How Long In Each Stage
There is no typical timetable. Some people stay in the early stages for years. Increasingly, though, whether through lifestyle or as a consequence of medication, or a combination of both, people are reaching the latter point of Middle Stage or the early part of Advanced Stage within 4 or 5 years of diagnosis.
It is worth considering that changing lifestyle, adopting a new diet and pursuing naturopathic medicinal therapy could reverse symptoms and hold back the diseases progression for a considerable time, if not for all time. When you consider the foregoing, you may conclude that you have little to lose.
Life With Parkinsons Disease
With it being a little over two years since I was diagnosed with PD, Ive been reflecting on the experience of receiving the news and thinking about all the things that have helped me in managing the disease. What follows are just some thoughts and suggestions. Whether you were just diagnosed or know someone who was, maybe youll find some of this familiar or maybe even helpful.
Yes, it is very scary when you hear these words for the first time: You have Parkinsons disease.
A lot of thoughts go through your head:
;;;;;;;;; Will this end my life as I know it?
;;;;;;;;; How did I get this disease?
;;;;;;;;; Is this disease is incurable?
;;;;;;;;; How will this impact my job?
;;;;;;;;; How will this impact my family?
;;;;;;;;; How can I manage this disease?
Yes, it is a rude awakening, but its also an opportunity to step back, re-evaluate your life, and decide how you will respond and manage the disease. This, of course, is easier said than done. Whether youve just been diagnosed or youre still trying to figure out what you have, there are few simple things you can do to begin being proactive about your diagnosis. Here are some things that worked for me:
1);;;;; Find a good Neurologist if you dont already have one one you can trust, and feel comfortable with.; Get a second opinion if necessary.
2);;;;; Go through all the possible tests to make sure you have PD.
5);;;;; Take all prescribed medications. Work with your doctor to find the best balance of medications.
10) Some Good References:
Stooping Or Hunching Over
Are you not standing up as straight as you used to? If you or your family or friends notice that you seem to be stooping, leaning or slouching when you stand, it could be a sign of Parkinson’s disease .
What is normal?If you have pain from an injury or if you are sick, it might cause you to stand crookedly. Also, a problem with your bones can make you hunch over.
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Foods High In Saturated Fat
The role that foods high in saturated fats play in Parkinsons progression is still under investigation and is often conflicting. We might eventually discover that there are certain types of saturated fats that actually help people with Parkinsons.
Some limited research does show that ketogenic, low-protein diets were beneficial for some with Parkinsons. Other research finds high saturated fat intake worsened risk.
But in general, foods that have been fried or heavily processed alter your metabolism, increase blood pressure, and impact your cholesterol. None of those things are good for your body, especially if youre trying to treat Parkinsons.
Add Medication For A Winning Combo
Diet and exercise are important for managing PD, but dont forget about medications. Take them regularly and exactly as your doctor prescribes.
If you tend to forget your medication, set an alarm to remind you. You can also use a pillbox thats labeled with days and times of day. Take your meds on a set schedule, dont skip doses and dont double dose, says Dr. Gostkowski. When youre diligent about taking your medications and following a healthy lifestyle, youll feel your best.
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What Not To Eat If You Have Parkinsons
Eat too many sugary foods and drinks as these can negatively impact your immune system. Opt for naturally sweetened food and reduce your sugar intake to manage Parkinsons symptoms. Eat too much protein. Consuming lots of beef, fish, or cheese may affect the effectiveness of certain Parkinsons medications.
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The Medication Outcomes You Can Expect
The conversation usually goes like this:
Doctor: I can confirm that you have Parkinsons. Id like to start you on this medication for your symptoms.
You end up agreeing, after all, what do you know that the doctor doesnt?;And so youre up and running in the lottery stakes of Parkinsons medications.
At your next visit or two, youll bring to the attention of the doctor other symptoms which have surfaced, and hell either increase your dose or try an additional drug. So it goes on, with each time you arrive at the clinic in a worse state, only to find that your doctor has less and less answers.
Whats rarely said
Rarely, if ever, are doctors honest with you about Parkinsons and medications from the outset. They dont tell you that they are not omnipotent, that theyll do their best, but medications only partially help with some symptoms, whilst doing nothing for others.
They dont tell you that these medications will do nothing to hold back the progressive degeneration of your nervous system. That eventually drugs will no longer provide any assistance and youre at the diseases mercy.
Abandoned in a cul-de-sac, with no way out
I receive emails from people who find themselves trapped in a cul-de-sac, with seemingly no way out and with their doctors saying theres nothing more they can do.
