Could Parkinson’s Disease Raise Stroke Risk
Or is the link the other way around? Study finds a connection, but cause-and-effect isn’t clear
However, the study can’t prove that one condition causes the other — or even which direction the link might travel, the researchers said.
For example, maybe Parkinson’s somehow raises a person’s odds for ischemic stroke — the type that’s caused by a clot and makes up the vast majority of strokes. Or, it could be that having a stroke weakens the brain, raising the risk that a patient will develop Parkinson’s.
Or, as one expert who reviewed the findings said, a separate, unknown factor might independently link the two conditions.
“There may be some processes that occur with aging that increase the risk of bothstroke and neurodegenerative disorders” such as Parkinson’s, said Dr. Andrew Feigin, a neurologist at Northwell Health’s Neuroscience Institute in Manhasset, N.Y.
More study will be needed to unravel the connection, said a team of researchers led by Dr. Benjamin Kummer, of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.
In the study, Kummer’s team tracked outcomes for a sample of about 1.6 million U.S. Medicare recipients between 2008 and 2014.
When You Have No Appetite
Some days, you just may not feel like eating at all.
Talk to your doctor. Sometimes, depression can cause poor appetite. Your hunger likely will return when you get treatment.
Walk or do another light activity to rev up your appetite.
Drink beverages after youâve finished eating so you donât feel full before the meal.
Include your favorite foods in your menu. Eat the high-calorie foods on your plate first. But avoid empty calories from sugary sodas, candies, and chips.
Perk up your meals by trying different dishes and ingredients.
Choose high-protein and high-calorie snacks, including:
- Ice cream
Craving Tip #: Keep Your Blood Sugar Balanced
The first and most important thing is to keep your blood sugar balanced throughout the day. If you have dips in your blood sugar, sugar and refined carb cravings will come in full force. To boost your brain health and keep your blood sugar stable, remember this equation:
PP + FF
Having these macronutrients balanced at your meals and snacks will keep the sugar cravings at bay and boost your brain health.
Protein: Protein is essential building blocks of neurotransmitters.; Some examples include wild-caught fish, beans, eggs, tofu, tempeh, hemp seeds, and leafy green veggies.
Phytonutrients: Phytonutrients are essential for protecting our brains from oxidative stress.; Phytonutrients are the colors in fruits and veggies. The more color the better, since phytonutrients work better in combination!;
Fiber: Fiber is essential for feeding the good gut bacteria that help you create neurotransmitters and is wonderful for keeping your blood sugar stable. Fiber can be found in whole grains, fruits, veggies, and seeds.;
Fat:; Fat has gotten a bad reputation, but it is crucial to boosting your brain health and keeping your blood sugar stable! Some examples of healthy fats include butter, ghee, avocado oil, olive oil, coconut oil, egg yolks, nuts, seeds, and avocado.;
Try to include all four for your meals and at least two for your snacks.;
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Blood Sugar And Energy Levels
Every cell in the human body relies on sugar for energy. When blood sugar rises, the body produces a hormone to ferry glucose out of the blood stream and into cells. When blood sugar drops, the body secretes different hormones to raise it. In this way, our blood-sugar and hormone levels are in constant flux, ensuring our cells access to glucose. But drastic swings in blood sugar levels sap us of energy, leading to lethargy and fatigue.
What Does This Mean
This study suggests that nearly two thirds of non-diabetic people with PD may be insulin resistant, despite having normal blood sugar, and in some cases, despite being lean. Thus, the big take-away from this study is that people with PD may want to have a more sensitive insulin test conducted, such as the HOMA-IR, to see if they have undiagnosed insulin resistance. There are several other IR tests as well. Which of these tests, or combinations thereof, might be best to evaluate a persons IR is something to be discussed with ones health care provider.
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How Does Fibre Help
Fibre absorbs fluid as it moves through your bowel, forming a soft stool that can be passed more easily.
It is very important to increase your fluid intake if you increase the fibre in your diet, because too much fibre without enough fluid can increase constipation.
A dietitian can give you more information and advice.
How can I increase my fibre intake?
Fibre is found in cereals, seeds, nuts, fruit, vegetables and pulses, such as peas, beans and lentils. To increase your fibre intake you can try:
- eating high-fibre varieties of foods, such as wholemeal bread, pasta or brown rice
- altering recipes to use some wholemeal flour instead of all white flour
- choosing a breakfast cereal containing wheat, wheatbran or oats, such as Weetabix, porridge or bran flakes
- eating more vegetables. They can be raw or cooked, fresh or frozen. Try using more peas, beans or lentils
- eating more fruit. It can be fresh, stewed, tinned or dried. Try bananas, oranges or prunes
- gradually introducing ground linseeds. You can add 1 teaspoon to cereals, salads or yoghurts to start with and increase this over time to 1 tablespoon. If you do this, make sure you drink an extra glass of fluid a day, otherwise it wont work and may make constipation worse
When increasing your intake of fibre, it is important to do so gradually to avoid bloating or flatulence . Aim to introduce 1 new high-fibre food every 3 days.
