Parkinson's disease is a progressive disease of the nervous system marked by tremor, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement, primarily affecting middle-aged and elderly people. It is associated with degeneration of the basal ganglia of the brain and a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
Dopamine is an important chemical messenger, or neurotransmitter, that allows messages to be passed between cells in the brain.
- This lack of dopamine means people can have difficulty controlling their movements and moving freely and it can also impact on other body systems such as your sense of smell, bowel, thinking and mood.
A person who has Parkinson’s Disease can have issues with frequency and urgency to urinate even when the bladder is not full. Medications such as Ditropan can help as well as being assessed by a urologist. Retention and nocturia can also be a common issue.
Bladder difficulties in Parkinson's are related to fluctuations in the level of dopamine affecting the function of the bladder muscle. Parkinson's is also thought to affect the nerve pathway between the bladder and the part of the brain controlling bladder function.
Constipation and Parkinson's disease
Constipation can also be an issue that also impacts on the urinary system According to the Continence Foundation Australia (CFA) there are four main ways Parkinson’s may cause constipation:
- The muscles of the bowel can be affected, altering how food moves through the bowel.
- Medication used to treat Parkinson’s can slow down the bowel.
- Chewing and swallowing difficulties may affect the ability to eat an adequate diet and drink an adequate amount of fluid.
- The muscles used for walking and exercise programs can be affected and decreased levels of adequate exercise can affect bowel activity.