I'm 35 and was diagnosed a couple of years ago. Since then I've been trying to control the controllables with regard to my health, particularly focussing on diet and exercise. I have adopted a plant based (no meat, dairy or processed foods) and exercise everyday. The outcome in terms of my symptoms and overall well-being have been excellent.
Has anybody else experienced a relationship between diet / exercise and PD symptoms?
Is there any research to help explain the link between diet / exercise and alleviation of PD symptoms?
Hi Matt K,
I'd be interested to hear more specifics on your diet. I agree with the fact that exercise definitely has a beneficial effect on symptoms. I'm 51 and diagnosed about a year. Not as young as you but I'm fairly active. I do yoga twice a week and long walks regularly. I feel so much better after yoga both mentally and physically. I do have fatigue of course after a couple of active days.
I am very interested in this too there is quite a bit of interesting research in this area, I want to do all i can to slow down progression john pepper has some interesting views recommendations and john gray says he reversed his pd by diet. may be worth a visit on google. I am about to start pilates and meditation I am very fortunate my parky nurse tells me off if I decide to up my meds as slowing down, she just says work harder at it , good for her, as it does make me push myself. Not saying everything perfect but considering only on 1mg Rasagline 4mg Ropinerole in year 8 not bad , trying hemp oil now good for omega 3 and 6 but some suggestion may be calming which means reduced tremors will keep an eye on this thread . Take Care xx
Thanks for your responses, DivineR & TeeHee. I'm always interested to hear the experiences of others.
Up to this point I've seen three neurologists. Two didn't really mention diet and exercise at all, but the other gave me some useful unofficial tips, which have had a positive impact on me:
1. Eat more anti-inflammatory foods.
2. Cut out dairy.
3. Drink coffee.
4. Add turmeric / cumin to meals where possible.
5. Exercise daily (where possible).
I think there is a stigma attached to talking about the benefits of diet & exercise for those with PD. I'm not suggesting that lifestyle factors can cure PD by any means, but what one eats and how active one is certainly affects levels of dopamine in the brain (among other positive impacts). Of course, everybody's situation is different, but for now a plant based diet and daily exercise significantly improve my rigidity/stiffness, sleep patterns, slowness, back pain and energy levels throughout the day.
Based solely on my own experience thus far, I'd advocate considering lifestyle changes as a significant factor in helping reduce PD symptoms. My hope is similar to TeeHee, in that I'd like to keep medications to a minimum. It's a no lose situation as far as I can see, because even if a healthy diet and exercise have zero impact on one's PD symptoms, I doubt you'd find a Doctor who would discourage such positive lifestyle changes for overall health.
Its all very well to say exercise exercise. Some of us are not that lucky to be able to do this due to other health issues.
If i did not take my meds my body would not function.it is a bit flippant to make such remarks. Zero meds!!!!!!!
Can you tell me what foods should be taken.and what to avoid.
Thx for the reply. Funny enough my own consultant wasn't interested in diet. Although on the plus side he's reluctant to up meds until absolutely necessary. He's keen on exercise.
I'm trying to eat a lot of salads with beetroot, full of dopamine. Chia seeds, blueberries and plenty of water. I read goats milk has good probiotic properties for the gut. I wish I could say I'm good all the time but......
Glasgow girl, I didn't get the feeling that Matt was trying to say everyone should do the same as him. I understand that it must be frustrating when all you hear is people talk about exercise. I'm probably one of them. I guess there's a need to be mindful that we're all at different stages.
DivineR: Beetroot & blueberries are immense! I start the day with (among other things) a big smoothie packed with beetroot, blueberries, celery, broccoli & spinach. I love it! Also plenty of salads and fresh, organic, tasty food throughout the day and like you say, lots of water.
Glasgow girl: Apologies if I came across as flippant. It certainly wasn't my intention. I realise that everyone has different levels of PD and other complications that have an effect on their circumstances. If you haven't tried it already, add a green smoothie per day to your regular diet for a few days and let me know if it helps! A word of warning though - it's an acquired taste! I'm not a doctor. I'm not a nutritionist. I'm not looking to force my choices onto others. Simply sharing something that has worked for me thus far and seeking helpful tips from others.
It Is very interesting to read about what food to eat and drink.
Anyone using meditation, mindfulness 20 mins a day to improve brain function. I have been looking at some encouraging research using MRI technology with a potential to maintain brain health. This is perhaps something we can all have a go at doing which is good.
