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Does Parkinson’s Cause Weight Loss

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

Weight Loss in Parkinsonism

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.

Weight Eating Habits In Parkinson’s Disease

Sissa Medialab
A review of the scientific literature on Parkinsons disease shows that even the non-motor symptoms associated with the disease can contribute to the changes in body weight seen in patients . Among the factors affecting eating habits and body weight there could be, for example, an impaired ability to derive pleasure from food and changes in motivation. These are important findings which can help to understand how to reduce these effects of Parkinsons that exacerbate an already negative clinical situation.

A review of the scientific literature on Parkinson’s disease, conducted by SISSA research scientists, shows that even the non-motor symptoms associated with the disease can contribute to the changes in body weight seen in patients . Among the factors affecting eating habits and body weight there could be, for example, an impaired ability to derive pleasure from food and changes in motivation. These are important findings which can help to understand how to reduce these effects of Parkinson’s that exacerbate an already negative clinical situation.

“Studies like ours can help those working with these patients: awareness of the roles played by the different factors is in fact crucial for devising interventions aiming to minimise the effect of the deficits and restore normal weight levels in individuals who are already suffering because of the disease.”

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Should I Take Supplements

In general, its best to get vitamins and minerals from the food you eat rather than through supplements. And while there is some research that shows that supplemental Vitamin D and calcium may be beneficial in promoting bone health if bone thinning is an issue for you, theres much debate about that as well. The truth is, no supplements have been proven beneficial to Parkinsons. Again, its important to talk to your doctor about any supplements you think might be beneficial to introduce into your diet as there have been some cases where unregulated supplements have made Parkinsons symptoms worse.

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Chief Medical Officer Was Silenced In Canadas Residential Schools

Content warning: This story deals with the neglect and abuse suffered by children at Canadas Indian residential schools. People affected by the schools can call the Canadian Residential School Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419 for support.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which investigated the residential school system in 2015, found that about half the deaths recorded were attributed to tuberculosis .

Most TB deaths at the schools occurred in the late 1800s and early 1900s, when TB was a major public health issue in Canada and there were no reliable drug treatments. But that does not mean the deaths were unavoidable or unexpected, says Elizabeth Rea, MD, an associate medical officer of health at Toronto Public Health and a member of the steering committee for Stop TB Canada.

The risk factors for TB were well-known in the medical community at the time, she says.

Deadly Rates of TB

Those conditions crowding, poverty, malnutrition, and poor ventilation were the norm in Indigenous communities and, especially, residential schools, which contributed to disproportionate rates of TB.

In the 1930s and 1940s, the annual TB death rate in Indigenous populations was around 700 per 100,000 people about 20 times higher than in the population as a whole but in residential schools, it was an astronomical 8,000 per 100,000.

A National Crime: Reported

Inter-Generational Trauma

They want to break the cycle and complete their healing journey, she says.

How Can Parkinsons Patients Gain Weight


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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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.

Foods That Are Hard To Chew

Many people with Parkinsons have difficulty with chewing and swallowing foods. A person needs medical help if this is the case. A speech and language therapist may be able to help a person overcome this issue.

However, if a person is finding certain foods hard to chew and swallow, they may wish to avoid these foods.

Such foods include:

  • dry, crumbly foods
  • tough or chewy meats

If a person does wish to eat chewy meats, they could try using gravy or sauce to soften them and make eating easier.

They could also try chopping meat into smaller pieces or incorporating meat into casseroles, which can make it more tender.

Having a drink with a meal can also make chewing and swallowing easier.

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Diet And Medicines For Parkinsons Disease

Many of the drugs used to treat PD can cause side effects that impact diet, including:1,3

Amino acids found in protein sources like meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products can interfere with the absorption of the drug levodopa. This makes the drug less effective in managing symptoms of PD. This can be avoided by:1,3

  • Taking the medicine 30 minutes before meals
  • Eating protein-containing foods at dinner rather than at breakfast or lunch
  • Ensuring that the recommended amount of protein is being consumed

Many people consume significantly more protein than is recommended. A good rule to remember is that the protein should be about the size and depth of a deck of cards.1,3

Early Weight Loss With Parkinson’s May Be Red Flag

What causes the loss of dopamine neurons in Parkinson’s disease?

Researchers suspect this could indicate worse form of disease

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Jan. 11, 2016 — People who lose weight in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease may have a more serious form of the movement disorder, according to a new study.

Parkinson’s is a chronic and progressive disease marked by tremors, impaired coordination, and slowness and/or stiffness. The cause and cure are unknown.

Weight loss is common in Parkinson’s patients, according to background information from the study. But the study findings, published online Jan. 11 in the journal JAMA Neurology, suggest that weight loss in the early stages of the disease could be a red flag for doctors.

“I suspect we may be looking at several subtypes of this disease,” study lead author Dr. Anne-Marie Wills, of Massachusetts General Hospital’s neurological clinical research institute, said in a hospital news release.

“The patients who experience early weight loss appear to have a more severe, systemic form of the disease, possibly due to involvement of the neuroendocrine system or the gastrointestinal nervous system, while those who gained weight may have a milder form of the disease,” she explained.

For the study, conducted between 2007 and 2013, the researchers examined data from more than 1,600 people who had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s within the previous five years.

It’s not known if maintaining or increasing weight could slow the progression of Parkinson’s.

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Add Medication For A Winning Combo

Diet and exercise are important for managing PD, but dont forget about medications. Take them regularly and exactly as your doctor prescribes.

If you tend to forget your medication, set an alarm to remind you. You can also use a pillbox thats labeled with days and times of day. Take your meds on a set schedule, dont skip doses and dont double dose, says Dr. Gostkowski. When youre diligent about taking your medications and following a healthy lifestyle, youll feel your best.

