Parkinson's Movement
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Parkinsons and Gastric Bypass... is there a possible link ?

Is there anyone else that has had gastric bypass and later on diagnosed with Parkinsons disease? I would like to know because I have been trying to figure out where the Parkinsons came from.I have no history of it in my family,never been around toxic chemicals, or had any type of head injury.I am not looking to blame Parkinsons on something,I'm just trying to understand what I could have done differently and how to approach my treatment plan for the Parkinsons.

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Have you ever heard the Scientists' adage

"for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction"? --well,--,considering how bad the reaction is (Parkinson's) your original action must have been exceedingly good


I think it is one of the written rules of Physics.

So, rather than looking at your PD as a big negative, just look over your shoulder at the Devil, and give him a finger (the British one is better, it's 2 fingers), because he has used his biggest bombshell, and we have some in reserve. Every time we smile it blows up in his face.


Hi,I had a surgery for Acid Reflux called a Nissen Fundoplication,A Stomach wrap to tighten up the splincter to prevent Acid reflux,I was Dx not shortly after that,But I also had taken a prescription drug called Reglan for acid reflux and nausa.This drug Reglan has many cases around the country causing tardive Dyskinsia,Parkinsons and other types of movement disorders.I also have some history in the family of generations that had what they called back then as Shakey Palsey.My Son Many years back when he was about 7 years old was swinging a golf club at a mini golf Course and wasn't paying attention and hit near the temple of my head,My Arms just dropped,I would say I saw stars!My son to this day says,He wonders it was the cause,I tell him that's not the reason I got Parkinsons.When I was first Dx,That question why and how did this happen,Then finally just moved on,I have it and and it does'nt matter why anymore,It's been a 11 years that I was dx with Parkinson from the age of 45 to 56 years old and manage to keep a positive mind and deal with each challenge and there were many.I found it better to learn more about the disease and thinks that help me have better times. The Best thing is to Be Positive,Strong.


hi i think there is no reason why we get these illnesses (( have PSP) and just have to get on iwth doing what we can when we can

ido not knwo about hte laws of physics but just know i am dealing with it pretty well (despite what my partner says)

it is partly an atttitude thing but i have just recently been cleared of breast cancer - which i could have doen without

i am 67 but feel about 17 inside

lol JIll



While I agree with others about acceptance and getting on with Life, it does help sometimes to believe that we have an inkling about causation--or theories on causation. My only input is self-referencing, please forgive. In 1988 I developed ulcerative colitis. In 2001 I retired early because I simply could no longer take the heat, drive the distances, eat the local food (deep South = deep-fried), etc. We moved to the Valley in Virginia for an easier life. Shortly thereafter my neurological symptoms began, including weakness, apathy, running into walls, falling down, etc. Finally, in 2010 I was diagnosed with PD. At that time I was barely able to walk, stay awake, I drooled, etc. Within 2 weeks I was better (Sinemet). Bear with me, there is a connection here.

Meanwhile, while I was going from doctor to doctor (including the world-famous Mayo for 2 weeks), I received everything from a shrug of the shoulders and "why not take an anti-depressant," to you have MS and there is nothing we can do for you. One doctor, however, said let's test your ferritin level. Aha. It was practically nonexistent. For some reason (probably the ulcerative colitis and the anti-reflux meds I'd been on for so long) my FE was bottoming out. Off to a hematologist. Now my levels are monitored about every 4 months. Since then, about every year and a half, my FE drops to a level (below 50 now) and I spend a day in the lab with people who are receiving chemotherapy and FE, having my FE replenished. My hematologist began to wonder if I was an undiagnosed celiac. She still considers it to be a possibility.

Last summer my digestive system practically slowed to non-functioning. I spent the summer in and out of hospitals and rehab. I now take supplements (trying to take ones that are either liquid or chewable), drink Orgain and Ensure, and eat very slowly as often as I can. I consume ginger tabs.