A better way
Join The Parkinsons Forums: An Online Community For People With Parkinsons Disease And Their Caregivers
The reader who commented on my column said, There is an assumption, when using the word fight, that there is a possibility that the disease victim can win and when the disease wins it seems like the victim was somehow at fault, was not strong enough, wise enough, lost the fight or whatever. This is not so the disease always gets the victim in the end.
I understand where this reader is coming from . But to me, the comment unintentionally serves to strip me of hope by getting me to go back to that place at the beginning of my journey. I knew what Parkinsons was. I knew what it could and very well might do. But I couldnt sit by and watch it claim my spirit.
I still had hope, and I knew that as long as I held fervently and tightly to that hope, I may go down. But I would go down fighting.;
Last night, I attended my first Rock Steady Boxing class. Their motto is Fighting Back Against Parkinsons. You have to fight to win. Just as having PD looks different on everyone who has it, winning at PD looks different for everyone as well.
I cant tie my shoes anymore, but I can fasten the Velcro on my sandals. Thats a win. I can start out my day shuffling, but after my first round of meds, Im ready to walk with the best of them. Thats a win. I cant work in my garden for hours on end anymore, but I can give it 20 to 30 minutes a day. Thats a big win.
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Foods That Are Hard To Chew
Many people with Parkinsons have difficulty with chewing and swallowing foods. A person needs medical help if this is the case. A speech and language therapist may be able to help a person overcome this issue.
However, if a person is finding certain foods hard to chew and swallow, they may wish to avoid these foods.
Such foods include:
- dry, crumbly foods
- tough or chewy meats
If a person does wish to eat chewy meats, they could try using gravy or sauce to soften them and make eating easier.
They could also try chopping meat into smaller pieces or incorporating meat into casseroles, which can make it more tender.
Having a drink with a meal can also make chewing and swallowing easier.
A Lower Protein Diet To Help Meds Work Better
Your diet can impact how well your medication helps to manage common Parkinson’s symptoms, including tremors and constipation.
Diets heavy in protein, for instance, can limit your body’s absorption of levodopa in Sinemet, a common medication used in the management of;Parkinson’s disease. As a result, some doctors recommend that people with Parkinson’s limit protein intake to 12 percent of their total daily calories. And taking your medication on an empty stomach before your meals can help your body absorb the drug, notes the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation recommends avoiding certain foods because of possible medication interactions, including:
In addition, fruits and vegetables in your diet may protect nerve cell function and possibly help keep Parkinson’s symptoms under control. Fruits and veggies also provide fiber, which can stimulate bowel movement and prevent constipation. Ask your doctor for a referral to a nutritionist to help make it easier to follow a healthy diet.
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Taking Care Of Business
The Parkinson’s Foundation has developed a thorough guide to getting your household and personal documents organized at www.parkinson.org
- Organize your medical histories
- Keep a journal of medications and dosages
- Organize your personal financial documents
- Insurance and long-term care plans
- Livings wills, durable power of attorney, advanced medical directives
Parkinson’s Drugs Can Be A Gateway To Sin
On days Quaglia boxes, he doesn’t need to take medication for six hours afterward twice as long as usual. His depression has lifted, and he has more self-confidence. Boxing, he says, “doesn’t cure, but it helps.”
Parkinson’s disease afflicts about a million Americans more than multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and ALS combined. Every year 50,000 more get the diagnosis, a number that’s going up as the population ages. They face a gradual loss of control over their muscles, leading to tremors, loss of balance and difficulty walking or speaking.
And boxing, it turns out, is only one of an expanding array of movement therapies gaining in popularity as antidotes to Parkinson’s. Other Parkinson’s patients are drumming, dancing to a Latin beat, practicing the ancient Chinese art of tai chi or golfing.
Even patients with advanced disease can benefit. Jacobo Farina, 79, says he could barely move when he got up on the day of a recent drumming class for Boston-area Parkinson’s patients. But when the drumming started, he was one of the most energetic participants.
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Gait Training To Improve Balance
Patients with Parkinson’s symptoms can enhance their treatment by doing what’s called “gait training” at home. This involves practicing new ways to stand, walk, and turn. People undergoing gait training should try to:
Practice gait training with the help of a metronome, a tool musicians use to keep a steady beat. A study published in March 2010 in PLoS One showed that when people with Parkinson’s walked to the sound of a metronome set about 10 percent faster than their fastest stride, it significantly improved their gait.
