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Do You Lose Weight With Parkinson’s

Eat Plenty Of Protein But Not With Levodopa Medications

How to lose weight quicker – Parkinsons LAW

If youre taking a levodopa medication, your doctor may tell you to avoid protein when taking your meds. Both animal and plant protein can interfere with the absorption of levodopa medications.

But you should still eat plenty of protein. Just be strategic with the timing. Dont take levodopa medications with meals, Dr. Gostkowski says. Its best to take it on an empty stomach either 30 minutes before your meal or an hour after eating.

If you get nauseous from the medication, eat a small amount of starchy food with it, such as crackers. Make sure whatever you eat with your medicine doesnt have protein. Its a misunderstanding that people with Parkinsons should avoid protein, Dr. Gostkowski says. You definitely need protein in your diet. Just dont eat it when youre taking your levodopa medication.

Frontiers In Aging Neuroscience

Institute of Neuroscience, Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences , China

Reviewed by

Chongqing Medical University, China

The editor and reviewers’ affiliations are the latest provided on their Loop research profiles and may not reflect their situation at the time of review.

Smell Loss As A Potential Diagnostic Tool

While there is no treatment for smell loss, this symptom is valuable in research toward earlier diagnosis and therapeutic intervention.

Early detection is a crucial step to understanding the causes of and developing better treatments for Parkinson’s disease . Even before the typical tremor and slowness of movement occur, it may be possible to detect early changes in the brain and symptoms that are associated with PD.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s landmark study, the Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative , is studying people with smell loss. Some people who enrolled in PPMI with only smell loss have since developed Parkinson’s disease. By looking back at the brain scans and blood tests those volunteers contributed before their Parkinson’s diagnosis, scientists can understand what is happening in the earliest stages of the disease. That information could lead to early diagnostic tests and treatments to slow or stop Parkinson’s progression, perhaps before tremor or slowness begin.

The medical information contained in this article is for general information purposes only. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research has a policy of refraining from advocating, endorsing or promoting any drug therapy, course of treatment, or specific company or institution. It is crucial that care and treatment decisions related to Parkinson’s disease and any other medical condition be made in consultation with a physician or other qualified medical professional.

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My Brother Who Was Diagnosed With Parkinson’s Disease Last Year Has No Appetite And Has Been Losing Weight Over The Past Three Years Is This Common With Pd If So What Can He Do To Get His Appetite Back

Lisa M. Shulman, MD, FAAN, responds:

Weight loss is fairly common in people with Parkinson’s disease, although the reason for it is unknown. In most cases patients report losing weight in spite of a robust appetite and using high-calorie supplements.

Confirm a Connection

The first step in managing the problem would be to confirm that your brother’s weight loss is associated with PD. Losing weight can be connected to many medical conditions, so it’s important to encourage your brother to see a primary care physician for a thorough evaluation to exclude other causes and factors.

Rule Out Depression

In addition to various medical conditions that can cause weight loss, emotional problems such as depression can also be contributing factors. Depression occurs in about one-third of PD patients. If depression is the problem, suggest that your brother see a therapist or psychiatrist, who will determine if he needs a prescription for an antidepressant. Depression in PD is treated with many of the same medications prescribed for the general population of people with depression.

Consult a Nutritionist

If your brother’s doctor doesn’t identify any other causes for his weight loss, you may want to consult a nutritional specialist who can review your brother’s diet and suggest modifications, including high-calorie supplements.

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Weight Loss And Parkinsons Disease

Exercise for Parkinson

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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Who Can Give Me Advice On Diet And Eating Problems

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.

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Dramatic Weight Loss In A Patient With Parkinson Disease

Heidi Moawad, MD

Editor’s Note:The Case Challenge series includes difficult-to-diagnose conditions, some of which are not frequently encountered by most clinicians but are nonetheless important to accurately recognize. Test your diagnostic and treatment skills using the following patient scenario and corresponding questions. If you have a case that you would like to suggest for a future Case Challenge, please .


A 67-year-old man who was diagnosed with Parkinson disease 8 years ago has experienced recent, unintentional weight loss. He lost 30 lb over the course of 12 months. He is 6’1″ tall and his weight is now 136 lb , giving him a body mass index of 18 kg/m2, which is slightly underweight.

The patient has never been overweight. His cholesterol and blood glucose levels were previously in the upper limits of the reference range. However, he has not recently been dieting or trying to lose weight. He states that he has not paid much attention to how much he has been eating lately.

Other than Parkinson disease, the patient does not have a significant or relevant medical history. He has been taking a combination of amantadine and carbidopa/levodopa, with good control of his motor symptoms. His Parkinson disease is mainly characterized by a resting tremor in his left arm muscle rigidity in all four extremities a flat affect and a slow, shuffling gait.

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Signs Of Parkinsons Disease

In 1817, Dr. James Parkinson published An Essay on the Shaking Palsy describing non-motor, as well as, motor symptoms of the illness that bears his name. Parkinsons is not just a movement disorder, explained Dr. Shprecher. Constipation, impaired sense of smell, and dream enactment can occur years before motor symptoms of Parkinsons. The latter, caused by a condition called REM sleep behavior disorder, is a very strong risk factor for both Parkinsons and dementia . This has prompted us to join a consortium of centers studying REM sleep behavior disorder.

Bump Up Your Fiber Intake

A high-fiber diet is a proven way to avoid constipation, a common problem for people with PD.

