Just looking for some advice please. I’m considering following a predominantly plant based diet… has anyone else followed this type of diet and had a positive outcome regarding symptoms and if so what were/are they?
My partner and myself are both on a plant-based diet (don’t tell our houseplants, they’ll get paranoid). A few things you might want to consider:
Getting enough vitamin B12. This vitamin is vital for the nervous system so if you’re suffering from a neurological condition you don’t want to be short of it. Unfortunately, the best way to get it is in animal-based foods; even supplements don’t work very well as the body doesn’t seem to absorb B12 that way. So every three months I get a B12 jab from my GP, which is effective. I only learned about this after a routine blood test revealed a B12 deficiency.
The other thing to consider is whether your diet could be adjusted to make any medication you’re taking work better. It’s usual to eat when you take a dopamine agonist, this helps you absorb it and is easier on the stomach. But if you are taking a levodopa medication, try to avoid eating protein at the same time or within an hour of taking it: L-dopa is carried in the blood to the brain by the same carriers that absorb protein, so if you eat protein before or soon after taking L-Dopa, there may not be enough carriers left to deliver the meds to your brain so it may not be effective. My partner avoids protein in the daytime, so no meat substitutes, beans, lentils etc, and then eats a day’s worth in the evening, meaning that all day the meds work but in the evening when we are just old gits watching telly, my partner doesn’t need to be so mobile.
Oh and cheese seems to prevent L-dopa working well too. This appears to be something some neurologists know, but nobody seems to know why. The arrival of plant-based “cheese” in supermarkets in the past few years has been great for my partner as it’s low in protein but still tastes cheesy. Assuming that something being cheesy is a good thing… !
Hope you soon feel better.
Thank you so much for responding (& making me chuckle)
I am taking levadopa and was aware of the issues re protein (from my own research) but if I’m honest I hadn’t read about or considered meat substitutes being an issue so thank you for mentioning that.
Regarding B12 I’ll be sure to inform my GP of my change in diet.
Thank you again
You are welcome. But you must be in a bad way if my reply made you chuckle!
Some plant-based substitutes for meat and dairy don’t have much protein in them so they wouldn’t be a problem in that sense. I suppose we read a lot of labels in this household, checking how much protein is in the food we buy.
Something else I believe but I don’t know if there’s any evidence for, is that levodopa is absorbed in the small intestine, not the stomach so if you don’t eat enough fibre, the meds might net be absorbed because they are blocked by… erm, already being full. So drink plenty of fluids and eat lots of fibre to keep things moving. Seems to work for us.
Good luck with it.