Accept The Reality That You Have Parkinsons Disease
Have you seen those people who get some serious diseases but still deny it?
There are many people out there with apparent signs of Parkinsons, but they are still not ready to accept it. They think its just a temporary condition that will go away on its own with time.
Again, Parkinsons is not like flu or cold that completely disappear in a few days. Its a brain illness that lasts throughout your life. Its unfortunate but it is a fact.;
The more early you accept this reality the more it will be easy for you to deal with it.
Who Gets Parkinsons Disease
Parkinsonâs disease, documented in 1817 by physician James Parkinson, is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimerâs disease. Estimates regarding the number of people in the United States with Parkinsonâs range from 500,000 to 1,500,000, with 50,000 to 60,000 new cases reported annually. No objective test for Parkinsonâs disease exists, so the misdiagnosis rate can be high, especially when a professional who doesnât regularly work with the disease makes the diagnosis.
Planning For Future Care
PD is a neurodegenerative condition, which means that it progressively worsens over the years. You may need assistance with walking, such as a cane or a walker. While it is not common, some people with PD may need a wheelchair. Learning about your resources and the financial cost of these devices ahead of time can put you and your family at ease.
If you anticipate that you might not be able to drive or climb stairs, moving to a walkable neighborhood and to a home without stairs can help you enjoy your home and surroundings if your physical abilities become more limited.
And arranging for help around the house or help with transportation can provide you and your family with peace of mind as you navigate your illness through the years.
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Parkinsons Is A Progressive Disease
When you get flu;or fever, you take antibiotics and recover in 2-3 days. But this is not the case with Parkinsons disease.
Parkinsons is a progressive disease that develops and becomes worse over time.
At first, some abnormal changes appear in the brain that begins to damage parts of the brain responsible for body movements. These changes are gradual and the effect is limited to the brain only .
After 15-20 years, the damage reaches the level where it begins to affect body normal movements. This is the early stage where typical symptoms of the disease start to develop. These early symptoms are mild and appear either on one or both sides of the body. At this stage, the disease can easily be diagnosed clinically .
After 10 years of diagnosis, movement function of the brain is drastically reduced, and the symptoms become more noticeable that is usually accompanied with other problems like constipation, insomnia, low blood pressure, and abnormal eating behavior. This is called the mid-stage of the disease .
When the disease has passed 20 years, it reaches its advanced stage. At this stage, the symptoms become very severe and most often the patient needs assistance for mobility.
Causes Of Parkinsons Disease
At present, we do not know the cause of Parkinsons disease. In most people there is no family history of Parkinsons Researchers worldwide are investigating possible causes, including:;
- environmental triggers, pesticides, toxins, chemicals
- genetic factors
- combinations of environment and genetic factors;
- head trauma.
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Follow A Healthy Diet Plan
When it comes to diet, there is no restrict rule. However, you need to make sure to consume enough calories and nutrients. Eating well will maintain your body strength and weight. Additionally, it will help you to fight constipation, which is a common problem in Parkinsons patients.
- Try to eat a variety of foods to get enough proteins, vitamins, carbs, and fibers.
- Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits.
- Consume foods with a low level of saturated fats and cholesterol.
- Avoid eating food containing a high amount of sugar or salt.
- Drinking alcohol has shown to be protective, but excessive use can be harmful. Therefore, try to avoid or use it moderately.
Learn Everything You Can About The Disease
Parkinsons disease is a movement disorder. If youre a caregiver for someone living with Parkinsons, youre likely familiar with some of the symptoms of the disease. But do you know what causes its symptoms, how the condition progresses, or what treatments can help manage it? Also, Parkinsons doesnt manifest the same way in everyone.
To be the best ally for your loved one, learn as much as you can about Parkinsons disease. Do research on reputable websites like the Parkinsons Foundation, or read books about the condition. Tag along for medical appointments and ask the doctor questions. If youre well informed, youll have a better idea of what to expect and how to be the most help.
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Take Care Of Yourself
Probably one of the most important, and sometimes difficult, things caregivers can do is to take care of themselves. This includes maintaining mental and physical health by making and keeping your own medical and dental appointments. As a caregiver, it is important to keep your job whenever possible as it provides not only financial help and possibly insurance coverage, but also a sense of self-esteem. Join a support group;for caregivers;if possible. Support groups help you meet people who are going through what you are going though, vent frustrations, give and receive mutual support, and exchange resource information and coping strategies. Whenever possible get your sleep, take breaks, make and keep social activities, and try to keep your sense of humor.
Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms: Life Expectancy
Even though Parkinson’s disease is a serious, progressive condition, it is not considered a fatal illness. People who have Parkinson’s disease usually have the same average life expectancy as people without the disease.
But when the disease is in its advanced stages, Parkinson’s symptoms can lead to life-threatening complications, including:
- Falls that lead to fractured bones
Thinking about the progression of Parkinson’s disease can be frightening. But proper treatments can help you live a full, productive life for years to come. And researchers hope to one day find ways to halt the progression of Parkinson’s and restore lost functioning.