Parkinsons can slow down the intestines and cause constipation, Dr. Gostkowski says. Fiber helps keep things moving. There are plenty of high-fiber foods out there, so choose your favorites. Women should aim for 25 grams of fiber per day, and men should get 38 grams.

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Cognitive Impairment And Depression

The dementia is more common and severe in the late stages, the prevalence of which is about 20% of PD cases in cross-sectional studies and 80% in longitudinal studies . Furthermore, mild cognitive impairment may be present early in the course of PD. The characteristics of cognitive impairments in PD are attention, executive dysfunction and visuospatial processing deficits , which may be implicated in eating behavior. Several studies have indicated that PD patients with impaired cognitive function tend to be at increased risk of weight loss , while another study has not observed this correlation . It is important to note that some studies excluded patients with dementia or cognitive dysfunctions from their sample and this exclusion criterion might sweep the relation between cognitive decline and weight loss under the carpet. Intriguingly, although patients treated with DBS may experience weight gain during a follow-up period, subtle cognitive declines has been announced after the surgery by some studies . This cognitive side-effect questions the effect of cognition on weight loss in PD. Thus, further studies are needed to corroborate the relation between cognition and weight loss in PD. Since cognitive deficits progress with the disease, a long observation time would be needed and patients with different severities of cognitive decline should be included.

What Are The Various Reasons Due To Which Parkinsons Patients Gain Weight

Parkinsons Awareness Month

Parkinsons patient suffer from depression, reduced cognitive abilities, sensory deterioration mainly smell and taste with an impaired facility to receive pleasure from eating that leads to incorrect food habits. From the literature review, an interesting fact about the possible role of ability to feel pleasure and motivation towards consuming food has come forward. Due to the impaired ability to feel pleasure regarding food, Parkinson patients eat less and therefore lose weight. A trend of gaining weight has been observed after deep brain simulation which indicates an elevation in pleasure and motivation towards food consumption. However, specifics studies need to be conducted to refute or confirm the findings. Such studies will help those working with patients by creating awareness about the factors in work in order to come up with solutions to manage the effects of deficits and restore normal weight levels of the individuals already enduring because of the disease.

Factors such as epigenetic, metabolic, genetic & environmental factors define and influence the body weight. In addition to that, physiological setting homeostatic behavioral adjustments can protect against gaining of weight as well as loss of weight.

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Ive Heard So Much About The Diet For People With Parkinsons Does It Really Work

Despite the buzz, theres no one diet that has been shown to be universally beneficial for people with Parkinsons.

The ketogenic diet has received a lot of attention recently as it can be beneficial for patients with epilepsy and early trials are being done on rat models to see if the same is true for Parkinsons however, there is not yet significant evidence that it is therapeutic for Parkinsons.

Some people with Parkinsons find that gluten can be inflammatory to their gut and cause digestive distress. If this is the case for you, introducing a gluten-free diet may help relieve some of your symptoms.

When it comes to vegan, paleo and vegetarian diets, no conclusive evidence finds one to be therapeutic for Parkinsons. Still, speak to people with Parkinsons whove done some experimenting, and youre likely to find plenty of people who sing the praises of one diet vs another. In the end, it comes down to experimentation and discovering what works best for you based on your symptoms and goals.

Weight Loss And Malnutrition In Patients With Parkinson’s Disease: Current Knowledge And Future Prospects

  • 1Department of Neurology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China
  • 2Department of Neurology, Anhui Provincial Hospital, The First Affiliated Hospital of University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Division of Basic Neuroscience, and Mailman Neuroscience Research Center, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA, United States

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Calcium And Vitamin D Intake

Osteoporosis is particularly important to avoid as falls are common in Parkinsons. It is now thought that there is a link between the severity of Parkinsons and bone density so you should ask your doctor to assess your calcium and Vitamin D to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Although Vitamin D is not found in food, the following foods may be fortified with Vitamin D:

  • Good food and beverage sources of calcium are low fat milk, fortified soy/rice beverages, fortified juice, low fat cheeses and yogurts.
  • Good food and beverage sources of vitamin D are low fat milk, fortified soy/rice beverages, fortified juice, fatty fish, and fortified yogurt.
  • There are many different kinds of calcium and vitamin D supplements. Ask your pharmacist for advice on the different kinds available. If you unable to move around, do not take calcium or vitamin D supplements without consulting your doctor.

Do as much weight-bearing exercise as you can, such as walking, dancing, or aerobics. Aim for 30 minutes or more of activity per day as often as you can. Talk to your doctor or physiotherapist on how to safely include activity into your lifestyle.

Other vitamins and minerals

Vitamins A, D, E and K tend to be found in milk and dairy food and are fat-soluble, which means that they remain in the body for some weeks before being used or expelled.


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Can I Drink Alcohol

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Theres no definite answer as to whether alcohol has any effect on the symptoms of Parkinsons however, like caffeine, alcohol can be a bladder irritant to some. If this is the case for you, avoiding alcohol may help alleviate urinary discomfort. Similarly, alcohol late at night may interfere with your sleep and if that is a problem for you, avoiding it may help you sleep better through the night.

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Decreased Appetite In Pd Can Have Many Causes:

  • Apathy or the state of emotional indifference, is a common non-motor symptom in PD. With a decreased interest in activities in general, there may be a decreased interest in meal preparation and meals, leading to decreased food intake.
  • Depression is also a common non-motor symptom of PD which can manifest as decreased appetite and food intake.
  • Nausea can be a side effect of PD medications. It can also be caused by gastroparesis or slow emptying of the stomach, a common problem in PD. Either way, the presence of nausea can have a significant impact on appetite.

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