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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is the recommended diet for someone with Parkinson's disease?

    Can anyone recommended a healthy and well-balanced diet for someone with Parkinson's disease? My father has experienced difficulty swallowing and constipation.
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    Nikki Martin

    Speech Pathologist

    I have over 13 years experience in adult Speech Pathology and specialise in voice and swallowing problems/cancers of the face and throat. I work very … View Profile

    There is no recommended diet for someone with Parkinson's as such. Each person presents differently and each person changes at a different rate as their symptoms progress. As a result, each person needs to be assessed on an individual basis. The swallowing issues tend to progress ie get worse as the disease progresses. They can involve difficulty chewing and or swallowing food, liquids, medications or saliva. People with Parkinson's often report that their swallow function is the best about half an hour after taking their Parkinson's medication. Some signs and symptoms that someone with Parkinson's is having swallowing difficulties are as follows: drooling of saliva/drink/food, coughing when eating/drinking, weight loss, longer time to eat a meal, recurrent chest infections/pneumonias. There are food and fluid modifications that can be made and safe swallowing strategies that can be recommended by a Speech Pathologist. Someone with severe swallowing issues may be admitted to hospital with a chest infection that may required intubation/ventilation. Seek help from a Speech Pathologist if any of the above signs apply to you.

    Nikki Martin
    Speech Pathologist

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    Thanks

    Megan Leane

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I am an Accredited Practising Dietitian with expertise in chronic disease management (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol), weight loss, medical nutrition, allergy management and … View Profile

    While there is no specific diet for Parkinson's Disease we can make an effort to treat the symptoms as the disease progresses.

    Each person should be assessed individually and their symptoms addressed as specificically. The most common dietary intervention performed by a Dietitian is to combat weight loss and mucsle wasting. Other avenues would ensure an adequate nutrition intake is achieved.

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