Parkinson’s Foundation: Better Lives. Together.

Posted: January 23, 2019 at 11:44 am

Have you experienced changes in weight since being diagnosed with Parkinsons disease (PD)? It is common for people with PD to lose weight, yet others may gain. Changes in weight can affect overall health. Being underweight means you can lose muscle mass and strength, cause you to be prone to osteoporosis and infection. Being overweight raises risk of heart disease and high blood pressure and puts stress on your joints. Maintaining a healthy weight is key to living well with PD.

Common Causes of Weight Changes

Weight LossThere 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.

PD does not cause ongoing, unexplained weight loss. Tell your doctor if you experience this symptom it may be a sign of a serious medical issue unrelated to PD.

Weight GainWeight gain is sometimes a side effect of PD therapies.


It is important that PD motor symptoms be optimally controlled. See your neurologist or movement disorders specialist to see whether he or she recommends a medication adjustment. Also, visit your primary care provider to exclude other medical reasons for weight change.

Tips for Achieving a Healthy Weight

Talk to your doctor:

To gain weight:

To lose weight:

Tell your doctor if you eat compulsively or binge eat this may be a side effect of PD medications.

Page reviewed by Dr. Chauncey Spears, Movement Disorders Fellow at the University of Florida, a Parkinsons Foundation Center of Excellence.

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