin with, but the disease found ways to take more away.

    Ulcerative colitis became more manageable for my dad as time moved forward. He put on a healthy amount of weight and chose his food based on desire rather than necessity. With the help of my mom and his friends, he was able to nurse himself back to health.

    But for the next 34 years, his two sets of clothing would hang in the corner of his bedroom closet because he never was certain when his health might change. Today, Parkinsons disease is back to challenge this strategy. And Dads skinny clothes are making an appearance.

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