This missive is all to say that I and my Neurologist (Movement Specialist) and Hemotologist believe there is a connection. Did my UC cause PD? Don't know. How? Don't know. Why? Don't know. But I do know that I have to be very careful about nutrition, because my digestive system does not absorb nutrients well. I should think you are in a similar situation.

Sorry I took a bit to spell it out. But that's my story and I just had to pass it along to you, in case it helps at all.

Be good to yourself. Enjoy what you can.



Thanks for your story and as I read it I wondered if you have heard about Braak's theory that PD starts in the gut. Braak's idea is that an unknown virus or something similar enters the nervous system through the nose and intestinal area and eventually moves to the brain.

Parkinsons Movement looked at this topic in a recent webinar too which is now on u tube.

On MJF site there is an article with the question " Does Parkinson's begin in the gut, and work its way to the parts of the brain that cause the motor symptoms of the disease?"

I think it's a very interesting area for research.


Thank you so much for this info. During my next looking-up-stuff bout, I'll look this up. I had not heard of it, and find it interesting also.

Take care.


Here is one to start from Cure Parkinsons site.

Leaky Gut in Parkinsons

This very interesting article from 2011 is well worth a read if you have any interest in Parkinson's and the gut.


Thank you. I'll look forward to more from you.


I had Lap Band surgery and I firmly believe the change in not eating properly ( in my case) brought upon the changes in my body that results in PD. I rarely met my requirements of protein and/or protein supplements. I have since had the band removed and had the Gastric Sleeve Procedure. This resulted in problems with less protein necessary (for PD) and increase protein needed for bariatric requirements. I cannot take long action drug formulations (like SR,XL, LA, etc) due to the small volume of my stomach. I too have no history to explain PD. Would love to talk more about PD and weight loss surgery! Anyone else?


My sister had GB in 2004. 5 years later started having neuropathy. Today, she is in horrible shape. She never ate right and still doesnt. Never paid attention to protein, vitamins, etc. She has infection after infection...its effecting her mentally as well. She can barely sure the GB contributed or caused this. No family history. She also drank too much after the surgery and took her share of tranquilizers, sleeping pills. No drinking or pills now. She is declining rapidly. Still eats poorly.


Ohh my lord, I thought I was reading my own story! I too had a lap band which failed miserably and was removed during emergency surgery two and a half years after insertion. This was followed by a gastric sleeve which I have had for a further two and a half years. I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease just over a year ago and I'm also trying to find a link. So far all I can find is anicdotal


I went to a lecture by top neurologists and they seem to think that any major event ( a car accident,surgery, emotional or physical trauma) can be the "straw that broke the camels back"-tipping the scales to bring forward neurological diseases like Parkinsons that have been lurking beneath the surface.

While these things may not have "caused" Parkinsons, they may have been the event that caused your body to manifest the symptoms.

How many of you have experienced something that seemed to trigger the onset of PD? What do you think about this theory?


My mother had gastric bypass about 9 years ago. Everything was perfectly fine for years. In Feb 2011 she had a car accident. Shortly after she had a slow onset of symptoms like problems writing, balance issues, shuffling when she walked (symptoms only affected only her right side).....the doctors ruled out stroke, heavy metals and many more things. She was given the diagnosis this summer of Parkinsonism (which seems to be a catch all of "yeah you have some similar symptoms, we just don't know why"). Her symptoms have gotten much more severe, and now include ataxia and speech/cognitive issues. She has none of the tremors normally associated with Parkinson's. Could it be a result of a lack of vitamins and nutrients after her surgery? Brought on by her accident? She is going next week for a second opinion at John Hopkins hospital in Baltimore. Hopefully we will get some actual answers.



Tremor is present in 70% of Parkinson's patients therefore absence of the symptom does not rule out a diagnosis of Parkinson's.

Diagnosis has improved with modern scanning technology able to detect dopamine activity in the brain.

Is your mother receiving medication for PD and, if so, is she responding to it?


I think it is true! Mine was triggered when my Mother passed! I know several people that have had triggers much like this . Most are young PD onset. I was 44 when I was diagnosed.


