Parkinson’s Disease is a neurological disorders affecting the movement of your body. The available treatments focus to lessen the symptoms as much as possible to maintain an active and normal life.
PD grows slowly and affects almost every aspect of your life be it social life of daily activities of life. The difficult part of PD is accepting that you are no longer independent. To reduce anxiety it is better to be well informed about what is yet to come. So it is important to learn from different support groups which provide guidance and support so the progression can be handled well.
Here are few tips to deal better if you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.
The danger of falling:
• A frequent problem faced by the patients is of falling. It is better to use a cane while walking.
• Clear your pathway and get rid of any rugs, or hurdles within foot reach both from inside and outside the home.
• If you start to feel dizzy, take rest and sit down or stop walking.
• Get handrails along the stairways.
• Do not hurry and maintain a slow speed.
• Take a pause for a while when using bath or getting up from the bed.
The sensory grievances:
The patients come across a number of complaints regarding the sensory movements for which exercise is necessary:
• Make exercise a daily routine of your life.
• Stretching is necessary before exercising.
• To help your tired muscles, take warm baths and regular massage.
• Do not over exert yourself from physical activities.
Sleep and bed problems:
• Install night switches which can be easily reached from your bed.
• Another main issue in this disease is turning in bed. Move your head first and rotate your hips while pushing off with the opposite foot.
• When getting off the bed, sit up first and place your hands next to your hips then push off slowly.
• Wear satin pajamas and satin bedsheets as they lessen friction making movement easy.
• Sleep apnea is also associated with PD measures need to be taken.
• Restless leg syndrome also cause problems in sleep so that need to be solved.
• Some medications which are taken in Parkinson’s disease cause excessive sleepiness in daytime. So avoid caffeine and fluids before sleeping at night.
• In order to sleep well at night, avoid sleeping naps at day time so that you can establish a normal cycle of sleeping.
• Another problems that patient of Parkinson’s disease face is motor activity during sleeping or having dreams. It causes you to yell or strike out. That causes disruption of sleep and causes disturbance but it can be treated easily so the doctor treating you should be informed about it.
Parkinson’s disease effect the body movements which cause difficulties in the routine tasks so to cope with them above mentioned tips need to be followed which make it easier to cope with the disase and performing the daily activities in a better manner.
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease differ from one person to another. The symptoms vary and evolve as the disease grows. The symptoms which one might get in early stage of his life, the other person may not get that until later or simply not at all.
Symptoms start to show when a person is between the ages of 50-60. They progress at a slow pace and often go unnoticed by family, friends and also the person who has Parkinson’s. It causes motor and non-motor symptoms. Motor symptoms affect the way you move and common one is tremors and freezing which affect movement of body.
Tremor is the first symptom to be noticed in Parkinson’s disease but not with tremor are likely to have Parkinson’s. They appear first on one arm or leg or one side of the patient’s body and may affect the chin, lip or tongue later.
Tremor may affect both sides of the body as the disease progresses. It usually occurs when the patient is standing or sitting. Tremors become noticeable due to emotional and physical stress.
Following are few tips to reduce tremors:
• Get a regular massage. It soothes and relaxes the muscles which is necessary to relieve stress that cause stress.
• Avoid caffeine and alcohol completely.
• Try to perform bit difficult tasks when you feel well because of effective medication.
• Do stretching exercise as recommended by your physical therapist.
• Make sure to get plenty of rest.
• Try to relax and keep yourself stress-free. Sit down frequently, breathe deep and relax your arms and shoulders.
Freezing, also called motor block sometimes, is an abrupt and short-timed inability to move. Freezing tends to halt the initiation of a movement, to continue rhythmic actions like walking, writing or tapping of fingers.
Freezing affects walking mostly and can be very disabling as it makes the person glued to the ground. This can also make a person fall down and hurt himself badly hip fracture for instance. Freezing mostly occurs when the patient is under stress and freeze at doorways, lines or crowds. Freezing also affects writing, speech and even opening closing of eyes.
Following are few tips to deal with the freeze scenes.
• Stop struggling when you freeze while walking. Press your heels firmly to the floor.
• Pick a target and move towards that. You can use a handheld laser pointer to create target on the ground.
• Look straight ahead when you freeze, do not look down.
• Make your step stiff-legged march style with a long stride.
• If you are walking with someone, ask him/her to hold your elbow or arm.
• Stand straight and do not lean towards the back side.
• Maintain and follow a scheduled, regular stretching and exercise program. It will help you to build and maintain your balance and sense of posture.
• Place a cane or a walking stick on the floor in front of you or ask somebody to place it for you, then step over it.
