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Is Weight Loss A Sign Of Parkinson’s Disease

by Penny Alba


Weight loss that is attributed to PD can be caused by a variety of reasons including decreased appetite, increased energy expenditure, swallowing difficulties, and poor gut motility. Weight loss has been linked to a poorer quality of life in PD and may contribute to increasing frailty.

Is weight loss common with Parkinsons?

Weight loss in Parkinson’s is common, but it’s usually mild or, at most, moderate. Changes can occur at any time with Parkinson’s disease (PD), but may be more likely in later phases. It’s important to recognize and address weight loss because it could lead to malnutrition or exacerbate motor and non-motor symptoms.

What are the 4 major symptoms of Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s has four main symptoms:
Tremor in hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head.
Muscle stiffness, where muscle remains contracted for a long time.
Slowness of movement.
Impaired balance and coordination, sometimes leading to falls.
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Can Parkinson’s cause rapid weight loss?

There are many reasons people with PD lose weight. Some people lose weight even if they are eating exactly the same meals. Others find certain PD symptoms affect appetite or the ability to eat. Gradual loss of the sense of smell and taste is a non-motor PD symptom that makes eating less enjoyable.

What causes unexplained weight loss?

Unintentional weight loss has many different causes. It might be caused by a stressful event like a divorce, losing a job, or the death of a loved one. It can also be caused by malnutrition, a health condition or a combination of things.

What do you lack when you have Parkinson’s?

Causes of Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease is caused by a loss of nerve cells in part of the brain called the substantia nigra. This leads to a reduction in a chemical called dopamine in the brain. Dopamine plays a vital role in regulating the movement of the body.

When should you worry about weight loss?

If you’re losing weight without trying and you’re concerned about it, consult your health care provider. As a rule of thumb, losing more than 5% of your weight over 6 to 12 months may indicate a problem.

What is the earliest symptom of Parkinson’s?

The first symptom may be a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder may also cause stiffness or slowing of movement.

What neurological conditions cause weight loss?

Neurologic disorders: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, dementia, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, Parkinson disease, stroke.

What are the two likely causes of Parkinson’s disease?

It’s not known why the loss of nerve cells associated with Parkinson’s disease occurs, although research is ongoing to identify potential causes. Currently, it’s believed a combination of genetic changes and environmental factors may be responsible for the condition.


Fatigue is a common, frustrating Parkinson’s disease symptom. It can feel both physical and mental, from lack of sleep as well as from apathy, another common symptom. Pain from symptoms like rigidity can make falling asleep more difficult.

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