She wasn't diagnosed with Parkinson's. She was told she has "parkinsonism", which means she has some symptoms similar to Parkinson's......but not the actual disease. That is why I say a catch all, because many things can cause symptoms similar to Parkinson's.....they just don't know what the cause of her symptoms actually is.


There is often confusion about this term which many doctors use as an umbrella term because it includes idiopathic Parkinsons and the Parkinson Plus conditions.

Oleson if your doctor has used it because of a few symptoms he doesnt know what else to label then that is not correct use. It sounds like you need more information from him.

This is from the European Parkinsons Disease Association (representing 36 countries across Europe).


Parkinsonism is the generic name given to a group of conditions that feature the main characteristics of Parkinson’s: Tremor, Rigidity of muscles, mobility problems and bradykinesia (slowness of movement).

About 85% of people with parkinsonism have the most common form, Parkinson’s disease (also known as PD or idiopathic Parkinson’s disease).

The other 15% of people with parkinsonism have different, much rarer conditions. These are outside the remit of this website, but brief descriptions of each one are provided ........

7 conditions are listed


Sorry olesonfamily5, I mis-read your post, therefore the second paragraph is not relevant and I have removed it. I hope your mother's second diagnosis is more specific and she receives treatment which helps her symptoms.


I am going to stick my neck out here, and suggest that if you have had gastric band surgery and parkinson type symptoms have developed over a few years later, say three to five, please. Ask your doctor to test you for b12 deficiency to eliminate it. If you have even a low normal result on this test, it could possibly be a cause of your problems. Make sure that you have not been supplementing b vitamins before you are tested. There is a known link between gastric band surgery and this deficiency.

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Yes sister has GB in 2004. She started having symptoms about 5 years later. No family history. I have to tell you, she never eats right, seldom takes vitamins or protein shakes. She did great until the neuropathy started kicking in. She was in horrible shape in 2013 and had Deep Brain Stimulation. It worked for awhile, but now she is again, in very bad shape. I absolutely believe the malabsorption from GB is the key to her problems.


I would urge anyone who has had gastric band surgery to urgently be tested for b12 deficiency if they have parkinson like symptoms, neuropathy, balance fatigue or coordination problems. Google b12 defiency and read. Tests for this condition are flawed and it is often missed, but combined with GBS it is known and understood. The relevant specialists who deal with this are gastroenterologists and haematologists. The main difference between PD and b12 def. is faster progression and noticeable and debilitating fatigue. It is very important you do not treat this condition with supplements containing folate/folic acid before tesing as the tests will not work. GBS means the loss of a vital digestive process in the stomach. This leads to low or no absorption of natural sources of b12 which cause the deficiency which can be easily corrected, but the longer the condition is untreated the greater chance of permanent damage.


I had breast cancer chemo and radiation. I believe not being able to eat fresh fruits and vegetables or taking supplements brought it on. I definitely had a lack of the nourishment I needed most. I also have heard a lot of stories of people getting pd after surgery. Could it be anesthesia? The drugs they give??


Hi Norma55, I know you posted this question two years ago but I've only just stumbled across it. I had a gastric band in 2010 followed by a gastric sleeve in 2013. Did you find a link between Parkinson's and bariatric surgery? I too am looking for answers as there is no family history nor have Ihad excessive chemical exposure


Hi Norma,

I have read certain anaesthetic's can cause Parkinson's and my neurologist says my condition was caused by the antipsychotic Solian "mucking up your brain chemistry" but in addition my mother was dying when I first started showing symptoms. I have since read too much chocolate, red wine and natural gas are like the herbicide paraquat in triggering the disease. In addition I lived for sometime below an electrical tower and on a busy freeway, highway and railway line.

So really who knows but wouldn't it be great to find out.

Cheers and all the best


I had VSG in 2011 was DX with PD 3 years later I think its normal reaction to wonder if it caused the PD probably will never know.


I had gastric bypass surgery in 2011, first symptoms in 1/2016 and diagnosed 11/2017.

I've been wondering if there is a link. I've read a lot about leaky gut and PD.


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