How do you know if you have Parkinson’s disease? Part II

Difficulty Moving or Walking Do your arms or legs feel stiff? Sometimes stiffness goes away as you move. If it does not, it can be a sign of Parkinson’s disease. Perhaps your arms don’t swing when you walk, or maybe other people have noticed you look stiff. An early indicator might be stiffness or pain in your shoulder or hips. People often say their feet seem ‘stuck to the floor.’ Constipation Do you have trouble moving your bowels without straining daily? Straining to move your bowels can be the early onset of Parkinson’s disease and you should seek the advice of your physician. Note: If you do not have enough water or fiber in your body, it can cause difficulties moving your bowels. Some medicine may also cause constipation. If there is no other explanation such as diet or medicine that would cause these difficulties, you should speak with your physician. Voice Changes Have other people noticed your voice is very soft when you speak in a normal tone, or that you sound hoarse? If there has been a change in your voice you should see your physician about whether it could be Parkinson’s disease. A chest cold or other virus can cause your voice to sound different, but you should resume sounding the same when you get over these...

How do you know if you Have Parkinson’s disease?

Part I It isn’t always easy to determine if you suffer from Parkinson’s disease. Here are ten signs that may indicate you have this disease. If you show more than one symptom you may want to visit your doctor. The important thing is not to self-diagnose- leave the diagnosing to your doctor! Tremors or Shaking Twitching or shaking of limbs is an early sign of Parkinson’s disease. Shaking can be normal after intense exercise or if you suffer from an injury. Shaking could also be a result of medicine you take. Noticeable Change in Handwriting Has your handwriting abruptly gotten much smaller than normal? Perhaps your written words have changed- letter sizes are smaller and the words are crammed together. A sudden noticeable change in handwriting is frequently a sign of Parkinson’s disease. Note: Sometimes writing can change as you age, if you have stiff hands or fingers or poor vision, but this happens gradually and not suddenly. Loss of Smell Have you noticed certain foods don’t smell the same? If you seem to have more difficulty smelling foods like bananas, dill pickles or licorice, you should ask your physician about Parkinson’s disease. Note: Your sense of smell can be influenced by a cold, flu or a stuffy nose, but it should be back to normal after you recover. Difficulty Sleeping Do you toss and turn all night or kick and punch while in a deep sleep? Perhaps you started falling out of bed while asleep. Abrupt movements during sleep may be a sign of Parkinson’s disease. Note: It is normal for everyone to have a sleepless night of...

Famous People with Parkinson’s disease Part I

Celebrities can be seen walking the red carpet for Celebrity Fight Night every year, the impressive Parkinson’s disease fundraiser for which Muhammad Ali has been the honored guest for the past 18 years. Ali is one of many celebrities coping with Parkinson’s disease who are raising the profile of this neurological condition. Muhammad Ali dealt with shaking hands and mobility challenges before he retired from the boxing in 1981. Doctors diagnosed Ali with Parkinson’s disease in 1984. Ali, philanthropist Jimmy Walker, and Abraham Lieberman, MD, launched the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center for movement disorders, a National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. It functions as a resource center for Parkinson’s and other movement disorders, as well as Huntington’s disease and essential tremor, for patients and their families. The center works with patients providing education and outreach opportunities to raise Parkinson’s awareness. Ali’s popularity attracts tons of big names to the annual gala fundraising event Celebrity Fight Night, where he’s the featured guest. Awareness-building is a family affair: His daughter Rasheda Ali wrote a book for children about Parkinson’s disease, I’ll Hold Your Hand So You Won’t Fall: A Child’s Guide to Parkinson’s Disease. Well-known people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease includes a former U.S. attorney general, a boxing trainer, and many actors and actresses. People like actor Michael J. Fox have worked to bring more Parkinson’s disease awareness into their professions, which regard physical perfection over health concerns. About 1 million Americans suffer from Parkinson’s disease — and approximately 7 to 10 million people live with it worldwide. Patient advocacy helps endorse...