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You can also try dance classes for people with Parkinson’s through the Dance for PD program, which is supported by a grant from the National Parkinson Foundation. The classes first started in Brooklyn, New York, and are now found in locations across the globe.
What Causes Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsons is caused by the degeneration of brain cells in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra. These neurons are responsible for the production of a particular neurotransmitter called dopamine and it is the lack of this neurotransmitter that is responsible for the main Parkinsons symptoms. The cause of the disease is not known. However, like most degenerative illnesses, it is likely to be due to a range of factors including interactions between genes and environment. Contributory factors may include environmental toxicity, physical trauma, genetics, drugs, disease , nutritional deficiency, mitochondrial insufficiency, enzyme deficiency and unremitting stress.
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Combine Exercise With Diet
Dr. Gostkowski says if you want to feel your best, combine a healthy diet with exercise. Research has shown that regular exercise can improve PD symptoms.
Do exercise that raises your heart rate, Dr. Gostkowski says. Aim for about 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Dont worry about specific exercises. Do an activity you enjoy, as long as it gets your heart rate up. Try brisk walking or biking or more advanced exercise for veteran athletes. I recommend seeing an occupational therapist. They can tailor an exercise program to your needs.
For People Living With Parkinsons Disease Exercise May Be One Of The Most Powerful Tools To Fight Some Symptoms And To Slow The Diseases Degenerative Nature
In addition to maintaining overall physical and emotional health and well being, exercise tends to minimize some of the primary and secondary symptoms of early onset Parkinsons. Though exercise is not a cure, it can help people living with Parkinsons disease maintain muscle tone and function, remain flexible, and improve overall mobility.
While the precise role exercise plays in delaying the progression of the disease is still being researched, studies consistently report that those with Parkinsons Disease who exercise regularly tend to do better than those who do not. When it comes to exercise, being younger has its advantages. Younger people are usually stronger and better able to maintain a regular exercise program over time.
Many young people with Parkinsons Disease have found that they are able to combine their exercise with grass roots fundraising efforts. From the well-known walk-a-thons held across the country to the young men and women who have walked marathons to raise funds, finding sponsors who will cheer you on every step or mile can help you remain committed to an exercise plan.
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Tips For Getting Started
- Changing your diet can be difficult. Try making one change at a time, like eating a handful of nuts a few times a week or avoiding white bread. Small changes can add up to big benefits.
- Consult with a registered dietician, who can help you plan menus and make shopping lists for preparing nutritious meals that you like and that account for your individual needs and the timing of your medications.
- Consult with an occupational therapist about assistive devices, including some mentioned above, to make eating and drinking easier.
- If you experience anxiety or depression, talk to your doctor. These symptoms can suppress appetite.
- If swallowing issues are causing problems eating , a speech-language pathologist may be able to help.
Managing Medication Side Effects
- Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration-induced headaches and muscle tension.
- Drink green tea, bone broth, or ginger tea to boost your immune system.
- Drink alcohol or coffee or any other caffeinated beverages to avoid having sleep issues.
Knowing what to eat and what to avoid can help you manage the symptoms of Parkinsons disease. Follow these tips to relieve symptoms and have a better quality of life.
Consult your doctor to know what other foods you can consume to help you manage Parkinsons.
Engage with the community by asking a question, telling your story, or participating in a forum.
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How Can I Reverse Parkinsons Disease Naturally
High dose glutathione therapy is a natural treatment for Parkinsons disease that can replenish the body and the brain with glutathione. It can improve brain function and health at the cellular level. This, in turn, helps protect the brain from further damage. Cellular health is what will determine overall health.
Fight Parkinsons With Exercise Really Works
The Michael J Fox Foundation reports that forced exercise studies on Parkinsons disease have shown improved mobility and quality of life, and possibly slower rate of disease progression. People with Parkinsons disease benefit from many types of exercise boxing, cycling, yoga and others. Regular physical activity can ease motor and non-motor symptoms, boost mood and improve quality of life. Its good for general health and well-being and, in some cases, just as important as the medications your doctor prescribes to manage PD.
Rock Steady Boxing Association and other research on exercise studies confirm similar benefits experienced by Parkinsons patients. Check out the detailed reports on these findings on the articles published on this blog and the referenced links.
Quotes from the In Your Corner Publication, published by the Rock Steady Boxing, Inc: The overall message regarding PD is that exercise you do consistently will help improve your Parkinsons symptoms and your overall health.; Some even say it might delay the progression of the disease. When you are diagnosed with this disease where exercise becomes one of your first lines of defense and is no longer an option but a necessity.
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