Do Changes In Your Diet
Diet can make a huge difference when it comes to dealing with constipation. Making small and simple changes in your diet can certainly improve not only constipation but also other problems of Parkinsons.
You need to add certain foods in your diet that when consumed stimulate the normal motion of your bowel and relieve constipation. And avoid other types of food that can further worsen the constipation.
So here is what you need to eat and drink in order to relieve constipation.
How Might Parkinson’s Affect The Bowels
Bowel problems can occur in anyone, but some problems, especially reduced bowel movement or constipation, are particularly common in Parkinsons. This tends to be as a result of slowness of movement and muscle;rigidity, both of which are visible symptoms of the condition. But Parkinson’s also muscles we cannot see including the bowel muscles – which in turn causes a reduction or slowness of bowel movements.
Poor bowel function may be exacerbated if chewing and swallowing food is difficult, which is quite common in;Parkinsons. This may make it harder to eat a diet that is rich in fibre – for example fruit, vegetables and whole grains which helps form soft, bulky stools and aids bowel function.
Exercise is also thought to play a role in efficient bowel function, but if Parkinson’s makes activities more difficult, the bowel may be less stimulated and the intestines can become sluggish.
Constipation is thought to affect;up to 65% of people with Parkinson’s the bowel symptoms may predate the neurological ones . Tremor and a;fear of spilling drinks can mean some people unintentionally reduce their fluid intake;which can make stools hard and more difficult to pass. When stools remain unpassed for a long time, they become harder as the body absorbs more water from them. If stools build up in the rectum they can become impacted and block the rectum. They may also overflow as lumps of stool or watery mucus.
What Causes Constipation
Constipation is almost always due to slow passage of stool through the colon or anus/rectum as passage through the small bowel is typically normal. Constipation may be associated with a number of medical conditions including diabetes and underactive thyroid. Of great importance to the readers of this newsletter is that many neurologic disorders are associated with constipation. In addition to the neurologic disease itself, reduced mobility may aggravate constipation. Many drugs used to treat neurologic disorders and other diseases may worsen symptoms of constipation. It is important for patients to notify their physicians if they think their medications have affected their bowel movements as in most cases this side effect can be easily managed.
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How Can I Help Myself
It is easy to become obsessed with bowel activity, but it is not necessary to have a bowel movement every day it can be quite normal for some people to empty their bowels only three or four times a week. What is important is that passing stools does not cause pain or unnecessary strain. Focus on what is normal and healthy for you and remember that bowel activity is affected by food and exercise, so will vary according to what you are eating and doing.
Remember that learning to manage your bowels will take time and patience, so dont expect to solve problems overnight. It may take a few weeks to adjust diet etc, so be patient. There are also plenty of ways you can help yourself.
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How Is Constipation Treated
The treatment of constipation typically begins with optimization of fiber and fluid intake. While fiber may be increased through changes in diet, it can be challenging to get people to change their long-standing dietary habits. For many people, the addition of bulking agents such as psyllium or methylcellulose is an inexpensive and simple way to increase fiber. Polyethylene glycol, guar gum and lactulose are other choices that have less texture though may be more expensive than bulking agents. For an occasional patient stimulant laxatives or prescription medication is necessary to control symptoms of constipation.
Neil R. Greenspan, MD, FACG Gastroenterology Associates Providence, RI
Drink Plenty Of Water
Drinking plenty of water is important for all Parkinsons patients, but it is even more important for those who frequently experience constipation.
Research suggests that drinking not enough water is the main reason of constipation in Parkinsons disease. A study in patients with Parkinsons disease conducted in Japan showed that decreased water intake from early life was strongly linked to constipation in patients.
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Treating And Managing Bowel Problems
The first step in dealing with bowel disorders is to talk to your doctor. He or she;will probably review your medication to see if this is a contributory factor. Whilst it is usually possible to control any difficulties with diet, fluid intake and exercise, your doctor, or Parkinsons nurse specialist if you have one, will be able to advise further, and may, for example, prescribe laxatives in severe cases of constipation.;If you have any alarm features such as unintentional weight loss or rectal bleeding, then you may need to be referred for specialist assessment.
The following healthcare professionals can also advise on aspects of bowel care:
- A dietician;will be able to advise on diet and fluid.
- A physiotherapist;may be able to help with advice and abdominal exercises which will help in passing stools.
- A speech and language therapist;can help with swallowing problems. They may be able to advise on ways of relaxing your throat, and give guidance on;posture;and exercises to help overcome any difficulties you have.
- An;occupational therapist;may also be able to suggest practical ways to overcome any difficulties you have with eating and drinking.
Get Some Movement First Thing In The Morning
Any movement in your legs and abdomen helps improve circulation to get things moving!
Think about doing a little stretch or a short walk outside first thing in the morning. The sun will also improve your vitamin D levels and help regulate your circadian rhythms, both of which are essential in PD management.
The exercises in our free Parkinsons Core Strength mini-series would be a great way to get things moving in the morning.
