What foods do nutritionists recommend for people with Parkinson’s? What food sources help prevent dementia and the progression of the disease in patients?
Dr. Laden Giahi: About 200 years ago, a British physician named James Parkinson first introduced the disease, but the underlying cause of this brain disorder is still unknown.
The disease is found in all ethnicities and cultures. The disease most often occurs in men after the age of 40 and older. In Parkinson’s disease, the gray matter cells of the brain that produce the neurochemical transporter dopamine are gradually destroyed. Dopamine is a neurochemical transporter that is involved in controlling movement.
With a decrease in dopamine production, a decrease and movement disorders are seen in the person. Muscle tone increases to the point that it causes dryness and stiffness of the joints and even tremors in the limbs at rest. Patients often have speech disorders. Weakness, loss of appetite, curvature, and movement disturbances are prominent features of Parkinson’s.
Common treatments for Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s disease is not curable, but medications such as levodopa, which convert dopamine in the body, can alleviate the symptoms. Levodopa is usually prescribed in combination with carbidopa, which increases the effectiveness of levodopa. Side effects should be considered when administering a dose of levodopa. If the patient does not respond to levodopa after a while, bromocriptine and amantadine can be used and levodopa can be prescribed again after a while. Continuous and gradual administration of levodopa to the patient helps to significantly reduce the progression of symptoms.
Useful foods for Parkinson’s
Fiber and Parkinson’s
Whole grains, brown rice and whole grain breads are great for Parkinson’s patients with constipation.
Soft foods and Parkinson’s
Yogurt, cooked lentils, milk powder and vegetable puree are suitable for patients with swallowing problems.
Plums directly stimulate the smooth muscles of the colon wall and help increase the speed of stool movement. Therefore, plums are useful for treating constipation.
Fruits and Parkinson’s
Figs and other fresh and dried fruits are also effective in overcoming constipation.
Fluids and Parkinson’s
Fluids Get 8 to 10 glasses of water and fluids to maintain water balance in the body and help prevent constipation.
Foods to Avoid in Parkinson’s
Protein and Parkinson’s
Protein-rich foods such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese and other dairy products should be eaten in small amounts. Of course, physicians and researchers still have differing theories. However, it seems that protein can interfere with the absorption of levodopa in the brain, so the effectiveness of this drug is reduced when consumed with or after a protein-rich diet.
Severe restriction of protein intake during the day in some patients with severe Parkinson’s is associated with a significant improvement in levodopa response. During the day, patients were given only 10 grams of protein and the rest of the required protein (0.8-0.9 g / kg body weight) was provided between the evening meal and before bedtime. For a 70 kg man, the amount of protein required is equivalent to 60 g per day. But since severe protein restriction can lead to severe weight loss, this diet pattern may not be beneficial for all patients. In any case, any changes in diet, including restrictions on protein intake, should be done under the supervision of a nutritionist and in consultation with a specialist.
Legumes and Parkinson’s
Beans cause severe bloating in some people. Due to the accumulation of gas in the abdomen is one of the complications and discomforts associated with the progression of this disease, restriction in the consumption of bloated foods is recommended.
Solid foods and Parkinson’s
Grain kernels, toast, biscuits and dry foods can be dangerous for people with swallowing problems.
Soft foods and Parkinson’s
Soups, broth, custard and yogurt are difficult for Parkinson’s patients with tremors, and the inability to eat comfortably can reduce their appetite.
Other measures in Parkinson’s disease
Dietary supplements that contain vitamin 6B should be avoided altogether. Because large amounts of this vitamin cause levodopa to break down before it reaches the brain.
It is often recommended to eat small meals to reduce swallowing problems and sluggish eating due to trembling hands and limbs.
Speech therapy helps to improve swallowing problems. Getting in the right position, eating in a calm and relaxed environment, using some aids and getting your chin close to your chest before swallowing food can help you swallow.