Diet and Nutrition

A Dietary Guide for People Living With Parkinson's Disease

Reminders When Taking Medicine

According to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, a person with Parkinson’s disease must adjust the timing and food that he or she is eating in accordance with the type of medicine that the person is taking in order to avoid unwanted side effects. For example, the medication levodopa (a commonly administered drug for Parkinson’s disease), competes for absorption with other proteins in the body. Thus, eating foods high in protein may slow down the drug from performing its job. It is advisable that when being prescribed with levodopa, the person must leave out protein for the day and consume vegetables, rice or food rich in carbohydrates. Iron supplements should also be taken for at least 2 hours after or before taking levodopa as they can also reduce or slows down the drug’s absorption. Pramipexole and ropinirole are other drugs for Parkinson’s disease but do not require any change in diet.

Another quick tip is that the person may wait for 30 minutes up to an hour after eating or when on an empty stomach so that drug is absorbed faster. If nauseous, one may take out a snack containing carbohydrates to feel better.