Parkinson's Disease and Nutrition

Overview

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 products.

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 eat 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 doctor.

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.

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