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Tips for Alleviating Bowel & Urinary Dysfunction with Parkinson’s


Tips for Alleviating Bowel & Urinary Dysfunction with Parkinson’s

While Parkinson’s is classified as a movement disorder, non-motor symptoms often appear first, outnumber motor symptoms and can cause more stress and frustration than motor symptoms do in everyday life. Two of the most common non-motor symptoms in Parkinson’s are bowel and urinary dysfunction, yet these often go undiscussed due to societal norms. If left unaddressed, these symptoms can worsen over time. Recognizing and discovering how you can best manage your bowel and urinary symptoms is critical for learning to live well with Parkinson’s.

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Studies show as many as 80% of people with Parkinson’s suffer from constipation. Constipation is defined as fewer than three bowel movements per week. One of the effects Parkinson’s has on the autonomic nervous system seems to be the slowing down of food through the gastrointestinal tract, which can result in constipation.


In Parkinson’s, the brain’s control of the urinary sphincter can become disrupted, leading to difficulty holding urine. This can manifest as urgency, frequency, incontinence (the accidental or involuntary loss of control of urine) or nocturia, the need to get up multiple times during the night to use the toilet.

Don’t be afraid to be open with your doctor about your symptoms. Track your symptoms and use our constipation and bladder worksheets to talk about what is or isn’t working. A physical or occupational therapist in your area who addresses bowel and bladder dysfunction can help you take control of your symptoms, optimize your progress and improve your quality of life.


Special thanks to Kristen Parisi, PT of Lee Health for her expertise in Parkinson’s and bowel and urinary dysfunction therapies.

Take Control of Your Parkinson’s Treatment

Our Every Victory Counts® manual gives people living with Parkinson’s, their care partners and their family members the tools they need to take control of their own Parkinson’s treatment through a proactive approach to self-care.

This summer, we launched a powerful new print edition of this free beloved manual.

It’s jam-packed with up-to-date information about everything Parkinson’s, plus an expanded worksheets and resources section to help you put what you’ve learned into action. Color coding and engaging graphics help guide you through the written material and point you to complementary videos, podcasts and other materials on the Every Victory Counts companion website. And, it is still free of charge thanks to the generosity of our sponsors.

Request your copy of the new Every Victory Counts manual by clicking the button below.

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4 Comments on “Tips for Alleviating Bowel & Urinary Dysfunction with Parkinson’s

    • Ralph Ianni

      September 5, 2017 at 9:00 am Reply

      I take a probiotic and 1 fiber tablet daily seems to help . Thanks for all the helpful information.

      • Alex Reinhardt

        September 20, 2017 at 11:23 am Reply

        You are very welcome, Ralph. It’s also very important to discuss any supplements you are taking with your pharmacist and doctor as they may have effects on your current medications.

    • Steven Zakin

      October 6, 2017 at 4:59 pm Reply

      I drink 4 ounces of prune juice every morning and it works wonders.

      • Alex Reinhardt

        October 18, 2017 at 2:36 pm Reply

        Prunes and prune juice are excellent sources of soluble fiber! Also, try adding high fiber or bran cereals in the morning and foods made from wheat, rye and oat flours instead of refined or white flours. Thanks for commenting, Steven!

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