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Naturalremedy For Parkinsons #7 Omega
Animal based omega-3 fatty acids are a powerful weapon inthe fight against Parkinsons disease. One of the main fatty acids, DHA, is oneof the essential building blocks for the human brain. Half of your brain andeyes are made up of fat and a large proportion of this is DHA fat.
Omega-3 fatty acids have the unique ability to cross theblood-brain barrier, something most conventional drugs cannot do. They helpincrease dopamine levels and reduce neuroinflammation in the brain, while atthe same time, stimulating neuron growth. So basically, EPA and DHA help preventbrain cell damage and keep the nervous system in tip top working order! ;4;
Best sources of animal based omega-3s are either fishoil, cod liver oil or krill oil. High strength krill oil is the preferred option as thiscontains a substance called Astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is a potent brain food nutrientthat has been shown to prevent neurodegeneration and inflammation of the brain.For dosages, take AT LEAST the highest recommended amount listed on the bottle the same goes with fish oil or cod liver oil. You cant overdose on thesesupplements so theres nothing to be concerned about. In fact, the more omega-3syou can get into you the better the results!
In addition to this, try and eat some cold water fattyfish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines or herring 3-4 times a week foran extra supply of DHA and EPA.;
Toilet Habits And Constipation In Parkinsons Disease
Suggestions for good toilet habits include:
- Go to the toilet as soon as you feel the urge to pass a bowel motion. Hanging on can contribute to constipation.
- Use the correct posture on the toilet to help you pass a bowel motion place your elbows on your knees, bulge out your stomach, straighten your spine and put your feet on a footstool.
- Avoid holding your breath and dont strain when you are on the toilet. Allow yourself plenty of time.
- Use a warm washcloth pressed against your back passage or gently massage with one or two fingers to help to relax the muscles.
- Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about medicines to help soften your bowel motions.
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Urinary Issues In Advanced Parkinsons Disease
Urinary dysfunction and symptoms in PD are most commonly caused by overactivity of the detrusor muscle, or the muscle of the bladder, which contracts excessively despite the fact that it is not filled with urine. This causes an increased urge to urinate and/or an increased frequency of urination, which can be especially prominent at night. In advanced PD, this could culminate in urinary incontinence, or involuntary release of urine. Mobility issues which make getting to the bathroom slower and more cumbersome, compound the problem.
Always remember that people with advanced PD may have other medical problems that affect their urination such as an enlarged prostate. Make sure to have a complete evaluation before assuming that the problem is only related to PD. It is also essential to keep in mind that if changes in urination occur suddenly, there could be a urinary tract infection present.
Once other medical issues and urinary tract infection are ruled out, there are a number of approaches to the issue of urinary incontinence in a person with advanced PD:
Unfortunately, for some, the above available options may not be sufficient to effectively treat urinary incontinence in advanced PD. If this is the reality, it becomes extremely important to keep the skin dry with frequent changes of incontinence products to prevent skin breakdown and the potential development of skin infection.
Search Strategy And Study Selection
Three electronic databases were searched until May 2017 using a combination of title/abstract keywords . No time restrictions were applied while only publications in English were considered. A.P. and D.P. selected eligible studies after independently screening titles and abstracts. Full text was retrieved if any uncertainty about eligibility remained.
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How Can It Affect People With Parkinsons
- Constipation can impact the absorption and effectiveness of levodopa .
- Constipation can disturb bladder function. An over-full bowel due to constipation can press on your bladder, reducing the amount of urine it can hold.
- Straining due to constipation can weaken your pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor muscle strength is important for both bladder and bowel control.
- Severe constipation is the most common cause of bowel incontinence. Bowel incontinence is the inability to control your bowel motions. It can range from soiling your underwear to the loss of a full bowel motion.
Dietary Fibre For Constipation In Parkinsons Disease
Be guided by your doctor, but general suggestions include:;
- Choose easy-to-eat fibrous foods such as soft fruits. Consider mashing or pureeing fruits to make them easier to eat. Make sure to include the skin, where most of the fibre is found.
- Eat at least two pieces of fruit and five serves of vegetables every day.
- Eat homemade vegetable soups.
- Sprinkle a tablespoon of bran, psyllium husks or chia seeds on your breakfast cereal or add the bran to baked products such as cakes. However, avoid bran if you have swallowing problems.
- Fibre supplements may be helpful, but you must drink enough fluids for these to work properly. Avoid fibre supplements if you have problems swallowing.
- Dont increase dietary fibre too quickly or youll risk bloating and abdominal cramps. If discomfort occurs, cut back your fibre intake, increase your fluid intake, apply a hot water bottle to your abdomen and see your doctor.
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When Parkinsons Interferes With Gastrointestinal Function
This 63-minute audio with slides by Dr. Peter A. LeWitt discusses the effect of Parkinsons disease on the gastrointestinal system, with particular focus on constipation. ;Improving GI function can have a positive impact on the consistency of benefit from Parkinsons disease medications. ;Highlights of recent research into Parkinsons disease originating in the GI tract, developing biomarkers for early diagnosis, and others.
