»   Common Causes Of Weight Changes

  »   Weight Gain

  »   Weight Loss

  »   Therapies

Have you experienced changes in weight since being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease? It is common for people with Parkinson's to lose weight, yet others may gain. Changes in weight can affect overall health. Being underweight means you can lose muscle mass and strength, cause you to be prone to osteoporosis and infection.
Being overweight raises risk of heart disease and high blood pressure and puts stress on your joints. Maintaining a healthy weight is key to living well with Parkinson's Disease.

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Common Causes of Weight Changes

Weight Loss
There are many reasons people with Parkinson's Disease lose weight. Some people lose weight even if they are eating exactly the same meals. Others find certain Parkinson's Disease symptoms affect appetite or the ability to eat.

  »   Gradual loss of the sense of smell and taste is a non-motor Parkinson's Disease symptom that makes eating less enjoyable
  »   Weight loss usually levels off once Parkinson's Disease therapy begins and people return to normal eating habits
  »   Some Parkinson's Disease medications cause nausea, which suppresses appetite
  »   Motor symptoms like tremor, slowness and stiffness and complications of treatment such as dyskinesia can make eating difficult
  »   Swallowing difficulties are common and can interfere with eating
  »   People who experience depression or apathy ; which are common to Parkinson's Disease; may lose their appetite
  »   Embarrassed by their slow eating, some people stop eating before they have had enough
  »   People taking Levodopa may have been advised to avoid taking medications with protein, making it difficult to get adequate nutrition throughout the day

Parkinson's Disease do not cause any ongoing, unexplained weight loss. Tell you doctor if you experience this symptom, it may be a sign of a serious medical issue unrelated to Parkinson's Disease.
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Weight Gain

Weight gain is sometimes a side effect of Parkinson's Disease therapies.

  »  Deep Brain Stimulation is a surgical therapy that helps relieve movement symptoms in many people. Weight gain is a potential side effect.
  »  Dopamine Agonists are medications occasionally given alone or in combination with formulations of Levodopa to manage Parkinson's Disease Motor Symptoms. They have been linked to compulsive behaviours, including binge eating, which leads to weight gain. Commonly prescribed dopamine agonists are Pramipexole (Mirapex), Ropinirole (Requip) and rotigotine transdermal system (Neupro Patchh). Under the supervision of a doctor, adjusting medications can stop a person's compulsive eating.
  »  Other Medications, especially those used to treat psychiatric complications of the disease or its treatment, can contribute to weight gain.

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It is important that Parkinson's Disease motor symptoms be optimally controlled. See your neurologist to see whether he or she recommends a medication adjustment. Also, visit your primary care provider to exclude other medical reasons for weight change.

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