I’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s for 2 years. Constipation seems to be getting worse no matter what I eat. I take a laxative every night but don’t seem to help. Don’t really want to up the laxative. Every day. Please as anyone got any advice. Thanks
Hi - I have similar problems unfortunately! I think you may find eating halfadozen prunes or figs each day will work! The cheapest canned prunes are fine. Best of luck.
I eat 4 prunes every morning and they do the trick. I also eat 4 dates and 4 walnuts as well as they are supposed to be very good for you, not sure if they help with the constipation though.
I always notice if I forget to have my prunes, I buy the dry Whitworth ones.
Hi Phillip. There is at least one other thread on this topic, so if you might find some other tips there.
The following things help me:
Drinking water. At least a couple of big glasses a day.
Using a toilet stool. You can buy them really cheaply on Amazon.
Symprove. This is a pro-biotic that seems to work for some Parkinson’s sufferers in various ways. I’ve found it helps with constipation. The downside is that you have to buy it mail-order and it is rather pricey.
Plenty of fruit and vegetables, including dried fruit such as raisins, dates and prunes.
A breakfast cereal with plenty of fibre such as Wheatabix, or Shredded Wheat. Oat based cereals work too.
Liquorice and chocolate. If my constipation is troubling me, I try liquorice or chocolate sweets first before I resort to a laxative. Chocolate covered raisins are effective!
Its a real pain isn’t it. My hubby has problems sometimes. Like a lot of the comments he has prunes, figs ,etc . He also has all bran cereal & he takes half sachet of cosmocol, as directed by his PD nurse. He has a stool (which was a child’s step to reach sink) so uses this so his knees are raised.
I keep prompting him to drink plenty but he doesn’t always!. I hope you get some relief.
Hi Phillip. The NHS persists in treating constipation (and associated other digestive disorders) as symptoms of Parkinson’s and refused my request for gut performance
tests and/or treatment when I was formally diagnosed with PD in 2016. But all the latest research into PD is pointing towards gut problems as being at least a major contributor to the disease and possibly even the cause of it in many instances.
I decided to take advice from a qualified Nutritional Therapist (at my own expense) and in the last 8 months he has turned my life around. He arranged for proper tests to be carried out (yes, they do exist!) that found many weaknesses in my gut performance.
No one has yet come even remotely close to understanding the reasons and causes of PD but we decided to treat it as an autoimmune disease. I was put onto the Auto Immune Paleo diet, modified by supplements to address the specific imbalances and sensitivities that the lab test had revealed. As a result, after 6 months my entire digestive system is performing better than I have known it do for many years. Gone is the yo-yoing between constipation and diarrhea - bloating is a thing of the past - not a rumble in sight - weight loss halted - I feel very positive and well and ,best of all, some of my PD symptoms have stopped getting worse and even in some cases got better.
My advice - ask the NHS for a proper testing of your gut performance and sensitivities. If the NHS turns you down then, if my experience is anything to go by, you should seek out a qualified nutrition specialist in your area and ask for help.
The paleo diet, by the way, is gorgeous but demands a lot of work in the kitchen. It’s all fresh ingredients untainted by manufacturing processes or man-made additives. Google it!
I know what you are going through. I have been there myself. But you can overcome it with proper treatment rather than palliatives. Hope this helps. Cheers JCPB.
My husband was prescribed milled golden linseed by the bladder and bowel nurse, 2 desert spoons per day on cereals. This has worked very well. This is available from supermarkets around the baking section. Sometimes it is called golden flax. He had a recent spell in hospital where this was not given and the problem returned. A few days home and back on the linseed he was OK. As I’m sure you are aware, getting constipation under control helps to reduce bladder problems.
try golden linseeds. Every night, place a teaspooon of the seeds into a glass & cover with water. Overnight, they absorb the water, drink it first thing, before food. I find it helps
As someone has pointed out, there is a Topic running on this very subject. Personally I am on Fybogel(Isphagula Husk), I take two per day, about one hour after breakfast and my evening meal. I was told no to worry if I don’t have a movement for two days but do so if it gets to three.
