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Q.

How does Parkinson's disease affect the digestive system?

 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (1)

Parkinson's Disease
Duke Medicine
18 Answers
496 Helpful Votes
7 Followers
A.

PD is a condition that disrupts normal nerve activity. Although we have not discovered the reasons for this, we have described the typical changes seen in and outside the brain. In the last 5 years, increasing focus has moved to "non-motor" symptoms, and many believe that the digestive system is where the first symptoms of PD often start.

The digestive symptoms of PD are primarily a result of slowing of the movement of the gut - "peristalsis" is the fancy word. Slowing of food transit can result in swallowing difficulties in the mouth and pharynx, sense of bloating, fullness, nausea or loss of appetite in the stomach, and constipation in the intestines.

There can also be secondary problems from the slowing. Typically, a meal will be slowly released from the stomach to the small intestine over the course of 60 minutes, and then the remaining stomach contents will be released fairly rapidly. If your PD medicine (levodopa) is in the food released rapidly, it may not be absorbed at all, and you will have no benefit from the pill - this is particularly true of the long acting or slow release form of levodopa.

In addition there are things you can do to worsen GI transit time. The worst is reduce your fluid intake - usually because of concerns about bladder - urinary frequency or incontinence. To improve your constipation and your energy...drink more water. ...


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Read the Original Article: Parkinson's disease and digestive disorders