Parkinson’s & Diet

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How Diet Influences Parkinson's Disease in Winnipeg, MB

Special diets can’t cure or stop Parkinson’s disease, but paying attention to diet is important for addressing symptoms of the disease. A healthy, balanced diet can help seniors with Parkinson’s disease maintain the highest possible quality of life. Here’s how. 

Medications 

One of the most common medications prescribed to treat Parkinson’s disease, levodopa, competes with protein for uptake from the digestive tract. Levodopa is absorbed more effectively if taken on an empty stomach or with a few crackers to prevent nausea. The medication will be absorbed more effectively from the digestive tract if protein-rich foods are avoided for several hours. Levodopa is usually taken in the morning, so individuals with Parkinson’s disease should plan to eat fruits, vegetables, and carbohydrate-rich meals at breakfast and lunch and save the protein for dinner.  Other common medications for Parkinson’s disease, monoamine oxidase B inhibitors (rasagiline or selegiline), increase the level of tyramine in the body. If too much tyramine is consumed in the diet, seniors may experience elevated blood pressure. Cured and fermented foods such as wine, aged cheeses, and cured meats contain high levels of tyramine and should only be consumed in limited quantities while taking monoamine oxidase B inhibitors. Some seniors with Parkinson’s find it challenging to shop for groceries and prepare healthy meals on their own. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of in-home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.

Symptoms 

Constipation is a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease. Eating plenty of fibre-rich fruits, vegetables, and beans can ease constipation. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can not only relieve constipation, but it can also ease the dry mouth some medications cause.  If you provide care for a loved one with Parkinson’s, you know it can be difficult for him or her to eat enough food. Sometimes lack of appetite is due to fatigue. Having someone else prepare meals can be helpful if your loved one is too tired to cook. Alternatively, consider keeping balanced meals frozen and ready to be quickly heated up. A supply of high-calorie nutritious snacks should be kept ready to eat at any time.  Issues with nutrition are just one way Parkinson’s disease can affect a senior’s overall health. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior home care. Winnipeg families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.

General Health 

Seniors with Parkinson’s disease who make an effort to eat a healthy, balanced diet can boost their health in general as well as their quality of life. A diet high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, seafood, and lean meats will provide plenty of antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, and other healthful nutrients. Seniors with Parkinson’s should consider taking vitamin D supplements, drinking plenty of tea, eating salmon frequently, and snacking on nuts and berries.  Though aging adults with Parkinson’s need to eat healthy, they may not be able to make nutritious meals without the help of family members and other caregivers. Performing daily tasks while simultaneously managing the symptoms of a serious illness can be challenging for seniors. The Winnipeg live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance are available 24/7 to make sure your loved one has the care he or she needs to remain safe and comfortable while aging in place. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (204) 489-6000 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services. 

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