Side Effects Not Requiring Immediate Medical Attention
Some side effects of carbidopa / levodopa may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.
Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- difficulty having a bowel movement
- ear congestion
- stomach discomfort, upset, or pain
- unusual dreams
- bad, unusual, or unpleasant taste
- hair loss or thinning of the hair
- lack or loss of strength
- redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
- seeing double
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Optimise Your Diet Reduce Your Toxic Load
While the cause of Parkinsons is not known, environmental toxins such as pesticides and herbicides are implicated. Researchers have found levels of these chemicals to be higher in the brains of Parkinsons sufferers and incidence of Parkinsons is higher in areas with greater use of these chemicals. It makes sense to avoid any environmental toxins that you can. Also, consider your intake of dietary toxins such as alcohol and caffeine avoiding or reducing these may reduce the load on your bodys detoxification pathways.
Is Caffeine Good For Parkinson’s
Recent attention has been drawn to the role of adenosine-receptor antagonists in Parkinson disease . Caffeine is a nonselective antagonist of adenosine receptors with several intriguing links to PD. First, lifelong caffeine use has been consistently associated with lower risk of PD in prospective studies.
Is Glucose Metabolism Perturbed In Pd
Objective/Rationale:;Glucose metabolism is of central importance in maintaining the anti-oxidant ability of neurons to protect themselves from internal and external damage. When glucose metabolism is altered experimentally, neurons undergo many of the changes that are seen in Parkinsons disease neurons. We hypothesize that a decrease in glucose metabolism in neurons, caused by aging and other genetic factors, could be the primary event that results in neuronal death in PD.
Project Description:;Using tissue donated by patients who suffered from PD, we will look at changes in glucose metabolism in the brain. We will compare any changes we see to the severity of symptoms suffered by the patient, and the changes that have occurred in the brain. If our hypothesis is correct, we should see a correlation between the advancement of neuropathological features in the brain and the extent of glucose metabolism perturbation.
Relevance to Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinsons Disease:;;Currently there are few, if any comprehensive studies examining glucose metabolism in PD patients, despite increasing evidence to suggest that changes may occur. Through this study, and further work, we will be able to characterize metabolic changes in PD, opening an entirely new avenue for therapeutics and research. This study has the potential to yield new and exciting diagnostic approaches to PD and hopefully take us a step closer to curing this debilitating disease.
People With Parkinsons Can Have A Good Quality Life
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment approach when it comes to PD. While medication is the most common treatment, surgical therapy and lifestyle modifications, like rest and exercise, help manage the disease. Shop around until you find what works best. Find your ideal support group, therapist, exercise class and complementary therapy.
Keep reading:;Find resources in your area.
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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.
Craving Tip #: Seek Out Support Instead Of Sugar
Stress increases cortisol levels, which will send you straight for the ice cream! A Parkinsons diagnosis can be very stressful, making it even more important to have support to get you through the tougher days.
It is so important to have a support system – whether that be friends, family, and/or a good psychologist. Stuffing your feelings and frustrations down will only lead to more sugar cravings and feeling worse overall.
If your support network is lacking, make sure you have at least one stress-reducing strategy in your daily routine, such as meditation, journaling, art, prayer, deep breathing, or yoga.;
What Are You Studying
Dr. Tagliati: We are studying the potential benefits of a diabetes medication called liraglutide for patients with;Parkinson’s disease;who do not have diabetes.
We want to see if patients can benefit from medication that is actually designed to treat insulin resistance. Previous studies have shown positive results using these types of medication; we want to improve on those studies.
Constipation And Hydration In Parkinsons Disease
As Parkinsons disease can cause constipation, the Parkinsons Foundation recommends a diet featuring 20 to 25 grams of daily fiber to maintain bowel health.
Its really important for overall health to keep bowels moving, Subramanian says. We recommend a diet with a lot of vegetables and as much fiber as you can take. Foods that are high in prebiotics, including fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchee, can also help.
Some Parkinsons disease medications dont work as well when taken with fermented foods, however, so check with your doctor before incorporating them into your diet.
Proper hydration is also important for everyone, including people who have Parkinsons disease. Try to drink six to eight glasses of water a day and take your medications with a full glass of water, the Parkinsons Foundation notes. It may help your body break down the medication more efficiently.