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Treating The Symptoms Of Parkinsons Diseasehow Palliative Care Can Help
While there is no cure for Parkinsons disease, there are a growing number of treatments that can provide you with relief from its symptoms. People with Parkinsons disease are often prescribed a combination of levodopa and carbidopa, which helps replenish the brains shrinking supply of dopamine.
A new therapy uses electrodes surgically implanted inside the brain, and a small electrical device called a pulse generator to provide electrical deep brain stimulation . Parkinsons patients also benefit from the expertise of physical, occupational and speech therapists to help them manage practical issues in their daily lives.
Other symptoms of Parkinsons disease include a variety of motion-related issues, as well as sleep disturbances, fatigue , constipation and other gastrointestinal problems, and low blood pressure.
Another whole area of Parkinsons symptoms is called cognitive decline, whereby ravages of the disease affect thinking and other uses of the brain. These include troubling mood disorders like depression and anxiety, unclear thinking, difficulty concentrating on a task and the potential emergence of dementia.
Some people become more disabled and dependent over time despite the best treatments. They may come to need so much help with the routine tasks of living that they require 24-hour care. This care may be provided at home or in a setting like assisted living, where they get the personal care they need.
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Signs Of Parkinsons Disease
In 1817, Dr. James Parkinson published An Essay on the Shaking Palsy describing non-motor, as well as, motor symptoms of the illness that bears his name. Parkinsons is not just a movement disorder, explained Dr. Shprecher. Constipation, impaired sense of smell, and dream enactment can occur years before motor symptoms of Parkinsons. The latter, caused by a condition called REM sleep behavior disorder, is a very strong risk factor for both Parkinsons and dementia . This has prompted us to join a consortium of centers studying REM sleep behavior disorder.
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Options For Parkinsons Disease Care
These burdens can ultimately lead a family caregiver to explore alternatives for Parkinsons disease care. Eventually, many decide to place their loved ones in long-term care facilities, such as assisted living or a nursing home.
Assisted living residents usually receive help with daily tasks, meal preparation, medication management, and escorts to doctors appointments. A nurse is onsite 24/7 and apartments are equipped with emergency call buttons so residents can summon help when necessary.
However, assisted living facilities generally arent equipped to care for people with severe mobility problems or advanced dementia. As a result, your loved one will likely be transferred to a skilled nursing facility once they reach the advanced stages of Parkinsons disease. Unfortunately, the expense of assisted living could quickly deplete their financial resources, limiting your choice of facilities to Medicaid nursing homes.
Nursing homes have their own issues. Even the best facilities tend to be understaffed, and few can provide the level of one-on-one care most people desire for their loved ones. Residents will be competing with each other for staff members limited attention, and those with advanced Parkinsons disease may not be able to communicate in a way that ensures their needs are met. These same issues may also make Parkinsons disease patients more vulnerable to physical or sexual abuse.
How Is Parkinson’s Disease Diagnosed
Diagnosis is difficult at every stage of the disease, but particularly in the early stages. No single test can provide a diagnosis. A diagnosis will likely involve physical and neurological examinations, conducted over time to assess changes in reflexes, coordination, muscle strength, and mental function. Your doctor might also see how you respond to medicine.
You may need to have brain imaging tests to rule out other conditions that might be causing your symptoms. Such tests could include MRI and CT scans and possibly some other types of scans. Blood tests may also be done to exclude other illnesses.
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Volunteer To Help Out
Everyday responsibilities like shopping, cooking, and cleaning become much more difficult when you have a movement disorder. Sometimes people with Parkinsons need help with these and other tasks, but they may be too proud or embarrassed to ask for it. Step in and offer to run errands, prepare meals, drive to medical appointments, pick up medications at the drug store, and help with any other day-to-day tasks they have difficulty with on their own.
Whats Really Going On In The Brain That Develops Parkinsons Disease
Your brain has full control over everything you do. Apart from other key functions, your brain controls the different movements of your body. The region responsible for this job is known as the Substantia nigra, a Latin word meaning black substances.
The Substantia nigra is abundant with special brain cells called Dopaminergic neurons. These are named dopaminergic because they produce Dopamine, a chemical messenger released by the brain for controlling body movements .
In Parkinsons disease, these Dopaminergic neurons start to die and the brain becomes unable to produce dopamine in sufficient quantity to governs body movements .
As a result, the body becomes stiff and slow in movements . In addition, some parts of the body, like hands, develop an uncontrolled shaking normally known as tremor .
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Learning How To Manage Daily Living With Parkinsons
Once you are diagnosed with PD, your focus should be on improving your symptoms and maintaining an active and positive lifestyle.
Although there is currently no cure for PD, it is possible to successfully manage symptoms through healthy choices, medications, and, in select cases, medical procedures.
If youre new to Parkinsons disease and would like a good overview to help you better understand the disease, please view our Parkinsons Disease: The Essentials presentation. Its a great place to get started with reliable and concise information.
- Finding local resources and support groups.
- Find upcoming classes and webinars on our Virtual Events Calendar
Complications Related To Parkinson’s Can Affect Survival
Claudia Chaves, MD, is board-certified in cerebrovascular disease and neurology with a subspecialty certification in vascular neurology. She is an associate professor of neurology at Tufts Medical School and medical director of the Lahey Clinic Multiple Sclerosis Center in Lexington, Massachusetts.
