Monday, April 15, 2024
Monday, April 15, 2024
HomeWhat Does It Feel Like To Have Parkinson's Disease

What Does It Feel Like To Have Parkinson’s Disease

How Do I Prevent Falls From Common Hazards

What It Feels Like
  • Floors: Remove all loose wires, cords, and throw rugs. Minimize clutter. Make sure rugs are anchored and smooth. Keep furniture in its usual place.
  • Bathroom: Install grab bars and non-skid tape in the tub or shower. Use non-skid bath mats on the floor or install wall-to-wall carpeting.
  • Lighting: Make sure halls, stairways, and entrances are well-lit. Install a night light in your bathroom or hallway and staircase. Turn lights on if you get up in the middle of the night. Make sure lamps or light switches are within reach of the bed if you have to get up during the night.
  • Kitchen: Install non-skid rubber mats near the sink and stove. Clean spills immediately.
  • Stairs: Make sure treads, rails, and rugs are secure. Install a rail on both sides of the stairs. If stairs are a threat, it might be helpful to arrange most of your activities on the lower level to reduce the number of times you must climb the stairs.
  • Entrances and doorways: Install metal handles on the walls adjacent to the doorknobs of all doors to make it more secure as you travel through the doorway.

Who Is Prone To Parkinson’s Disease

Some people are more to Parkinson?s disease than others. They include:

  • People who are of advanced age

  • Males are more likely to get Parkinson?s disease than females

  • People with a family history of Parkinson?s disease

  • Postmenopausal women who have very low levels of oestrogen

  • Women who have undergone hysterectomies

  • People who suffer from vitamin B deficiency

  • People who have suffered from head trauma

  • People who are frequently exposed to environmental toxins such as a pesticide or herbicide

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Dont give up.

At times, not giving up is easier said than done, especially when you feel alone and abandoned. You may feel your friends and family have abandoned you, but its often more a case of them not understanding your new journey. Its probably best to give those people in your life a free forgiveness pass and move on as you make new friends in the PD community who truly understand what living with PD is like.

Parkinsons disease causes grief, but we can choose to live joyfully and intentionally in spite of what we feel has been taken from us. It is not a death sentence, and we must learn to readjust to our new life. And a new life brings new opportunities. As one person said, never lose hope and keep the faith because God is doing miracles every day and you may be the one He is working through to accomplish just that.

Also Check: Parkinson Dementia Life Expectancy

Many People With Parkinsons Utilize Non

There are a number of drugs that can help manage Parkinsons symptoms. But non-pharmaceutical methods may also be a part of your toolbox. Getting regular movement can help prevent muscle stiffness improve motor symptoms, so exercise like boxing, walking and weightlifting are recommended. Others might take comfort in complementary therapies like acupuncture and hydrotherapy, though there is not as much research behind them.

Karl Robb, blogger at A Soft Voice in a Noisy World, shared what works for him:

Having had Parkinsons disease for over 30 years, I have identified a variety of triggers like lack of sleep, stress, lack of hydration, poor diet, and feeling rushed can all contribute to my Parkinsons disease symptoms. Finding complementary therapies and practices such as reiki, Rock Steady Boxing, massage, meditation, and reflexology have all offered me tools to improve my condition.

What Are The Primary Motor Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease


There are four primary motor symptoms of Parkinsons disease: tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia and postural instability . Observing two or more of these symptoms is the main way that physicians diagnose Parkinsons.

It is important to know that not all of these symptoms must be present for a diagnosis of Parkinsons disease to be considered. In fact, younger people may only notice one or two of these motor symptoms, especially in the early stages of the disease. Not everyone with Parkinsons disease has a tremor, nor is a tremor proof of Parkinsons. If you suspect Parkinsons, see a neurologist or movement disorders specialist.




Postural Instability

Walking or Gait Difficulties


Vocal Symptoms

Recommended Reading: Parkinson’s Disease Genetics

Why Is Expert Care Important

Early expert care can help reduce PD complications. Findings show that 60 percent of people with Parkinson’s fall short of getting the expert care they need. The National Parkinson Foundation has estimated that about 6,400 people with Parkinson’s die unnecessarily each year due to poor care.

Trained neurologists will help you recognize, treat and manage the disease. Common approaches include medication, surgical treatment, lifestyle modifications , physical therapy, support groups, occupational therapy and speech therapy. The best approach is interdisciplinary care, where you are seen by multiple specialists on a regular basis and all of the specialists talk and arrange the best possible coordinated care. This is what is referred to as a patient-centric approach to Parkinson’s care.

Causes Of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is caused by a loss of nerve cells in part of the brain called the substantia nigra. This leads to a reduction in a chemical called dopamine in the brain.

