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Can Constipation Indicate Parkinson’s?

While Parkinson’s disease is usually associated with its most visible symptoms, including tremors, stiffness, balance problems, and slow movement, there are a number of other potential indicators family members and caregivers can look for. Here, Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Parkinson’s care in Orlando, shares some basic information on the connection between PD and constipation.

Nerves that control movement in the gastrointestinal system can suffer damage from Parkinson’s. Some doctors theorize that the intestines may be one of the first areas affected, so digestive troubles are frequently one of the first signs noticed by seniors or their caregivers. This can include elimination problems like constipation.

While things like low water or fiber intake can cause constipation, some research indicates people who have less than one bowel movement per day may have quadruple the risk of developing Parkinson’s than the general population. This is not to suggest that constipation may be a cause of the disease, but being vigilant about dietary and elimination habits can help contribute to early detection, treatment, and research.

In-home caregivers should be particularly concerned if constipation is accompanied by other symptoms, like nausea or difficulty swallowing. These can indicate trouble with the nerves and muscles responsible for controlling eating, peristalsis, and elimination.

Many things about Parkinson’s disease are still mysteries to science, and not every senior will experience the same progression of symptoms. If you are currently a caregiver for a senior who may be at risk of Parkinson’s, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of its earliest symptoms. The sooner Parkinson’s is detected, the sooner seniors can receive the right treatment to maintain a good quality of life with as much independence as possible.

For more information on promoting senior health and wellness, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Orlando. We’re a trusted provider of senior home care in Orlando, and through our Balanced Care Method we encourage healthy eating, regular exercise, socialization, and help seniors maintain a sense of calm and purpose. To learn more about the elderly care services available in your area, call (407) 232-7155 and speak with a friendly Care Manager.