The glucose paradox

my meds haven't been working well.

they work well when combined with glucose.

seemingly ldopa interferes with glucose.

glucose is needed by the cells that turn ldopa into dopamine.

many people with pd end up with diabetes.

if your ldopa isn't working try a glucose sweet available at your pharmacist, ironically for diabetics.

if you have a craving for sweet things glucose is much more effective than other forms of sugar.

of course you might end up with diabetes. but isnt a future diabetes worth a present without pd?
Hello Turnip
You said last week that you were feeling better so do hope that is still the case. Have you just started to take meds with glucose ? Do you actually take them together? I am supposed to avoid food an hour either side of Madopar but my current dosage of 100mg x 3 daily isn't helping greatly so might give glucose a try.
All the best
being an unmethodical person, i was trying out several things at the same time so causing confusion. having separated the strands i now conclude that the improvement was due to the glucose. i am not saying that anyone else should take glucose or that it is safe or sensible, but i seems to work for me at the moment.
the problems with food are twofold - 1 the food blocks the tablets from reaching the duodenum where it is absorbed, 2 protein competes with ldopa. glucose sweets are too small for 1 and have no protein. when i am at work i have a sweet every 20 to 30 minutes (dont tell my dentist) but i have stopped eating chocolate etc.
the madopar just wasnt doing anything on its own, now with glucose its in hyperdrive. but i have no idea at all of the consequencies of taking glucose except that it seems to be the least harmful of sugars.
without the glucose i am a mess, with it i am doing ok.
Good luck with it
Very interesting thread! I have noticed that if I only eat cakes, biscuits etc, my absorption of l-dopa is much greater than if I eat anything else. Protein definitely causes me the most problems, followed by carbs. I think I'll try the glucose trick myself. I am not concerned about diabetes further down the line or my teeth come to that! It's the present that we have to cope with. Thank you.
Hi Turnip,

Sorry to hear that your meds aren't working well! I'm not taking taking l-dopa yet, so am not well placed to comment on what makes those meds more or less effective.

Nevertheless, and just in case, I thought I might mention that I've been looking a lot at Cortisol lately and am more and more suspicious that there might be something in there in relation to PD. In my case, my lab tests show that my free Cortisol levels are below average (I have a normal level of cortisol, but have a high level of something called transcortin; apparently cortisol gets stuck to transcortin so too much transcortin means that too little cortisol remains free to do the stuff that cortisol is meant to do - raise glucose levels in the body when needed, control inflammation, etc). Reading your post made me wonder if you might also have too much transcortin like me and the extra glucose you're taking is helpful because there's not enough free cortisol to do it's normal job. This is just speculation, of course, but I thought I might share it just in case there might be something in it.

I'm not too sure yet how to raise cortisol levels (without taking cortisone - which is a pretty heavy duty stuff and has nasty implications) or decrease transcortin. The only thing I found so far seems to be licorice, which apparently makes cortisol bind less with transcortin and therefore increase cortisol level (probably even more when one has too much transcortin). Encouragingly, licorice also seems to have a bit of a reputation as having positive impacts for PD. I haven't tried licorice myself yet (am still trying to find where to get it and what kind of doses are helpful), but just thought of sharing this as cortisol is so directly linked with glucose that there might be something in there for your case too...

Wish you well,

will look into cortisol - unfortunately i hate liquorice!
Turnip, my sinemet definitely works better when I have some carb with it - a biscuit does the trick for me.
well then - the plot thickens!

cortisol turns carbs into glucose
cortisol is 'supervised' by the hypothalmus
the hypothalmus produces dopamine but also uses it
the dopamine is produced by cells with energy deficiencies
the energy comes from glucose
cortisol turns carbs into...oops!
or to put it the other way round

low cortisol => low glucose => cell energy low => low dopamine => hypothalmus ineffective => low cortisol
Exactly! Makes you wonder that if we can increase cortisol by another means you might not need to get all that extra glucose to beef up your energy and make the meds work!

Also, note that low cortisol reduces your ability to fight inflammation and extra glucose might create inflammation problems over time... which would make fixing the cortisol problem doubly important.

Interestingly, I just happened to stumble on the following article ( “Parkinson’s disease appears due to that same difficult-to-detect cortisone deficiency associated with the inflammatory disorders we've been treating successfully for years,” said Stenberg. “When the missing cortisone is replaced, chronic disease symptoms fall dramatically.”

... though I'm personally wary of going down the route of taking cortisone supplements as these seem to have nasty side effects...(and when you start taking them there's no way back, because apparently it reduces your body's natural ability to create cortison on its own) and, in my case, the problem (at least with me) seems to be with transcortin, not cortisol. It's my high level of transcortin that seems to be keeping my cortisol too low.

So, this brings me back to licorice. I just happened to notice this recent post here on this forum on licorice too:

I also read somewhere that androgen drugs (like testosterone) reduce our body's natural production of transcortin. I have no idea, however, if these are a good idea to take or not. Last week I saw an endocrinologist to ask what to do about my higher-than-normal levels of transcortin and he told me he didn't know but was going to try to find out. I'm going to call him in a week or two to check if he found anything. I'll be happy to let you know whatever he tells me.

warm regards,

Sorry, the link above doesn't seem to work. Try this one instead:
i must admit, as a mere root vegetable, although one with nitrogen fixing abilities, that i am having trouble keeping all these different strands in mind at one time - which is why i ignored cortisol in the first place, but its all tied together in one huge knot and its getting harder to comprehend!
pd is the most complex problem, and i wonder if there is any single individual who can take it all in.
I am new to PD, without a formal diagnosis until the success of Sinemet can be reviewed by my consultant next appt in November 2013. The reason for posting in this part of the forum is I have been Insulin dependent for 26yrs. I havenly been on Sinemet for 6 days and it is playing havoc with my diabetes as you might expect. Are there any other IDDM type 1s out there:question:

This is a fascinating thread. Does anyone have an update?


Hi John,

Not much to say in terms of an update from my side.  I still continue to believe that eating glucose is risky for PD and have tried to limit them a bit (though still eat a moderate amount of sugar, chocolate, etc).  I have just provided a general update on my current status on my post "Did anyone try to find the cause of your PD by yourself?"

But perhaps it would be more enlightening to get an update from Turnip - if I remember well he did take a lot of Glucose, so he might provide more insights - I am hopeful that it worked well for him.



My mother eats some dates .

she says that madopar doesn't heart her intestines that way .