Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Parkinson's Disease and a Gluten-Free Diet: How I'm Doing

2 Months Gluten-Free with PD

It's been 2 months now since I stopped eating foods containing gluten, and while there have not been any block buster cures of major symptoms, in a general way I do feel better.

For financial reasons I've had to cut my massage from 4 times a month to 2 sessions. My range of motion and lack of rigidity and stiffness have remain improved, especially in my more affected left arm and hand and shoulder. This may be helped because I am now taking creatine and CoQ10 together. My feeling is that there is a help on several fronts but that the gluten-free diet has facilitated the good results.

Some of my allergy symptoms have gone away or decreased. I went the gamut of runny nose, sneezing, coughing, breathing difficulty from clogged airways and being repeatedly asked by you-know-who to clear my throat when speaking. Okay, I really didn't pay that much attention to it but I did take Claritin often so that I wouldn't have to think about the allergy signs. I can't remember  the last time I struggled to extricate one of those tiny pills from its blister-type packaging. While I still have occasional post nasal drip, it's no big deal - I'm in northeast Ohio. 

I still am experiencing some urinary frequency but am only having to get up 2 times during the nights compared to 4 or 5 before. Now I go to bed at 11:00 pm and wake around 1:00am and again at 4:00am, I dream more and have fewer illusions (left over from Mirapex). No vivid dreams at all.

Sexually I feel better because I can feel more and I stay harder longer. I just started taking the pycnogenol and L-arginine pills I had ignored for a year. I am taking this combination for the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and find that it helps sexual dysfunction also. As a matter of fact this particular little blue pill is marketed just for that reason.

Everyone knows that I worried about keeping the comfort foods. Just the other morning I facetiously told Marge that I wanted french toast for breakfast. And about 20 minutes later there it was. Rice bread lends itself well to french toast. Gluten-free cheese puffs and chocolate chip cookies (from bean flours) are great snacks when I'm not having fruit. Tonight we'll have spaghetti from brown rice pasta. A new favorite is refried beans mixed with a spicy salsa and gluten-free turkey sausage.

I think the diet has helped me get my constipation problems under control. I am regular now and it doesn't take a whole day or two to get there.

Staying on the diet isn't too hard, not as hard as stopping smoking which I did almost 30 years ago. And I seem to have a better frame of mind.

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