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Posted on 04-13-2018

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The phrase “you are what you eat” might hold more truth than we realize. Like we say time and time again on this blog: what you eat, affects your over-all health. Your gut-health can either cause disease or prevent it, Celiac disease being the most obvious. There has been quite the buzz in research especially regarding the link between the gut and brain and how gut health influences tissues, glands, and joints.

This gut-brain connection has raised the question of the role of gut health in people developing Parkinson’s disease.

People with Parkinson’s disease suffer from constipation, nausea, and other GI effects and these symptoms sometimes surface before the actual diagnosis of the disease, often for over a decade. The motor symptoms associated with Parkinson’s are genuinely late in the development in the disease process.

Those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease have greater growth of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) compared to those who are healthy. Some studies have found that SIBO worsens GI symptoms and worsen motor function, while other studies have shown SIBO to just worsen motor function but not GI symptoms. Either way, SIBO may be a major culprit to the deteriorating of motor function in Parkinson’s patients.

Food-based therapies may be a solution to alter gut flora and influence positive gut-brain connections. Although not a gut-healing diet, the ketogenic diet was shown to significantly improve scores on the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale in small study done on Parkinson’s patients. This step forward does show the impact of dietary intervention on a neurological disorder that does not offer much medical solutions.

Your microbiome is an important part of your body that needs care and attention. Even if you are not experiencing a lot of health problems, it is always a good idea to treat your gut with love by watching what you eat. It is smarter than you may think!

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