Parkinson's Movement

Low carb diets and PD?

Like Court - see erlier question - I'm fed up reading that PD causes people to lose weight! Mine has steadily gone up since I started on medication and in the last month, since adding an anti depressant, I have just ballooned. None of my clothes fit. In a few months I seem to have gone from slim and attractive to old and fat and I hate it - my size itself is enough to make me depressed. I have to lose weight.

I have read quite a few pieces of research online that suggest that a low carb diet has been shown to benefit people with several brain disorders including Parkinsons. I want to try it. However, I also know that eating protein can make l-dopa drugs ( I take madopar) less effective because protein crosses the blood brain barrier and blocks the action of the drugs. I find that my drugs seem less effective if I have them too close to eating protein.

I'm desperate to lose weight but don't want to risk screwing up my drugs. Has anyone any experience with low carb diets?

5 Replies

Don't know the answer to this one, but like you I hate the extra weight. I feel and know I look fat. There I have said it. The only time I lost weight was after my sickness bug and that didn't last long. Have not tried a low carb diet as my meds are screwed up at the moment. Have noticed that protein too near meds affects them.


Hi Court. You and me both! I think I got the answer to my low carb question last night. I had a low carb, high protein meal - fish and stir fry veg, took my madopar (probably too close to eating) and went off to an Am Dram play rehearsal where I was asked to stand in for a missing cast memeber. I realised pretty quickly that the madopar wasn't working so took an 'emergency' dispersible - no effect what soever! I'm not one to give up - great believer in pushing through and forcing myself to go on. The result was a complete collapse - juddering heap on the floor! Had to be scraped up and brought home. V embarrassing. So my last hope of losing weight seems to have gone. I know it's really shallow of me but I hate the extra weight so much - it depresses me more than the PD! I think I have a real addiction to carbs.


Don't know what madopar is but I gained 40 lbs on Requip\Mirapex and lost it when I went on sinemet


This last few weeks I have been taking sinemet before meals and have found my Parkinson's is far better controlled. I know this breaks the protein rule but now it seems to work for me. So long as I don't over indulge and stick to small meals (I eat little and often) and don’t eat in between taking meds, I am having much smoother days. It seems to have helped curb acid reflux and I am feeling less bloated.

I have also noticed I am losing weight. I think this is because I'm no longer snacking in between meds and watching portion sizes - the thought of my meds not kicking in puts me off snacking. Complex carbs take longer than simple carbs to digest and due to PD making the gut lazy, food can hang around in the gut for hours. Then what happens is you take your next lot of meds and they just sit on top of the undigested food and don't get absorbed until an hour or so. This causes me to have awful off dystonia, low mood and PD poorly controlled.

I try to eat healthy but I have noticed foods that are healthier for you take longer to digest. So keeping your eye on portion sizes is important -- small and often is much better!


It's certainly advisable to stay nutiritious with or without PD. Carbs do have some nutritional value but if you want to lose weight then things like smoothies are a great way to keep away from carbs. I stumbled across this recipe for salmon too - Tasty.

1 like

You may also like...