Constipation is a decreased frequency of bowel movements that is defined as fewer than three movements per week. It is estimated that up to 80 percent of people with PD experience constipation. Fortunately, there are some practical strategies that can help.
Move. Remember that movement begets movement. Physical activity may ease constipation — along with many other aspects of Parkinson’s disease — so get out there, be active and exercise!
Try a Laxative. One simple home remedy is the “Keep It Moving” or “Colon cocktail” (recipe and directions: 1/2 cup bran; 1/2 cup prune juice; 1/2 cup applesauce. Mix together and refrigerate. Take one or two tablespoonsful each evening). If that does not work, taking MiraLAX® — once a day, if needed — may provide relief.
Time It Right. If possible, try to time bowel movements during “on” periods when Parkinson’s medications are working. During these periods, there may be improved function and relaxation of the anorectic sphincter muscles, which can aid bowel movements.