Matt thanks for diet advice am checking anti inflammatory foods. Plan to buy organic veg fruit as pesticides, toxins present in fruit and veg could potentially offset benefits. I really ought to look at growing some vegetables myself. Would save money as well !
Thanks for your thoughts. I would absolutely support that there is a relationship between diet/exercise and symptoms, and have found that in my own experience. I'm also convinced there's also a big psychological connection between staying positive, as much as possible, and progression of the disease. I also read something somewhere saying that exercise is most beneficial in the early stages of the disease.
Are you taking any nutritional supplements? I'm currently trying coconut oil in coffee which I think is helping me feel more alert generally.
TeeHee: I'd agree that given the choice, organic is the way to go. There's enough going wrong upstairs without throwing copious amounts of pesticides into the mix.I love the idea of growing your own food, though I fear that I'd starve should I go the same route!
I can see how switching off for 20 mins daily whilst meditating could clear the mind, although I'd surely doze off!
Nick: I couldn't agree with you more about staying positive. We've been dealt a rough hand, but then I guess one should always make the best of a bad situation. How immense will the celebrations be when one of these new therapies in the pipeline hit the jackpot!?!
The only supplement that I take is vitamin B12 which I've been told by people more in the know than myself is important if you eat plant-based diet. I'll give coconut oil in my coffee a bash this week and let you know how it goes for me.
Hi Matt and Nick.,
I'm interested in the coconut oil too. I just didn't know if you rub It in or drink it..... Actually selfbuilder did a vlog on it on the 15/01. That's where I heard about it. It can't hurt.
Well thats me better and brighter, just discovered beetroot and vodka calling it a bloody parky. xx might have a bounty bar afterwards. Back on salads tommoŕow while I check out some grow bags.
WOW! looked on google lattes with beetroot, turmeric and coconut all the recommended by Matt stuff and of course the coffee bit. This healthy eating stuff is going to be more fun than I first thought....just need to master those huge elastic bands to excercise with.....xx
TeeHee - love the idea of a "bloody parky". Let me know if you give it a go and what it tastes like.
DivineR - I have a spoonful of cocunut oil in my coffee twice a day, which disolves. Gives the coffee a kind of smooth taste but not really noticable particularly if it's strong coffee.
Buzbyc not bad, on the net are amazingly a few more beetroot juice martinis and cocktails, !
Hemp seed oil is anti inflammatory and worth reading up on. Would perhaps make a change or in addition to coconut oil.
Will try coconut oil in coffee, but is Malibu a good idea ?
Thx for reply. I'll definitely try the coconut oil. Can you tell me what if any difference you find using it. Does it help overall or specific areas? I'm finding just this week that my throat muscles are constricting. Any solutions? Due to see Pd nurse so will ask lots of questions.
Teehee not sure about the malibu! Is there real coconut in it? But hey whatever gets a body through the night!
This anti inflammatory more complex than I thought omega 6 and 3 one inflammatory the other not ....not selling hemp seed oil but the right balance. also plant based rather than cod liver oil from fish with the risk of mercury, iodine. Matt now understand why milk red meat off diet as inflammatory grub due to feeding preferences in farming. Also reminded me to take probiotic supplements as can offset inflammation etc blah blah.
Thank you so much all for being positive about research.
Sorry you have a problem with throat muscles , hope goes ok with pd nurse. let us know how it goes xx
TeeHee - I sense a theme in your thinking. Perhaps we could develop a whole range of Parkinson's related cocktails - Bloody Parky, Malibu Mover etc. Feel free to add suggestions.
DivineR - I may be earlier on in progression than you so don't have too many symptoms. I think I have noticed a slight improvement in my foot dystonia, but have noticed my head feeling generally much clearer. I know that's a vague comment and it may be related to me reading of another PWP who'd seen similar improvements. However I'm feeling better enough after taking it for the last week or so to carry on with it for the moment.
Not focussed on Parkinson's, but some documentaries worth taking a look at on this subject matter are 'Forks Over Knives' , 'Food Matters' and 'Food Choices'. All are on Netflix. Also, check out nutritionfacts.org, which often has loads of interesting articles and video's, including a couple on PD.
I'd like to trademark my Parky Cocktail at this point. 'Crimson Cramp': Gin, tonic and a raw beetroot.