Here, we share some practical tips that would help you tackle constipation problem in your Parkinson’s journey.
If you are a Parkinson’s patient experiencing constipation, you are not alone. Constipation is a common issue for many individuals dealing with this disease. Fortunately, there are effective ways to cope with it.
This article delves into the six most effective ways for addressing constipation in Parkinson’s disease.
1. Modify your diet
Before seeking alternative remedies for dealing with constipation, the initial step is to make dietary adjustments. Foods rich in dietary fiber are particularly effective against constipation. Think of your gut as a garden and dietary fiber as the fertilizer that promotes its growth.
Add the following foods that are rich in fiber to your daily diet:
- Whole grains like oats and quinoa
- Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and carrots
- Fruits like apples, pears, and berries
Eating these foods helps soften your stool and ensures its smoother passage through the digestive tract. Remember that drinking enough water is also crucial for these dietary changes to have a positive effect.
Related article: Diet for Parkinson’s Patients – What to Eat and When?
2. Engage yourself in physical activity
Regular exercise not only benefits your overall health and mood but also promotes healthy digestion. It stimulates the muscles in your digestive tract, and this stimulation encourages coordinated contractions that facilitate the movement of waste through your intestines. By preventing stool stagnation and promoting smoother elimination, exercise becomes an effective way to mitigate the challenges of constipation.
So, engage yourself in physical activities that suit your comfort level – from a short leisurely in the park to seated yoga exercises. These activities not only enhance bowel movements but they also contribute to an improved overall quality of life.
3. Manage your medication
While Parkinson’s medications are vital for symptom management, they can inadvertently contribute to constipation. Drugs like Levodopa and dopamine agonists, commonly used for Parkinson’s symptoms, can affect neurotransmitters crucial for proper digestion. If you’re using these drugs, there is a high possibility that you might experience constipation. Therefore, talk to your healthcare provider about the potential side effects of these drugs. Adjusting dosages or exploring alternative options can provide relief without compromising your treatment plan.
Related article: Medication For Parkinson’s Disease
4. Consider probiotics
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that play a crucial role in maintaining digestive balance.
A recent systematic review published in the Journal of Frontier in Pharmacology suggests that probiotics can be used to improve the constipation and motor symptoms of patients with Parkinson’s constipation. The study carefully examined the results from 12 different studies involving 818 patients and found that constipation symptoms were improved after probiotic treatment.
You can find probiotics in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Probiotic supplements are also available if you do not like these options.
5. Try abdominal massage therapy
Abdominal massage has gained significant popularity as a treatment choice for individuals dealing with constipation. This technique aids in stimulating the natural movement of the bowels, subsequently alleviating the symptoms associated with constipation.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing reported abdominal massage as an effective therapeutic approach for constipation. During the study, nine adults experiencing constipation participated in sessions of abdominal massage. Participants reported a sense of comfort and security during the massages, highlighting the improvement in their bowel habits and the alleviation of their discomfort.
Incorporating abdominal massage into your routine, ideally daily, can provide relief.
6. Establish routine and optimal toilet posture
A consistent daily schedule that includes regular meal times and dedicated bathroom breaks can also effectively manage constipation. Your body thrives on predictability; a routine can help regulate bowel movements. So, start your day with a glass of warm water to awaken your digestive system and set the tone for the hours ahead.
Also, consider your posture on the toilet. Sitting with your knees higher than your hips, similar to a squatting position, can aid in relieving constipation. Tools like stools or specially designed squatty potties can help achieve this posture.
In conclusion, dealing with constipation in Parkinson’s requires a comprehensive approach. By adopting these strategies, you can effectively deal with this challenge and improve your overall quality of life. Remember, before making big changes to your routine, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor first.
Disclaimer: The information shared here should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions presented here are not intended to treat any health conditions. For your specific medical problem, consult with your healthcare provider.