Sugar and the Symptoms of Parkinson’s

Question:

On Saturday night my 30 year old daughter
told me she was afraid she would develop
Parkinson’s Disease at some point in her
life. This put me into a silent fear that
continues to haunt me.

For me I know I resisted anything and everything
that entered my life that I didn’t like.
Everything from a challenging mother in law
to being told I wasn’t qualified for certain
work related positions.

I used caffeine and sugar at times exclusively
over nutritious food to numb that and any other
self depreciating thought/ pain. I personally
feel this was a huge step into a diseased state.

Is there a history of people who have been diagnosed
with Parkinson’s Disease of body abuse in some way?
I would really appreciate any insight you may have.

Response:

Your question asks about the history of
people who have abused their body with poor
nutrition.

There are thousands and thousands of studies that
evaluate the effectiveness of one drug or another
on the symptoms of Parkinson’s. Sugar is not
on that list because sugar is not considered a
drug. The idea behind these studies is to identify
a drug that will provide some relief to symptoms.

Sugar is undoubtedly one of the most toxic substance
that exists in the world today. I know of no medical
researcher who believes sugar can provide long term
relief for symptoms. It is clearly toxic to the body and
deadly in its impact on the function of neural networks.
Neurons are the most sensitive cells of the body. 

If anyone really wants to begin feeling better, one of
the best things they can do for themselves is to stop
eating unrefined sugar. If you want to have verification
that sugar is toxic and harmful, do an experiment on
yourself.

The holidays are upon us, so we all have a great
excuse to eat sweets. Why not indulge yourself?
Eat all the sweet desserts you want for a day. This
is your “treatment.” Sugar stimulates the release of
dopamine, so it mainlines dopamine into blood stream.   

Then, see how you feel that evening and the
following day. I have done that experiment many times
myself and I always get the same result. I feel lousy,
depressed and angry at myself for damaging my body.

I do not think you will ever see published studies that
show sugar is harmful. To prove sugar aggravates
your symptoms, just do your own study on yourself. 

Why do we (myself included) sabotage ourselves? There
are sugar substitutes! There are great alternatives
to raw, unrefined sugar. There are ways to satisfy
our addictions that do not destroy the neural networks
in our body. So, why do we do it over and over?

It is an addiction. It numbs the bad feelings we
are always trying to avoid. Sugar is a great infusion
of warm, cozy feelings for a few minutes because
it triggers the temporary release of dopamine. When
ingested on a regular basis, sugar undermines
the body’s natural capacity to manufacture dopamine.

This is what happens with alcohol and illegal
drugs. They very quickly sabatoge the body’s
natural ability to manufacture dopamine and
the other “feel good” hormones. The body then
relies on the alcohol and drugs for a dopamine
infusion which is the physical explanation
for the addiction.

Sugar works in the same fashion. Think of it as
analogous to the effects of heroine. The only
difference is sugar is a legal drug.  

Of course the aftermath of ingesting sugar is deadly.
Think of the challenge of sugar cravings as an addiction
which can be acknowledged and treated.

In your introductory paragraph, you mention concerns
about your daughter’s potential to develop the symptoms
of Parkinson’s are putting “me into a silent fear
that continues to haunt me.” These feelings are associated
with all of the stress hormones that sustain an imbalance
in the body and feed the symptoms of Parkinson’s. When
we are suspended in a continual state of fear, our bodies
are trapped in a continual place of hormonal imbalance.
The good news is that there are a variety of therapies
that help to release the fears that we hold for our
children and loved ones. 

Robert Rodgers, Ph.D.
Parkinsons Recovery

© 2008 Parkinsons Recovery

6 thoughts on “Sugar and the Symptoms of Parkinson’s

  1. What is the effect of eliminating sugar from my diet? I have had Parkinson’s for 7 years and have always over indulged in desserts. I am 59 years old.