The world of medicine has become an extensively evolving concept, and since the 21st Century began, this niche has been experiencing a major revolution. However, there are some diseases, for which the thinkers have not yet found a cure, but these diseases can be controlled and limited to a certain stage. One of the major diseases which fall in this category is the Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is basically considered a degenerative disorder consisting of the central nervous system. The result of this degeneration is the termination of dopamine-consisting cells.
Most medical professionals around the globe are of the view that this disease is basically caused by a combination of both, environmental and genetic factors. Some of the symptoms of this disease include characteristics such as tremors, poor balance and difficulty in walking. For example, simple tasks such as getting dressed may become a chore for you. Although there hasn’t been a cure derived yet for this disease, but there are certain natural remedies which you can use in order to prevent Parkinson’s, as well as reduce its side-effects.
Green Tea is claimed to contain polyphenol antioxidants which helps in fighting all the free radicals which have been incorporated in the body. Moreover, it contains theanine, which increases the dopamine level in the brain.
Healthy Eating Habits:
A whole food diet is one of the best natural remedies against Parkinson’s. This diet must include fresh fruits, organic meat, vegetables. However, what the diet should not include are processed food items and grains. Moreover, constipation is a common aftereffect of Parkinson’s, hence, make sure to keep the fiber intake high and stay hydrated.
A slow and rhythmic martial art concept, originating from the early Chinese dialects is called Tai Chi. This helps in maintaining strength and balance, and provides the patients with an extensive treatment for tremors.
Acupuncture is basically an Easter form of medicine, which can help in relieving the symptoms of Parkinson’s, by generating a neural response in some parts of the brain, which are affected by Parkinson’s.
Traditional exercises may seem quite different if you are dealing with balance and stiffness problems. Water aerobics is a technique which can have same benefits as conventional exercises, and provide the patients with an opportunity to relax their muscles.
Mild exercising techniques and stretching gently every day can help in making the everyday tasks easier and efficient. You can carry our certain exercises such as leg raises and reach ups, which can help in relaxing your muscles and providing you with internal strength.
The Bottom Line:
Parkinson’s disease has been attacking thousands of people annually and globally, and many people have suffered a completely deteriorated life because of this disease. Although in medical terms, a lot of medicines and treatments have been created in order to challenge this disorder, but for people in the first two stages, it is better to try the above mentioned natural remedies, in order to limit or cure Parkinson’s as much as possible.
One of the most significant side effects of Parkinson’s disease is psychosis and around one-third of the people with Parkinson’s disease will experience psychosis at some point in their lives. Sometimes, it’s the medicine that induce the symptoms, but mostly, it’s the disease itself.
Psychosis is usually deemed as a scary term, because people having it can experience surreal and other unreal hearing and visual experiences.
However, with expert care and right treatment, Parkinson’s disease associated psychosis can be treated and managed. Symptoms like delusions (believing in non-existential things), and hallucinations (seeing unreal things that aren’t there) can get better with treatment. There are many success stories of people with Parkinson’s disease who experienced reduced symptoms of psychosis, and if not properly eradicated, they were at least able to distinguish what’s real and what’s not, which still is a huge relief.
However, it’s a real challenge to treat Parkinson’s diseases associated psychosis because most of the anti-psychotic drugs aren’t made for people with this disease. Medicines that are largely available in the market simply work by blocking dopamine from entering into the brain. But since Parkinson’s already reduces the dopamine levels in the body, further blocking it could become very dangerous for the PD patients.
Psychosis is also closely related with the prescription of wrong medication. According to National Parkinson’s Foundation’s Centre of Excellence, symptoms of psychosis in the PD patients tend to get worse once they are hospitalised, because of the new routines and the changed medication.
Earlier this year, a breakthrough research came up with a new drug, pimavanserin, which is the first ever anti-psychotic drug designed especially for patients with Parkinson’s disease. The drug was extensively reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and testimonies of the people who were part of the clinical trials were also taken. The FDA also conducted its stringent cost-benefit analysis to determine if the drugs benefits were greater than the risks it pose. The FDA, ultimately approved pimavanserin as a viable, safe and effective medication for the treatment of psychosis in PD patients.
The new drug is undoubtedly a breaking news as it’s finally give unhappy doctors a simpler way to treat PD associated psychosis without any fear. However, it’s also true that anti-psychotic drugs have serious side effects, but we are hopeful that pimavanserin will turn out to be a better treatment.
There are studies with striking results too that look at how expert treatment can completely alleviate the symptoms of psychosis in people with PD, if those people are able to the deal with the hefty medication associated with the treatment. So depending on how much medication your body is able to tolerate, you can now completely fight psychosis.