Problems Caused By Limited Mobility
Some people with Parkinsons might soil their underwear. This is because mobility problems can make it difficult to wipe after;using the toilet.;If this is the case, it might help;to use wet wipes, a bidet,;or an adapted bottom wiper.;An occupational therapist or the Disabled Living Foundation can offer further advice.
Bowel problems are common.;But you should tell your GP if;there are any changes in your bowel habits, particularly if you;see blood in your stool. Some problems are difficult to avoid,;but there are things you can do;to make them less likely to happen.
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Natural Treatment For Parkinsons #1 Cannabis/medicalmarijuana:
Cannabis, aka medical marijuana, is an incredibletreatment for Parkinsons disease. You can have a Parkinsons patient shakingviolently and uncontrollably, and yet within 30-40 minutes of self-administering with some cannabis, their symptoms will almost completely disappear. Watch this short 2minute video from Parkinsons sufferer, Ian Frizell, who shows you what he waslike before self-medicating with cannabis and then again after. The change is truly astonishing!;
Taylor French is another Parkinsons patient thatundergoes a remarkable transformation once he ingests what he calls nutritional vegetable extract . This guy has an advanced form ofParkinsons and is normally confined to a wheelchair with limited use of hisbody due to stiff and rigid muscles . But after ingestingsome cannabis hes able to walk, and incredibly, in his video he even getsinto his car and drives off down the road!
You can view it here
Elyse Del Francia also tells the story of her Parkinsonssuffering husband, and the time she decided to smother his morning pancakes withsome canabutter. She said
Within45 minutes of eating a pancake with marijuana on it, he stopped shaking. Thatwas my lightbulb moment. Thats when I knew that I was onto something thatwould relieve his pain and suffering, because its horrible, horrible, to haveParkinsons Disease and not have any relief. I feel that this is something thathelps so many people in so many ways with pain and suffering.;5
Stay Away From Red Meat
Parkinsons patients are recommended to stay away from red meat while constipated. This is because red meat contains proteins and unhealthy fats that are difficult for the body to digest quickly. Red meat is also rich in iron, which is hard on the digestive tract and so can easily contribute to the constipation problem.
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Natural Remedy For Parkinsons #4 Chlorella And Borax:
If you have a neurological disease such as Parkinsons orAlzheimers, the importance of removing heavy metals from the body – especiallyfrom the brain and nervous system – cannot be overstated. Heavy metalsaccumulate in the brain and nervous system at a rapid rate and cause damage tothe neurological pathways and brain inflammation. Fluoride is one ofthe worst, however, mercury, lead, aluminium and cadmium are also extremely dangerous.Chlorella and borax not only remove these heavy metals completely, theycontinue to prevent further toxic build-ups.
Chlorella is a miracle blue-green algae and one of themost powerful detoxifiers and chelators yet discovered. Whenits combined with cilantro, its benefits are enhancedsignificantly. A Russian study found that chlorella, combined with cilantro,was able to remove all heavy metals from the body, including fluoride and mercury,with no adverse or harmful side effects. You can purchase chlorellain powdered form online or from most health food stores. Just make sure you buythe Broken Cell Wall Chlorella as this is the strongest and most bio-available.For dosage recommendations, simply follow the directions on the container.
Home Remedyfor Parkinsons #8 Green Tea:
Green tea contains theanine, a nutrient that increasesdopamine levels in the brain, and polyphenol antioxidants that help fight free radicals. Three separate studies all found that regularlydrinking tea can either delay or prevent the development of PD. A retrospectivestudy also found that drinking three or more cups of tea a day can delay the onsetof motor symptoms. And a 2007 study found that green tea polyphenols protect braincells and dopamine neurons, and this positive effect increases with the moregreen tea consumed. 10
The minimum amount that should be drank every day is 3cups, with 6-9 cups a day being the ideal.Matcha green tea is the most potent and beneficial so try and purchase this ifyou can. A strong cup of coffee first thing in the morning is thought tobe effective for reducing the symptoms of Parkinsons disease as well, however,we recommend you stick with green tea, or even a strong cup of black tea ifyou can for the theanine and EGCGs.;
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Causes Of Constipation In Parkinsons Disease
The ways in which Parkinsons disease can increase the risk of constipation include:;
- lack of dopamine in the brain impairs control of muscle movement throughout the body. Bowel muscles can become slow and rigid
- uncoordinated bowel motions the bowel muscles may be weak and unable to contract, or they may clench instead of relaxing when trying to pass a motion
- eating problems dietary fibre containing insoluble fibre adds bulk to your bowel motions and can help prevent constipation. However, if a person with Parkinsons disease finds it difficult to chew or swallow, they may avoid eating fibrous foods
- drinking problems you need water to plump up the dietary fibre in your bowel motions. Swallowing difficulties may discourage a person with Parkinsons disease from drinking enough fluids
- sedentary lifestyle lack of exercise slows the passage of food through your intestines. Parkinsons disease reduces muscle control, so lack of exercise is common
- medications many different medications can cause constipation. Medications used in the treatment of Parkinsons disease may slow bowel movements or cause a decrease in appetite.