Parkinson Disease Constipation: Causes & Treatments

Constipation is a very common sign and symptom of Parkinson’s disease. [1] If you have Parkinson’s disease, it is most likely that

you suffer from constipation. This is when bowel movement becomes difficult or less frequent. The normal length of time between bowel movements (also known as “stools”) ranges widely from person to person. Some people have bowel movements as frequent as three times a day, while others may experience it only one to two times a week.

The longer you stay without bowel movement, the harder your stool gets. Even though it varies for different people, going longer than three days without a bowel movement causes the stool to harden and become more difficult to pass.

You may have constipation without Parkinson’s disease, but it is rare to have Parkinson’s disease without experiencing constipation.

Signs and symptoms of constipation include:

  • Having fewer than three bowel movements per week.
  • Passing hard, dry, or lumpy stools.
  • Having to push or strain to have a bowel movement.
  • Painful bowel movements.
  • Feeling as though your rectum is blocked.
  • Feeling as though your rectum is full, even after having a bowel movement.

Constipation is among the most common gastrointestinal problems. [2] About 16 out of 100 adults have symptoms of constipation, and about 33 out of 100 adults over the age of 60 have constipation symptoms. There are many possible causes of it.

Keep reading to find out more about the connection between Parkinson’s disease and constipation.

What Causes Constipation in People with Parkinson’s Disease?

Constipation can be traced to many causes. In people with Parkinson’s disease, it may occur as a result of the improper functioning of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is responsible for regulating smooth muscle activity. If there’s an issue with this system, it may cause the intestinal tract to operate slowly, causing constipation.

Constipation can also be traced to the medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease. Certain drugs such as Artane and Cogentin can cause constipation.