Starting off from where we left, we talked about depression, sleep disturbances and digestive issues as the side effects of Parkinson’s disease in the part 1 of the read, here are the remaining ones:
Just as the Parkinson’s disease affects your digestive system, similarly, it can also affect your urinary track system, making it weaker. This could be due to the medication used in the treatment that disrupts the autonomic nervous system’s performance. When that happens, there are chances of facing urinary incontinence, burning, etc.
In the later years of your life, people with Parkinson’s disease experience the muscle in their mouth and throat to work less effectively. This can making swallowing and chewing difficult. The chances of increased choking and drooling during eating also increase. The fear of choking and similar problems put many Parkinson’s patients to have inadequate nutrition. However, you don’t have to worry, because speech language therapist or occupation therapist can help you with regaining the lost control on your facial muscles.
Reduced range of movements
Exercise is important for everyone, but for people with Parkinson’s disease, it’s necessary to be part of some psychical therapy or exercise. This improves muscle tone, mobility and range of motion.
Increased loss of balance and falls
Parkinson’s disease can also influence your body’s ability to self-balance, making even the simple task of walking around a little risky and dangerous. So when you move, try not to make swift movements and give your body a chance to rebalance itself. Here are some more tips to avoid tripping while moving.
• Don’t use pivotal movements to turn around. Instead, make u-turn movements that won’t need you to pivot your feet.
• Don’t carry things while you are walking, because your hands help you with balancing your body.
• Make some arrangements at your home to avoid tripping over furniture or other hazardous stuff. Keep wide spaces between different pieces of furniture so it’s easy for you to move around without hitting stuff. Position your electronics and lighting in a way that no cords or wires cut through your walking area. Install handrails for entryways, stairwells, hallways, and along walls to make it more comfortable to move around.
Disrupted Sex Life
Parkinson’s disease is also linked with decreased libido. According to doctors, this could be due to combination of psychological and physical factors and may lead to lower sexual desire. Stress and depression can also contribute to sexual problems. However, this problem is also treatable with some medication and counselling.
Medication used for treating Parkinson’s disease can induce vivid dreams, unusual visions and even hallucinations. Have a change in your drug prescription and if it still doesn’t work, ask your doctor to prescribe you antipsychotic drugs.
With reduced normal movements, it’s possible for you to experience sore joints and muscles, leading to prolonged pain. Prescription drug does alleviate the pain so make sure you keep them with you. However, exercise is considered necessary for people with Parkinson’s disease because it reduces pain and muscle rigidity.
In the 20th International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders that was conducted last month in Berlin, Germany, a group of French scientists were able to find a correlation between the pesticides, farming and elevated risks of Parkinson’s disease. Sofiane Kab, together with her colleagues were able to demonstrate how the people of rural French areas were more prone to the development of Parkinson’s disease due to a higher exposure to pesticides that were used during farming. The authors were even able to relate to the regions that were typically more closely associated with pesticides and carried much higher risks.
The aforementioned study used the French National Health Insurance databases and were able to identify that the rural areas had higher cases of Parkinson’s disease. But that’s not the only evidence, the study also found out a strong positive correlation between the parkinson’s disease and exposure to pesticides used during farming. There are many other studies that have shown a positive correlation between pesticide expose in rural areas and the higher risk of development of Parkinson’s disease.
Agent Orange, pesticide and potential environmental risk factors continue to make news for their development of Parkinson’s disease, and it’s quite a norm for patients to confront worrisome headlines about harmful chemicals linked with it.
Drs Carly Tanner and Samuel Goldman were able to run a study on the WWII veterans to analyse the effects of rural living habits and exposure to pesticides with the increased risk of developing Parkinson’s. For the study, all the participants chosen were twin pairs. This was done to control for the effects of genetics on the development of Parkinson’s disease. However, one person from each pair necessarily needed to have the disease. The scientists then very carefully extracted the occupational histories and hobbies of the participants (first hand information collected from the participants was matched with the second hand information provided by the participants’ families). Using some help from an occupational hygienist (a person who determines hazards, exposures and risks associated within a workplace), they were able to found out that only, i.e. trichloroethylene (TCE) of the six solvents they used during the study actually contributed to the increased risk (6.1 times more) of Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, it was found out that men who were exposed to PERC (tetrachloroethylene) has 8.9 times higher risks of developing Parkinson’s disease.
Interestingly, all the previously associated chemicals like xylene, toluene, and n-hexane were found to have no impact on the development of Parkinson’s disease. While these studies do show a strong correlation between pesticides’ exposure and Parkinson’s disease, care should be taken while working out a conclusion, because controlling for the environmental factors is the biggest challenge.