There are some common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease that may or may not affect you. PD is a disease that varies from person to person, making each case unique. However, you can live a full life if you learn how to manage your symptoms.
Living With The Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
Below are some common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Severity of the symptoms depends upon progression of the disease and the person affected.
- Depression/Anxiety – Depression & anxiety are actual chemical reactions that take place in the brain and will most likely require treatment from a professional. If you are feeling anxious or as though you are spiraling into depression ask your physician if they can recommend a clinic, psychiatrist or counselor that specializes in working with PD patients.
- Dexterity – Being able to utilize your hands to perform everyday tasks can be a challenge. You can adjust certain actions to accommodate for your loss of dexterity (special utensils, plastic glasses to drink from, larger wallet, etc.) or ask your doctor if they could recommend a physical therapy program.
- Stress – Stress is one of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease that actually aggravates the disease itself. Controlling stress factors, utilizing stress reduction techniques such as mediation & yoga, and hiring in-home caregiving are all common ways to reduce your stress.
- Fatigue – Finding time to rest is extremely important & will help rejuvenate your mind and body. Understanding that every day tasks (hygiene care, cleaning, doing dishes, etc.) can exhaust you means that you need to be willing to accept help from family, friends and/or professional caregivers.
- Instability – Balance can become an issue with Parkinson’s disease. There are exercises that can help increase your stability and assistive devices can help with stability while walking.
- Decline in Sexual Health – There are a number of reasons that could cause sexual dysfunction in Parkinson’s patients. The National Parkinson’s Foundation offers great advice about sexual health.
- Cognitive Issues – Thinking can become difficult and slowed with PD with some of the more common issues being speaking slower, having difficulty finding words, memory & sometimes dementia-like decline. While some choose to utilize medications to help, there are also alternative methods to work on cognitive decline.
The key to leading a full life with Parkinson’s disease is learning how to manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s. If you are newly diagnosed the MJF Foundation offers a very helpful brochure to help you move forward while being in control of your own life.
Photo by paulgorman