Updated: May 6
Nutrition is a key aspect of healthy living, with or without Parkinson's disease. The following article by Nikki A Creber explains the importance of a healthy diet and nutrition:
Nutrition - this is now one of the truths we know- there are as many neurotransmitters active in a healthy gut than in our brains. And the research is in fact, suggesting greater numbers in our gut.
Across the last decade or so, it has been made abundantly clear in research that “healthy gut microbes” are needed to stave off disease, particularly diseases in the auto-immune categories of which Parkinson’s Disease is now considered one, on that spectrum.
This places even more importance on tracing gut flora and fauna imbalances back to detecting root causal influences on the initiation of the disease state. However as most people living with Parkinson's Disease (PwP) realise looking back at the time of diagnosis they have had a somewhat perplexing assortment of small, ongoing symptoms. Now they can rightly home them under the Parkinson’s banner. Some may have been present for up to five years previous to diagnosis.
Dr David Perlmutter, Neurologist and Functional Medicine Expert has drawn a very clear picture of the links between degenerative diseases like Parkinson's Disease and gut health. Nutrition is truly a personal area of our lives, often based in understandings developed as we grew up, surrounded by and still subconsciously playing an illuminating role in inner decision-making about food. It is becoming a grave area of concern amongst Functional Medicine Specialist, therefore an added stress and anxiety that accompanies daily life with Parkinson’s disease. Often influential research in the area of health indicates that 2 pivotal pillars in this area are diet and exercise. The best suggestion here is too follow this lead and treat diet and exercise of paramount importance.
Well-being is another terminology of which both an individual’s understanding and the personal practices are formed by early family practices occurring around one from babyhood on. These conditioned learned responses and practices are underpinned by our concerns re.: health, which is very important for personal researching.
One thing we do know is that a lack of dopamine in the biological the system causes other neurotransmitters to step up and try to help the processes aligned with and triggered by activity usually driven by the missing neurotransmitter, dopamine. One flow-on thorough the outcome here can be a systematic overload by one or a few neurotransmitters. The most notorious one, known for this behaviour is Cortisol and when one’s system is overloaded by Cortisol the ‘Flight or Fight' Syndrome becomes engaged and stays engaged continuously unless the reflex is turned off. This neurotransmitter, Cortisol can keep one in a state of “flooded system’ indefinitely.
The parameters and reactions of which prevail across five states of the 5F Syndrome: flight, fight, freeze, fright and fear simultaneously working together. Living in this state long-term can have a debilitating effect on our emotions, on our emotional strength and capacity to adapt to change, make decisions, maintain a sense of well-being internally and feeling able to tap into your cellular energy. Usually, interpersonal relating becomes more tiresome.
All these capabilities and more, are associated with a sense of well-being. You do have the ability to directly strengthen and track the the health of the gut microbe too, by investing time to research and make the best diet discussions for you. Developing around you a team, (either face-2-face or online) of medical and allied health practitioners who work in a team environment under the common umbrella of best outcomes for you, is a further way to augment this ability. The other most empowering instrument to staying in a state of well-being is re-discovering a feeling of being the one making the decisions; steering your own boat; being in charge of what is going on, instead of the Parkinson’s disease being in charge.
Following this line of research does warrant time and individual determination to extract useful information applicable to your lifestyle and carer resources.
Gaining conscious control is buoyed by making paramount in daily life, care for self with essential daily practices like exercise, meditation, mindfulness techniques, informed diet practices, rest, and a trusted health team. A world champion power-weight lifter in the age category (over 80) who has lived with Parkinson's for 10 years says, “staying well and active while living with Parkinson’s is a full -time job and requires well-being practices and exercise every day of the adventure.”
Resources: Dr David Perlmutter books and resources: Brain Wash: Power of your Brain; the better brain Book; Grain Brain; Brain Maker; The Granin Brain - Whole life Plan
Thich Nhat Hanh books: The Art of Communicating; The Art of Living: The Miracle of Mindfulness: the classic guide by the Master: How to Live: Fear, Essential Wisdom for getting through the storm.
Jon Kavat-Zinn: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life: exercises and meditation: Full Catastrophe Living
#Taking Control - you navigate