Hydration helps with blood pressure and constipation, Subramanian notes. We recommend our Parkinsons patients drink 40 ounces of water a day. Thats just water, not coffee or tea or other drinks. This can also help improve digestion.
If drinking water leads to urinary urgency, try eating foods with a high water content like celery, butternut squash, grapefruit, strawberries, and watermelon instead.
Forget Fava Beans For Parkinsons
Fava beans contain an amino acid known as levodopa. Levodopa is an active ingredient in some Parkinsons medications. Seems like a good reason to eat a lot of fava beans, right?
Nope. Dr. Gostkowski explains that the amount in the beans is tiny compared to whats in your medication. You cant eat enough fava beans to have any effect on your symptoms, he says.
Bananas also have levodopa in them, Dr. Gostkowski says. But, like fava beans, its not possible to eat enough bananas to affect PD symptoms. Of course, if you like fava beans or bananas, enjoy! But dont go overboard or expect them to work like medication. Eat a variety of fruits, veggies, legumes and whole grains for balance.
Demographic And Clinical Characteristics
Demographic information pertaining to the cohort studied here has been reported previously . In summary, a total of 103 PD patients and 81 healthy controls completed the FFQ. Demographic, anthropometric, clinical and nutritional features of the study population are reported in Table 1.
Table 1. Cohort demographic and clinical characteristics.
The mean BMI of the combined cohort was 26.0 . PD patients were not underweight and their BMI did not differ significantly from HC . 5.5% of subjects reported a history of diabetes, with no statistically significant difference observed between the groups for this measure. More PD patients reported chronic pain over the preceding year than HC . PD patients were also more depressed, as measured by the Beck’s Depression Inventory . PD patients also reported more constipation, as measured by the Cleveland Constipation Score and Rome IV Criteria . Furthermore, PD patients reported more dyspepsia as measured by the Leeds Dyspepsia Questionnaire . Physical activity, assessed by the IPAQ, identified that PD patients undertook considerably less physical activity compared to the HC group . Further clinical characteristics of the PD cohort including the utilisation of standard and device assisted therapies, physical activity and frequency and severity of other non-motor symptoms are outlined in Table 2.
Table 2. Parkinson’s disease clinical characteristics.
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Craving Tip #: Resolve Micronutrient Inadequacies
Sometimes, micronutrient deficiencies can lead to sugar cravings.; Here are a few supplements have been shown to help with reducing those urges to run for the brownies:;
High-quality probiotics or probiotic-containing foods
Remember that this does not mean you can never have refined sugar, it just means that we want to limit when possible to boost your brain health. Every now and again, sugar can be good for the soul!
Try to make small baby step goals to reduce your sugar intake this week. For example, if you have 2 scoops of ice cream every night, try to have 1 scoop every day instead.; What is your goal for the week? Tell us in the comments below.;
Foods Not To Eat With Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s is a progressive disease that causes trembling, rigidity, slowed movement and poor coordination in an estimated 1 million people in the United States, according to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation 13. Although no known cure exists, medications, psychotherapy and dietary changes may help manage your symptoms and lower your risk for potential complications. A healthy diet improves your energy levels and overall quality of life. For best results, seek specified guidance from your doctor or dietitian.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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Foods Containing Nutrients That People May Be Deficient In
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:
- certain fortified foods
I Am Overweight What Can I Do
It’s easy to gain weight if you become less active but are eating the same amount of food.
If you are trying to lose weight, here are some tips to start with:
- Don’t eat fried food regularly grill, dry fry, microwave, bake, steam, poach or boil, without adding fat or oils. Instead, use marinades, adding extra herbs, stock and spices for flavour.
- Use skimmed or semi-skimmed milk instead of full fat.
- Try eating healthier snacks like diet yoghurts, nuts, fruit, crumpets or teacakes.
- Have;sugar-free, no added sugar or low-calorie;drinks and use artificial sweetener instead of sugar.
If you have other health conditions as well as Parkinsons, such as circulation problems, high cholesterol, heart disease or diabetes, and are concerned about being overweight, speak to your GP, specialist, Parkinsons nurse or ask to see a registered dietitian.
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Designated Centers Treat Parkinsons
The Parkinson’s Foundation leads the development of new treatments through its Centers of Excellence network, comprised of 47;international leading medical centers, staffed by renowned PD specialists. These centers deliver care to more than 193,000 people with Parkinsons. Participating centers also play a key role in the Foundations Parkinsons Outcomes Project,;the largest clinical study of Parkinsons ever conducted.
Keep reading:Centers of Excellence