Most people with
Parkinson's disease can eat the same healthy, balanced
diet recommended for anyone. This includes plenty of fruits, vegetables,
grains, cereals, legumes, poultry, fish, lean meats, and low-fat dairy
Early in the disease, it might be helpful to take pills with food to
help with nausea, which may be caused by some medicines. Later in the disease,
taking the medicines at least one hour before meals (and at least two hours
after meals) may help them work better.
Parkinson’s disease is a type of movement disorder that can significantly impair driving skills, cause safety concerns, and force many people with the condition to stop driving a car. That’s because the primary symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can seriously interfere with the complex task of driving a car. These symptoms are:
Tremor -- trembling in the hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head
Rigidity -- stiffness of the limbs and trunk
Bradykinesia -- slowness of movement
Protein may interfere with the absorption of levodopa and make the
effects of the medicine less predictable. It may be helpful to spread your
protein intake evenly throughout the day or to consume most of your daily
protein requirements in the evening, rather than during the daytime, so that
you have a more predictable absorption of and response to levodopa during the
day when you are more active.
Follow your doctor's specific recommendations on diet and medicine.
Eating a low-protein diet should be done only with the help of a dietitian or
Symptoms of Parkinson's disease and side effects of medicines used to
treat the disease can change your appetite and ability to eat. Factors that can
affect nutrition include mood,
dementia, chewing and swallowing problems,
tremors, immobility, and inactivity. It is important
to find ways to eat a nutritious diet despite these things.
Parkinson's disease affects the movement of intestinal muscles, which
contributes to constipation in many people. Many medicines used to treat the
disease may make constipation worse. To reduce constipation:
Include fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains in your diet each day. These foods are high in fiber.
Drink plenty of fluids, enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water.
Get some exercise every day, if possible.
Take a fiber supplement, such as Citrucel or Metamucil, every day if needed. Start with a small dose and very slowly increase the dose over a month or more.
Your doctor may suggest you use a medicine such as polyethylene glycol (for example, Miralax) to help with constipation.
Schedule time each day for a bowel movement. Having a daily routine may help. Take your time and do not strain when having a bowel movement.
Use enemas or laxatives only under the guidance or recommendation
of your doctor.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this