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Warning signs for Parkinson’s identified

Parkinson's disease, gut health, GI symptoms, Dysphagia, Gastroparesis, IBS, antibiotic use, pathogen Enterococcus, gut-brain axis, α-synuclein
Warning signs for Parkinson’s identified

A difficulty swallowing, stomach (rather than gut) issues, IBS without diarrhoea and constipation may specifically predict the early onset of Parkinson’s disease.

On this Website, we have previously presented research showing that Parkinson’s disease may originate in the gut rather than the brain. Maybe not in every case but certainly there is a link. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical School, the Department of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic,  and Leuven University Hospital in Belgium (1) have tried to ascertain what symptoms might be predictive. Using data from TriNetX, a national study of Medical records, they analysed what GI symptoms seemed to most correlate with the future condition of Parkinson’s disease.

Researchers identified 24,624 Parkinson’s patients in the case-control analysis and matched 18 cohorts with each exposure to negative controls. This produced three higher risk factors:

  1. Dysphagia – difficulty in swallowing and taking more time to move food to the stomach. In some cases food seems to be stuck, or swallowing is impossible.
  2. Gastroparesis – also called gastric stasis, is where food moves slowly out of the stomach. Sometimes a complete blockage occurs with old food stuck in the stomach – this solid mass is called as bezoar and patients often feel nauseous and may vomit.  
  3. IBS (without diarrhoea or constipation) – Irritable bowel syndrome is quite a common disorder most usually affecting the intestines – for example the colon. Symptoms may include pain, bloating, gas, cramping and diarrhoea or constipation. This can, of course, be fixed (see: Heal Ur Gut). 

We have covered before that changes in the gut, for example, due to antibiotic use, or higher levels of the pathogen Enterococcus, can be linked to Parkinson’s disease. 

These changes communicate with the brain via the gut-brain axis – as chemicals or via the vagus nerve, causing a build up of chemicals such as α-synuclein in the brain which leads to Parkinson’s Disease. 


Go to: Exercise slows progression in Parkinson’s disease



  1. Konings B, Villatoro L, Van den Eynde J, et alGastrointestinal syndromes preceding a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease: testing Braak’s hypothesis using a nationwide database for comparison with Alzheimer’s disease and cerebrovascular diseasesGut  Published Online First: 24 August 2023. doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2023-329685