I swear by “Lactulose” an oral solution you take after a meal. It’s very sweet and it draws water into the bowel. I had constipation bad for 6 or 7 years (wasn’t diagnosed with PD at the time) and after trying various Laxatives with little success the Doc prescribed that. I tale two 20ml doses, one after lunch, and one after evening meal, and I’m fairly well back to normal. I ran out over the recent B/Holiday Monday, and immediately started heading back to straining. Got some Tues, and by Wed night back to normal.
You can buy it over the counter if Doc won’t give a script (£<5 ish for 500ml bottle, I get 2 a month)
As an aside: pre-diagnosis I had constipation and loss of smell, the latter for 10 years+. Once handwriting became small and tremor started I already knew before the specialist confirmed it.
DIY rectal irrigation, fantastic,
Buy a plastic bidet spray head (AKA arabian shower)and 1 or 2 m of shower tube.
Sit on toilet and sort out where the shower tube gets plumbed in so you can comfortably reach your anus. Include an off/on valve to adjust water press and to isolate the system if a leak occurs. Try left/right to find the best position.
Now push flattish shower head against, not in your anus (anal sphincter), and squirt some water into rectum .Remove shower head and do a normal push into the bowl. hopefully there will be a satisfying ‘’ plonk’’
How much or how often is a matter of experimenting.however not’’ overfill’'and keep water press low to avoid stretching muscles.
Twice a day should be adequate. I do it the same time every day
Keep doing all the other anti constipation procedures.
Oh, don’t forget to inform your partner. and gp if it works well for you.
Lots of web info , my procedure seems much simpler and quicker.
I cannot remember ever having had to push or strain since I started this procedure.
4 dried prunes a day works very well for me. I take them with the pills at breakfast.
If I forget to take them…I will remember, so I would say that are pretty effective.
I tried canned prunes and also works well.
To work well, in theory, you need to take water too to maximize the effect, but I really do not pay too much attention to that.
Hope it help.
I’m being serious here. ‘Go’ on the floor content removed by admin as it could cause offence It beats waiting an age on the porcelain like the rich people do. Try not to pull the radiator off the wall though.
Hi, I love your posts. They’re so informative and so eloquently worded. I wonder if you’ve ever considered becoming a naturopath. Keep them coming. I learn so much from you regarding alternatives. Best wishes Catherine
I find fresh figs work well. One a day and they are cheap in Tesco at present.
Thank you for those kind words. Much appreciated! I’m afraid that I do not have a lot of time for random pill-popping but prefer to seek the causes of health problems rather than go for quick fixes that all too often only serve to further upset the natural balance of the human organism. With regard to Parkie digestive problems I decided a long time ago that all the scientific blather about constipation being simply a symptom of PD was putting the cart before the horse. The latest scientific papers on the subject seem to be confirming that I am probably right about that. So, instead of giving people advice about laxatives to counteract constipation on a temporary day-by-day basis I think the medical establishment should be trying to understand why people are getting constipated in the first place and to address that issue - permanently…
When my PD was officially diagnosed I asked my neurologist for help to do exactly this and was told that “there are no tests available”. So I sought out a good nutritional therapist and he promptly arranged for me, at my own cost, to take a full set of blood and stool tests that revealed the state of my digestive system and the imbalances within it. So, tests are available but the NHS isn’t using them.
The Auto-Immune Paleo diet was the therapist’s chosen approach to address my issues together with a carefully selected set of natural supplements. After 9 months of this my gut is performing better than it has done for decades - to my great relief, literally! It has also revealed that my system is not lacking in dopamine now but clearly isn’t making much use of it. That’s what we are focusing on for the future - possibly using the Keto diet as the driver. My aim is to stop further deterioration in my system.
My gripe is that pill-popping is not the answer. The NHS should be offering this sort of diagnostic service rather than simply dosing Parkie-folk with 20th century pills regime that gives limited short term relief only to possibly make things much worse later (pay-back time!). I’m not a naturopath but, effectively, I know a man who is!
I do this too! Could also try flax seeds!