Parkinson’s;is a common neurodegenerative disease, and although it is not fatal, research suggests it may influence life expectancy.
A 2012 study in Archives of Neurology examined the six-year survival of nearly 140,000 Medicare beneficiaries with Parkinson’s disease in the United States. During the six-year period, 64% of the participants with Parkinson’s disease passed away.
The risk of death of those with Parkinson’s was then compared to Medicare beneficiaries who did not have Parkinson’s or any other common diseases, including:
When controlling for variables like age, race, and gender, the six-year risk of death among people with Parkinson’s was found to be nearly four times greater than those Medicare beneficiaries without the;disease or other common diseases.
At the same time, the rate of death among those with Parkinson’s disease was similar to those with hip fracture, Alzheimer’s dementia, or a recent heart attackalthough it was higher than those who had been newly diagnosed with either colorectal cancer, stroke, ischemic heart disease, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
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Help Them Feel Normal
A disease like Parkinsons can interfere with the normalcy of someones life. Because people may focus so much on the disease and its symptoms, your loved one may start to lose their sense of self. When you talk to your loved one, dont constantly remind them that they have a chronic disease. Talk about other things like their favorite new movie or book.
What Happens In Stage 5 Parkinsons
Stage 5Stage 5stageParkinsons
When patients reach stage five the final stage of Parkinsons disease they will have severe posture issues in their back, neck, and hips. In endstage of Parkinsons disease, patients will also often experience non-motor symptoms. These can include incontinence, insomnia, and dementia.
One may also ask, how long does a person live with stage 5 Parkinsons? Parkinsons Disease is a Progressive DisorderIndividuals with PD have a somewhat shorter life span compared to healthy individuals of the same age group. Patients usually begin developing the disease around age 60, and many live between 10 and 20 years after being diagnosed.
Herein, what happens in stage 5 of Parkinsons disease?
Stage Five of Parkinsons DiseaseStage five is the most advanced and is characterized by an inability to arise from a chair or get out of bed without help. They may have a tendency to fall when standing or turning, and they may freeze or stumble when walking.
What do Parkinsons patients usually die from?
But the most common cause of death in those with Parkinsons is pneumonia, because the disease impairs patients ability to swallow, putting them at risk for inhaling or aspirating food or liquids into their lungs, leading to aspiration pneumonia.
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What It Feels Like To Live With Parkinsons
Two art directors explore how a diagnosis of Parkinsons disease has changed their worlds.
What It Feels Like to Live With Parkinsons
What It Feels Like to Live With Parkinsons
What It Feels Like to Live With Parkinsons
Steven Heller, 70, has lived with Parkinsons for more than 10 years. Véronique Vienne, 79, only recently learned that she had the disease. Both have had long careers as art directors, and the two have been friends for more than three decades. Back in March, the pair exchanged a flurry of emails over a 10-day period, where they explored the before and after of a Parkinsons diagnosis. Here is an edited version of their conversation.
Now both of us are members of a club Id rather not belong to. What are the odds of two collaborators, like us, getting the same neurological disease?
You know, over 10 years ago I learned that I had Parkinsons disease. Whatever the cause, it was not welcome news. There is an upside, my first doctor smilingly told me, as he informed so many before me, you wont die from it. Something else will do that. Well, that was comforting.
I decided to seek a second opinion.
My new doctor said more or less the same but added: Dont try to self-diagnose from the internet. Wise advice: There are just too many nuances, and every PDer has their own peculiar symptoms.
What about you? When did you learn that you became a club member? And what are the dues you now pay?
Newly Diagnosed: Living Your Best Life With Parkinsons
A Parkinsons disease diagnosis is life-changing, but it doesnt have to keep you from living your best life. If you are newly diagnosed, you are not alone. The Parkinsons Foundation is here to assist and empower you at every stage to ensure you continue living well.
This article is based on a Parkinsons Foundation Expert Briefings webinar Newly Diagnosed: Living Your Best Life with Parkinsons” by Jenna Iseringhausen BSN, RN, Marlene and Paolo Fresco Institute for Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders, NYU Langone Medical Center,;a Parkinsons Foundation Center of Excellence.
How Parkinsons is Diagnosed
There is no specific test for Parkinsons disease. Doctors look at a persons symptoms and history, and may use various tests to make a diagnosis. A person must have two of these main movement or motor symptoms to be considered for a PD diagnosis:
- Slowness of movement, known as bradykinesia
- Stiffness, or rigidity
- Tremor or shaking
Just as each person with PD is unique, so is each persons Parkinsons disease experience. Possible non-movement symptoms can include:
- Speech and memory changes
The Weight of Change
For some, a PD diagnosis is a relief an explanation for ongoing changes or symptoms. For others, it can take an emotional toll, both on the person with Parkinsons and their loved ones.
When youre ready, the Parkinsons Foundation recommends 5 steps you can take throughout your journey to support optimal living.
1. Set and Prioritize Goals
2.;Talk About It
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