  2. Sugar is probably the one toxin that does the most damage to the neurological system. There are now many wonderful sugar substitutes. You do not have to eliminate a craving for sweets altogether. Is sugar the only factor that is causing your symptoms? That possibility is very unlikely. It pays to investigate other causes as well. Be sure to listen to my radio show with Dr. Ivy Faber who addresses causes rather than simply treating symptoms.

    Robert Rodgers PhD
    Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Diseasea

  3. My motherinlaw has spent years in overindulging and excess where it concerns eating, foods, and nutritional habits….years of high-sugared high-fructose food, low intake of good fats….mounds of heavy low-quality creams and minimal physical exercise. Combine all this—and more—with a negativistic and hateful attitude towards most things and people and you’ve got a woman who has eventually developed Parkinson’s Disease. As a mental health therapist and substance abuse counselor, I have witnessed what poor nutrition and a continuous battering upon the body can do to a person.

  4. As a medical and high tech marketing and content developer, I have researched and authored many articles on Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, I diagnosed Parkinson’s disease in the mother of a close family friend when the doctors missed all of the signs. The woman’s mother was finally taken to an excellent physician for treatment, but at that point she was in an advanced stage.

    The woman’s mother loved to garden, and used heavy concentrations of herbicides and insecticides in her garden. She was truly gifted with flowers and vegetables. That being said, I don’t believe the link between Parkinson’s and these toxic substances were revealed at that time.

    Her diet was filled with a tremendous amount of sugar and high-fructose foods even though she was told about the dangers of too much sugar. Her diet was also low in the intake of good fats. She had books on nutrition and vitamins, but did not use that knowledge to help herself.

    To make matters worse, she was diabetic and about 30 pounds overweight. Her family stopped buying cakes, fruit juice and cookies to a large extent, and they would hide the few sweets that they purchased, but she would always find the sweets.

    At the request of her family, I had a long conversation with the mother one day about the dangers of being overweight and the toxic properties of sugar. She listened, but the information fell on deaf ears. She said, “I know you are very bright and you mean well, but I’m going to tell you something…it gets to a point where you just don’t care any longer. And, I don’t care.”

    Over the years, I helped the family as much as I could, and I was with them when their mother was eventually put into hospice care. It was a long and painful decline.

    The last time that I saw her alive, she awoke from a deep sleep when I placed a tiny drop of her favorite perfume on the inside of my wrist, and gently moved my wrist near her face. As she opened her eyes and smiled, she said, “Oh, you are finally here with me. How did you come here…did you drive?” I told her yes, and she said, “Let’s go, please take me out of here. They will listen to you.”

    That was not possible, but she didn’t realize how sick she was. There was nothing more that I could do except help the family make sure she was not neglected by the staff. This gifted woman, who was also an artist, had so much to live for, but her life was cut short.

    I’m in total agreement about the toxic effects of sugar, the dangers of poor diets, and lack of exercise. I’ve seen this happen in other cases, and the pattern is the same. If you, or a loved one is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, the time to take action with diet, self discipline, alternative medicine, and exercise is now.

  5. I was diagnosed at 60, now I am 68, I am on my own and am deteriorating, I too think that sugar is my poison.Today was my 1st f
    freezing. OMG! I thought that I was going to die. The ons and offs, the shaking,
    what is this? a test at my will to live? My cousins want to help, I have rejected everyone. why do I want pity. TV is my only for sure, panic is next. I take Sinemet cr and regular.
    Maybe 6 halves a day but two of which are extended . I think I have colon ca. I have this ischemic colitis and with food of a healthy baseline, I am mostly ok. But I can not learn anything more that will send me into a deeper depression. I saw a shrink for years.
    I am ok I just need my life back. Everyone wants to help unless like me your poor ish.
    I lost 40 pounds (?) and you can see the connection. I am this loving wonderful person
    but am terrified people will see me ill and defeated. My brilliant cousins all over
    America are trying to help me help myself.
    Maybe a diet rich In what foods or not?

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