Monthly Archives: September 2011

TD’S For A Cure

Standard

Advertisements

Dear Huntington’s disease support group members and friends,

Standard

Dear Huntington’s disease support group members and friends,
 
We had a wonderfully informative and hopeful meeting on September 26 with the annual research update from Dr. Jody Corey-Bloom, the director of the HDSA Center of Excellence at UCSD. To watch her presentation in its entirety, click here.
 
There were lots of new faces, as well as many old friends, and the questions for Dr. Corey-Bloom were excellent.
 
Our next meeting will take place on Monday, October 24, and will be a general support meeting.
 
If you know of a support group member who is not getting these e-mails, or somebody who is not a member but would like to become one, please do send me the person’s e-mail and I will add it to the list.
 
And please spread the word about the group’s activities to people who may not have access to a computer.
 
Click here for general information about the support group.
 
Yours in the struggle to cure HD,
Ken

Dear Huntington’s disease support group members and friends,

Standard

Dear Huntington’s disease support group members and friends,
 
This is a reminder that our next support group meeting will take place Monday, September 26, at 6 p.m.
 
Our special guest speaker will be Dr. Jody Corey-Bloom, who will present her annual update on Huntington’s disease research breakthroughs. Dr. Corey-Bloom is the director of the HDSA Center of Excellence for Family Services and Research at UC San Diego.
 
All are welcome! Please join us for mutual support and understanding. And for the message of hope from Dr. Corey-Bloom!
 
And please spread the word to people who may not have access to a computer.
 
Click here for more information about the support group.
 
Yours in the struggle to cure HD,
Ken

Parkinson’s Disease and Constipation

Standard

Parkinson’s Disease and Constipation

 

 

Constipation often affects those with Parkinson’s disease. It occurs when bowel movements become difficult or less frequent. The normal length of time between bowel movements (also known as “stools”) ranges widely from person to person. Some people have bowel movements three times a day; others only one to two times a week. Going longer than three days without a bowel movement causes the stool to harden and become more difficult to pass.

What Causes Constipation in People With Parkinson’s Disease?

In some people with Parkinson’s disease, constipation may occur due to the improper functioning of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is responsible for regulating smooth muscle activity. If this system is not working properly, the intestinal tract may operate slowly, causing constipation.

Also, medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease (such as Artane and Cogentin) can cause constipation.

What Else Causes Constipation?

Other causes of constipation include:

  • Not drinking enough water
  • A diet low in fiber
  • Lack of exercise
  • Travel or another change in routine
  • Eating large amounts of dairy products
  • Stress
  • Resisting the urge to have a bowel movement
  • Antacid medicines containing calcium or aluminum
  • Other medicines (especially strong pain medicines such as opioids, antidepressants, and iron pills)
  • Medical problems such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diabetes, and colorectal cancer (rarely)
  • Pregnancy

How Can I Avoid Getting Constipated?

  • Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fiber. Good sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grain bread and cereal. Most of the fiber in fruits is found in the skins. Fruits with edible seeds, such as strawberries, have the most fiber. Eat bran cereal or add bran cereal to other foods, such as soup.
  • Drink 1½ to 2 quarts of water and other fluids a day. (Note: Milk can cause constipation in some people.) Liquids that contain caffeine, such as coffee and soft drinks, seem to have a dehydrating effect and may need to be avoided until your bowel habits return to normal.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Move your bowels when you feel the urge.

How Is Constipation Treated?

  • Drink two to four extra glasses of water a day.
  • Try warm liquids, especially in the morning.
  • Add fruits and vegetables to your diet.
  • Eat prunes and/or bran cereal.
  • If needed, use a very mild stool softener or laxative (such as Pericolace or Milk of Magnesia). Do not use laxatives for more than two weeks without calling your doctor since laxative overuse can aggravate your symptoms.

Warning About Constipation

Call your doctor if:

  • Constipation is a new problem for you
  • You have blood in your stool
  • You are losing weight even though you are not trying to lose weight
  • You have severe pain with bowel movements
  • Your constipation has lasted more than 3 weeks