Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Parkinson's Disease Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Parkinson's Disease: Eating and Drooling Problems - Topic Overview

Parkinson's disease can change many of the muscles used for speech, chewing, and swallowing. Changes in these muscles may cause:

  • Weight loss and nutrition problems.
  • Slow eating.
  • Fatigue during eating.
  • Food "sticking" in the throat.
  • Coughing or choking on food or liquids.
  • Trouble swallowing saliva, which causes drooling.
  • Trouble swallowing pills.

But there are things you can do to help reduce eating and drooling problems. A speech-language pathologist (also called a speech therapist) can teach you exercises and show you other ways to help with eating, swallowing, and drooling.

Recommended Related to Parkinson's

Parkinson's Disease and Guided Imagery

Guided imagery is a relaxation technique that uses positive mental images to influence how you feel. It can enhance your traditional Parkinson's treatment. But it does not replace traditional treatment. Guided imagery is an ancient practice that includes simple visualization. It is a safe and simple technique. Guided imagery focuses on images. But this type of imagery helps you harness all your senses -- sight, taste, sound, smell, and sensation. This helps you connect to your inner resources...

Read the Parkinson's Disease and Guided Imagery article > >

Eating problems

You can reduce eating problems by changing how and what you eat.

  • Sit upright when eating, drinking, and taking pills.
  • Take small bites of food, chew completely, and swallow before taking another bite.
  • Take small sips of liquid, and hold them in your mouth as you prepare to swallow.
  • If eating is tiring, divide food into smaller but more frequent meals.
  • Thicker drinks make swallowing easier. Try milk shakes or juices in gelatin form.
  • Eat moist, soft foods. Use a blender to prepare food for easier chewing.
  • Avoid foods such as crackers or cakes that crumble easily. These can cause choking.
  • If you cough or choke, lean forward and keep your chin tipped downward while you cough.

Drooling

To reduce drooling:

  • Keep your chin up and your lips closed when you aren't speaking or eating.
  • Swallow often, especially before you start to speak.
  • Ask a speech therapist about exercises to strengthen lip muscles.
  • Avoid sugary foods that cause more saliva to develop.
  • Ask your doctor about medicines you can use to help the problem.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: 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 information.
1
Next Article:

Parkinson's Disease: Eating and Drooling Problems Topics

Today on WebMD

Parkinsons disease illustration
Causes, symptoms, and treatments.
hands on walker
How does the disease progress?
 
man with serious expression
8 common questions and answers.
intelligence quotient illustration
What are the advantages of DBS?
 
Parkinsons Disease Medications
Article
Questions Doctor Parkinsons
Article
 
Eating Right
Article
Parkinsons Exercise
Article
 
daughter consoling depressed mother
Article
senior man's hands
Article
 
Parkinsons Daily
Article
Acupunture
Article
 

WebMD Special Sections