Parkinson's Movement
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Sugar & alcohol reduce tremors? Undiagnosed diabetes?

Has anyone noticed their resting tremor reduces with a good dose of sugar or alcohol? Like a soda (11 teaspoons of sugar) or a full beer (4 teaspoons of alcohol). The idea is that cells which are not able to produce much energy from compromised mitochondria can function better on a sugar or alcohol high. I seem to see a reduction.

This made me think diabetes is a possible cause of PD and possibly treating undiagnosed diabetes could stop PD progression, so I did a pubmed search and low and behold:

"there are already randomized trials evaluating several established treatments for insulin resistance (pioglitazone and exenatide) as possible disease modifying drugs in Parkinson's disease...which may be effective in both disease processes through an action on mitochondrial function. "

"There are also reports of varying associations between diabetes or abnormal glucose tolerance and sporadic forms of Parkinson's disease from both cross-sectional and cohort studies. Survey data reveal that diabetes is established in 8–30% of patients with Parkinson's disease, consistently in excess of the prevalence found in non-Parkinson's disease individuals"

"up to 50–80% of patients with Parkinson's disease have abnormal glucose tolerance when tested" (1960's and 1970's studies)

"in a series of 800 patients with Parkinson's disease, concurrent diabetes was indeed shown to accelerate progression of both motor and cognitive symptoms " (1960 study)

"reduced insulin-mediated glucose uptake " (1971)

"Nevertheless, a recent cohort study could not replicate an association between either type 2 diabetes mellitus or obesity and Parkinson's disease risk although the authors acknowledge that diagnosis of type 2 diabetes mellitus was entirely based on self-report" (2011)

L-dopa increases both blood glucose and insulin, but I don't know enough about diabetes to know what that means. They're saying high blood glucose after a meal reduces dopamine production, which is the opposite of what I was thinking. But I think the increased blood sugar and insulin from L-dopa should be like a good shot of sugar for the compromised neurons to work better, but long term this would make the neurons more dependent on the L-dopa, not to mention the increased oxidative damage from the shot of sugar.

I haven't looked at the other risk factors, but both PD and diabetes are connected to pesticide exposure, and protection can be seen for both in exercise, green tea, and caffeine.

So a good shot of sugar or alcohol might reduce symptoms, but long term it may not be good.

5 Replies

A glass of wine definitely reduces my husbands' tremors. If he has to be able to sign important papers, or write anything in the morning, he takes a glass of wine to do so.


Me too.


Ok i vnotice beer effects to but I just put it down to the alcohol. You could be on to something. I'll ask my gp to look at my blood again. I do have diabetes in the family abbe an paranoid about that already.


If the alcohol helps, I am not saying it is a sign of underlying diabetes. I'm just saying it is a shot of energy to cells that are not getting enough energy. But if there is underlying diabetes, then the drugs mentioned in the link I gave might be very good.

1 like

I eat almost no sugar but I do drink wine with dinner and definitely see an improvement of tremor... interesting


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