Do You Know Gut Problems Could Be Early Signs Of Parkinson’s Thinking Problems?

Do You Know Gut Problems Could Be Early Signs Of Parkinson’s Thinking Problems?

Do You Know Gut Problems Could Be Early Signs Of Parkinson’s Thinking Problems?

Parkinson’s disease is a relatively common condition that’s expected to affect over 10 million people globally. In the United States, about 90,000 new cases of Parkinson’s are reported every year, and at any given point, there are at least one million adults living with the condition. Research suggests that gut problems might be early signs of Parkinson’s disease, which we’ll explore in this post.

What Is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a brain condition. It’s considered a chronic and progressive disease that impacts your nervous system. As the disease develops, you may start to experience issues with your ability to move normally. Many people also develop problems with their mental health and sleep.

Apart from depression and anxiety, some people with Parkinson’s disorder also find that the condition affects their ability to think clearly and concentrate on tasks. Researchers have found that fatigue is a major contributor to these cognitive problems in people with Parkinson’s disease.

The Gut-Brain Connection

Researchers have identified a connection between the gut and brain a long time ago. Research into this connection continues, and several breakthroughs have already been made.

Sometimes called the gut-brain axis, this connection basically tells us more about how the gastrointestinal tract and digestive system communicate and interact with the brain.

Researchers have discovered that a condition affecting one of these two systems can impact the other. According to experts, the connection primarily involves the gut microbiome, the vagus nerve, and the enteric nervous system.

Can Gut Problems Be An Early Sign Of Parkinson’s Disease?

Most people who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease are considered to have an idiopathic condition. This means there isn’t a specific cause that doctors can tie to the development of the disease.

However, as research continues to advance, experts believe that Parkinson’s disease holds an important link not only to genetics but also to several environmental factors.

This is also where gut problems and Parkinson’s disease come into the picture.

When medical records from U.S. adults were compared to each other, the researchers were able to make a couple of important findings. Medical records included people with different neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s disease. There were also records with no existence of these conditions.

The researchers discovered that those with Parkinson’s disease were much more likely to experience gut problems before their diagnosis of this brain condition.

The most probable cause, according to experts, is the fact that alpha-synuclein is the toxic compound that causes damage to neurons that make proteins in the brain of someone with Parkinson’s disease. It’s believed that clumps of these toxic compounds form in the gut and then travel to the brain.

The connection can go the other way around as well. Some experts mention that the clumps may form in the brain and then travel to the gut, where it can cause problems with the digestive system.

People with excess levels of these clumps in their gastrointestinal tract are also more likely to experience certain gut problems, such as constipation.

Some of the gastrointestinal issues that were commonly found among medical records where patients had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease included:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Constipation

The researchers continued to monitor these patients over a period of five years to draw better conclusions for the study.


Emerging research suggests that there might be a connection between the gut and Parkinson’s disease. Problems like irritable bowel syndrome with constipation could possibly be an early warning sign of the condition. Considering the fact that early diagnosis of this kind of disease may help to improve your outlook, these studies form an important part of making sure people can effectively identify signs of Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions early on.


Ahmed Zayed

Doctor, author and fitness enthusiast, Ahmed Zayed, MD, is a surgery resident with a passion for helping people live a happy healthy life. He is the author of numerous health-related books and contributor to several medicine, health and wellbeing websites.