Weight Changes In Pre

In prospective American cohort or casecontrol and Chinese epidemiological studies, a decrease of body weight was reported several years prior to diagnosis .1). On the other hand, large Finnish and Japanese cohort studies reported a weight gain in pre-diagnostic PD . The same result was found in the Honolulu Heart Program which included Americans of Japanese origin . No association between PD and BMI before or at disease onset was reported for the Greece EPIC population , the UK-based general Practice Research Database , and in Italian casecontrol studies . As degeneration of the dopaminergic system begins years before diagnosis , BMI variation may reflect a dysregulation of dopaminergic control of eating behavior rather than modification of energy metabolism in pre-motor stages of the disease. Apathy, depression, and anxiety are frequent in de novo PD and eating disorders may also appear in response to these negative emotional state. In the general population, a strong association between depression and overweight has been described which may be due to sub-threshold eating disorders described as emotional eating , increased snacking , or increased sweet preference . Alterations of eating behavior have been described in de novo PD, prior to treatment .

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Prevalence Of Malnutrition In Pd

Weight loss in PD has been reported since the first publication of James Parkinson in 1817. A recent meta-analysis on BMI in PD reported a lower BMI of PD patients than controls , which is related to disease severity . Average weight loss is about 3.6kg 8years after diagnosis or 6kg in one decade . Both fat mass and lean body mass were reported to be reduced in PD patients who lost weight . It should be outlined that a lower average BMI does not mean that many PD patients are at risk for malnutrition. In spite of a decline of body weight, during disease progression patients may be overweight . Prevalence of underweight depends on the used assessment tool and ranges from 0 to 24% , while 360% of PD patients were reported to be at risk of malnutrition . However, the use of the mini nutritional assessment, a valid nutrition assessment tool, resulted in malnutrition rates of only 02% while 2034% were at risk of malnutrition . Malnutrition is associated with disease severity .

How Is Parkinson Disease Treated

Weight Management

Parkinson disease can’t be cured. But there are different therapies that can help control symptoms. Many of the medicines used to treat Parkinson disease help to offset the loss of the chemical dopamine in the brain. Most of these medicines help manage symptoms quite successfully.

A procedure called deep brain stimulation may also be used to treat Parkinson disease. It sends electrical impulses into the brain to help control tremors and twitching movements. Some people may need surgery to manage Parkinson disease symptoms. Surgery may involve destroying small areas of brain tissue responsible for the symptoms. However, these surgeries are rarely done since deep brain stimulation is now available.

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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.

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

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.

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Lately Ive Been Having A Lot Of Trouble With Chewing And Swallowing It Makes It Really Difficult To Eat What Can I Do

This is a common problem many people with Parkinsons struggle with. One thing you can do is to work with your foods consistency and consider softer food, like applesauce or slow-cooked meats. It can also help to add moisture to foods with gravy or sauce so that your food is easier to swallow.

Another option is to partially blend your meal. You can do this by putting 75% of your meal in the blender and saving the rest to eat as solid food. Crock pots are also great for cooking meats or vegetables so that they are really tender and easy to swallow. If you have trouble swallowing liquids, you can thicken fluid with things like applesauce. You can also consider meeting with a speech-language therapist to find specific ways to improve your chewing and swallowing.

Strategies For Maintaining A Stable Body Weight In Pd

Hormonal Imbalances that Cause Weight Gain and Weight Loss Resistance

As weight gain may be desirable or deleterious, the patients individual situation should be thoroughly evaluated. Before intervention the following factors should be assessed:

  • Actual BMI and previous weight loss, normal weight, previous fluctuations of body weight, and eating disorders.

  • Estimation of pre- and post-surgery EE: motor symptoms, dyskinesia, physical activity.

  • Actual alimentation, eating habits, and eating disorders.

  • Psychological assessment: apathy, depression, hyperactivity.

  • Quality of sleep .

In DBS patients, nutritional intervention has been shown to be effective and should be performed routinely . As weight gain occurs essentially in the first months after surgery, information and dietetic guidance of the patient should start before surgery. As energy requirement is often diminished after successful surgery, an energy-reduced diet should take place and be maintained lifelong. Patients should be encouraged to control their body weight regularly, to supervise their alimentation, and to practice regular physical exercise. These measures should be considered as an adaptation of lifestyle rather than short-time diet.

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Dopaminergic Control Of Eating Behavior

The hypothalamic control of food intake is modulated by the dopaminergic system and both systems are modulated by homeostatic orexigenic and anorexigenic signals such as ghrelin and leptin . Dopamine and the dopamine D2 receptor play a central role in motivated behavior including feeding behavior . However, the role of the dopaminergic system in feeding behavior is very complex and not completely understood. It seems to exert different actions in separate circuits and in the pattern of release .

Exposure to food and food-related cues results in an activation of the mesolimbic dopamine system and especially the projection from the ventral tegmental area to the nucleus accumbens . This led to the hypothesis that the mesolimbic dopamine system mediated pleasure associated with eating . This idea is strongly challenged since it was shown that dopaminergic depletion of nucleus accumbens does not blunt the hedonic response to pleasant food and dopamine is not required for liking of food . In line with these results, dopamine-deficient mice still demonstrate a marked preference for sucrose over water .

These observations led to the reward deficiency hypothesis for overeating. According to this hypothesis, overeating may be considered as a therapy of low dopaminergic state leading to weight gain and obesity . However, as stated by Berridge et al. , the decrease of D2 receptors in obesity could also be a downregulation following overeating.


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