Parkinson’s disease warning – how many times do you poo in a week? Risk revealed
Parkinson’s disease is a condition that causes the brain to become progressively more damaged over time, according to the NHS. It’s caused by a loss of nerve cells in a specific part of the brain. These nerve cells are used to help send messages between the brain and the nervous system. Parkinson’s disease symptoms tend to develop slowly, and only appear as mild at first. You could be at risk of the brain condition if you pass fewer than three stools in a single week, it’s been claimed.
Parkinson’s disease patients often develop constipation, as a complication of their condition, said the Better Health Channel – part of the Victoria Government, Australia.
Constipation in Parkinson’s patients may be caused by a lack of dopamine, which controls muscle movement through the body, it said.
You could be at risk of the condition if you only pass one or two stools in a single week on average – or even if you don’t pass any stools at all.
“Constipation is a common complication of Parkinson’s disease, but it can be managed with lifestyle changes such as adding extra fibre to your diet, or medical treatment,” said the medical website.
“Many people who have Parkinson’s disease notice difficulties with constipation before they notice motor symptoms such as tremor or stiffness.
“The symptoms of constipation include dry, hard bowel motions [poo] and difficulty in passing motions, [and having] fewer than three bowel motions a week [on average].
“The ways in which Parkinson’s disease can increase the risk of constipation include uncoordinated bowel motions.
“The bowel muscles may be weak and unable to contract, or they may clench instead of relaxing when trying to pass a motion.”
You could also be at risk of constipation, and therefore Parkinson’s disease, if you often feel the need to strain while using the toilet, it said.
Some people may feel like the bowels are never truly empty, even after just passing a stool.
Left untreated, the constipation could lead to bowel incontinence, nausea, and even urinary tract infections.
Parkinson’s disease could also lead to passing more urine than normal and losing your sense of smell.
More common Parkinson’s disease symptoms include tremors, slowness of movement and muscle stiffness.
Speak to a GP if you’re worried about the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, said the NHS.
They may ask you about your Parkinson’s disease symptoms, and could refer you to a specialist for further tests.
There are about 127,000 people in the UK with Parkinson’s disease – the equivalent to about one in 500 people.