Parkinsons and Animal-Based Protein

I am a 68-year old woman diagnosed in 2002. My symptoms are mainly difficulty in small-motor movements and freezing. I have been on Sinemet for the entire 14 years and it worked well, except for the past four years I have also had what felt like low blood sugar issues. My medications didn't seem to be working on a consistent basis and I would spend a good bit of my day in bed. While researching mecuna puriens two weeks ago, I spoke to a doctor for Himalaya regarding how one would take their mecuna puriens. She was very specific about not eating protein during the first two meals of the day so that the medications that were to cross the blood brain barrier would have adequate access to the carriers that would carry them to the brain. Now I had been told that you needed to be careful about eating protein around the time when you took your meds, but let's be honest about it - is that really possible? I made the decision to change my diet to vegan to see how my body would react. Holy Moly! I was able to go from 8 Sinemet/day and 8 Rytary/day to 4 Sinemet/day and 6 Rytary per day. I still take a nap, but I don't have the total exhaustion and body freezing episodes. Vegan is not easy - getting enough protein can be a challenge not to be taken on without a dietician. I am in the process of trying one new non-animal based protein each day to make sure that there is no adverse reaction, but I have gone from thinking life as I loved it was over to looking forward to getting my body stronger and stronger. Has anyone else gone through this?

10 Replies

  • No I haven't, but I've thought about reducing my protein, especially in the morning, but like you say, it's difficult to do. For some reason, I have the most trouble around the time I take my 2nd dose (I take 4/5 C/L per day). It takes longer to kick in than any other time. I will be interested to see if others have tried vegan and/or reducing protein.

  • It is difficult, but not impossible. I will not go back - can't believe someone from my pharmacist to the neurologist didn't sit me down and explain it. I would have done this sooner!!

  • Can you give examples of what you eat daily?

  • I am still testing for reactions from eating nuts, but so far all seeds, beans - and eventually will try to add back fish and chicken. Red meat probably not going to make the cut. There are lots of recipes for vegan, you just have to be creative.. i.e. no sausage pizza, but artichoke hearts as a topping and seeds a big yes! Oatmeal with seeds and raisins are great. Veggie wraps with hummus and avocados and seeds are good.

  • V egan as in No milk, cheese, butter eggs ? Or vegetarian?

  • Initially, I excluded all protein - vegetable and animal. Each day I add one vegetable type back to see if it causes problems. So far I have tolerated seeds and beans. Today I will add nuts, most likely almonds. If almonds are okay, it follows that most nuts will be okay. Without thinking, I ate a half cup of cottage cheese and string cheese. I tolerated both of those. Conversely, peanut butter and eggs both cancel out the Sinemet. I will continue to try to add one type each day, so I can focus on my reaction by specific food type. Does that help?

  • Thanks I was clarifying because I take oatmeal with milk and make pastry with egg and butter etc which vegans don't eat. but vegetarians do.

    Have you cut out milk? It seems to be a problem sometimes for me.

  • Milk and egg and butter are all animal proteins and so are suspect for me. I use coconut milk.

  • That's great.

    I manage my protein vary well. I take my meds every 4 hours so I just eat at the 2 hour mark between doses. Also meals must be small. Even a large non protein meal will effect my meds. I am 11 years with [pd and doing great.

    Good luck

  • I take Rytary - which releases meds constantly, so that won't work for me.

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