My husband has Parkinson's and is trying the Paleo diet with my help. He does crave carbohydrates, and always has... a big pasta fan!
Is Paleo ok for him? Any advice on how best to approach it?
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Ketogenic diets (which paleo can sometimes entail) are occasionally used as a therapy for Parkinson's.
The theory is that replacing glucose with ketones (in this case, beta-hydroxybutyrate) can bypass the PD defect and slow progression by boosting mitochondrial function.
That being said...ask your husband's doctor! Maybe he/she has tried this before for patients who are willing to try it.
Also, if he is a pasta fan, there are some paleo pasta substitutes, like sphaghetti squash and Shirataki noodles. A bit more rubbery, but passable.
We are giving it a try. You all know there is no point in askin most conventionally trained neurologists for an opinion on diet/alternative therapies. They can't figure out whist actually causes Parkinson's if there is no genetic history. Pesticides is about all they have come up with, and when did the big pesticide use begin in the USA?
About the time our diets made the major shift to manufactured foods and grains, right? And, who is going to sponsor the studies to separate the pesticides from mass agriculture and the switch to manufactured oils/grains?
Rant over, now the observations, and these are only anecdotal. You all know heat that means, right?
He seems very content on the PD. His craving for carbs is gone, and he has lost weight, which is a good thing. Although he is relatively skinny, he has the dreaded metabolic syndrome belly. He loos like a skinny man carrying twins to term. We hope that will change.
I have to get more coconut oil into him daily. It might help with the Parkinson's constipation. Since he has given up sugar, his tea is no longer interesting, as it was just a vehicle for many cups a day, with at least two big tsps in each cup. He hasn't the taste for plain tea with coconut oil, it seems.
He has lost his desire for pasta, and is happy with eggs, lean meats, bison chili without beans, etc. He reports that he isn't hungry as much. Now I worry more about making sure he gets enough fat calories in on a daily basis.
He craved fruit in the beginning, but I think he is gradually losing that craving. I try not to micro-manage this, but let him make his own choices within the Paleo outlines. I think it is important to give the process time.
My uneducated question? Could gluten/grain/manufactured oils be a part of the cause of Parkinson's? I doubt we will ever know, unless some unconventional renegade is willing to "buck" the current wisdom.
All I really care about is protecting my husband's brain as long as I can. It is the best part of him, along with his gentle sense of humor. Parkinson's is trying to take that away, and I am gonna fight to keep that very best part of him.
Between reducing his carb intake and removing GLUTEN, the Paleo Diet should really help him out.
If he's a big pasta fan, try spaghetti squash as a substitute for a while/forever... the diet should work very well to helping him with the symptoms I'd guess, but I'd LOVE to hear more about it. My uncle has Parkinson's and I am pretty sure he'll never change his diet to help himself out, but maybe a story from you would motivate him.
Please keep us posted!!!