Dopamine plays a vital role in regulating the movement of the body. A reduction in dopamine is responsible for many of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Exactly what causes the loss of nerve cells is unclear. Most experts think that a combination of genetic and environmental factors is responsible.

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Early Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Can Be Overlooked

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are divided into 2 groups: motor symptoms and non-motor symptoms.

Early non-motor symptoms can be subtle and it’s possible to overlook them as signs of Parkinson’s: for example, anxiety and depression, fatigue, loss of smell, speech problems, difficulty sleeping, erectile dysfunction, incontinence and constipation. Another sign of Parkinson’s is handwriting that becomes smaller.

Motor symptoms of Parkinson’s can include tremor , slowness of movement , muscle rigidity and instability .

It’s possible for non-motor symptoms to start occurring up to a decade before any motor symptoms emerge. Years can pass before symptoms are obvious enough to make a person to go to the doctor.

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to Parkinson’s disease different people will experience different symptoms, and of varying severity. One in 3 people, for example, won’t experience tremor.

On average, 37 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s every day in Australia. Parkinson’s Australia

Fascia And Parkinson’s Disease

Early Stage Parkinson’s

for a detailed explanation and the potential ramifications for PD. In particular, it is the fascia which gives the body the ability to stand up against gravity. Together with the bones, the fascia gives the body a very special structural property called Tensegrity, flexible, yet able to withstand tremendous forces, and able to maintain shape. Indeed, in her book

Deanna Hansen writes

“… the degeneration of our bodys tissue resulting in pain and disease. The ultimate driver of this is gravity… as we go through time, we decrease in our internal space we get shorter and wider as we age we compress. The constant force of gravity is relentless at pulling down on the body. We dont even recognize this force and how it acts on the cells because it is always present”

perhaps until it becomes more apparent when we develop conditions like PD.

Deanna describes fascia as

and I believe everyone who has experienced PD could attest to this statement.

Deanna goes on to explain that diaphragmatic breathing is the key driver to maintaining the anti-gravity tensegrity properties of fascia, and hence for our bodies to be able stand up against such forces. Again, this is a vital new understanding for anyone affected by PD, since our ability to breathe from the diaphragm tends to be well and truly shot. Unfortunately, the link between posture and diaphragmatic breathing seems to be yet another one of those vicious circles which people with PD suffer from,

Read Also: Can Parkinson’s Run In The Family

Parkinsons May Be Invisible But That Doesnt Mean Its Not There

Like many chronic illnesses, Parkinsons may not always cause obvious symptoms. However, just because there are times when other people cant see your symptoms, that doesnt mean youre not still feeling painful, uncomfortable symptoms, mental health challenges like anxiety and depression, or dealing with the stress of communicating with insurance companies or getting accommodations from work. Invisible doesnt mean easy!

Parkinsons is an invisible disease and the majority of people dont get that. Its a disease that may not look like much of anything to some people, but if youve got it, you had better believe its something indeed, Woodbridge said.

Changes In Sleeping Patterns

As Parkinsons progresses, you can also develop problems with sleep patterns. These may not happen in the early stages, but can be noticeable later. You might wake up often in the middle of the night or sleep more during the day than you do at night.

Another common sleep disturbance for people with Parkinsons is rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder. This is when you start acting out your dreams in your sleep, such as verbally and physically, which can get uncomfortable if someone is sharing your bed. Dr. Rundle-Gonzalez says many times a bed partner will be the one to notice sleep problems.

REM sleep behavior disorder can also happen in people who dont have Parkinsons. However, if this isnt something youve dealt with before, its likely related to your disease. There are medications your doctor can prescribe to help you sleep comfortably through the night.

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How Is Parkinson’s Disease Treated

If a doctor thinks a person has Parkinson’s disease, there’s reason for hope. Medicine can be used to eliminate or improve the symptoms, like the body tremors. And some experts think that a cure may be found soon.

For now, a medicine called levodopa is often given to people who have Parkinson’s disease. Called “L-dopa,” this medicine increases the amount of dopamine in the body and has been shown to improve a person’s ability to walk and move around. Other drugs also help decrease and manage the symptoms by affecting dopamine levels. In some cases, surgery may be needed to treat it. The person would get anesthesia, a special kind of medicine to prevent pain during the operation.

What Is Parkinson’s Disease

Researchers Days: What it feels like to have Parkinsons ...

Parkinsons disease occurs when brain cells that make dopamine, a chemical that coordinates movement, stop working or die. Because PD can cause tremor, slowness, stiffness, and walking and balance problems, it is called a movement disorder. But constipation, depression, memory problems and other non-movement symptoms also can be part of Parkinsons. PD is a lifelong and progressive disease, which means that symptoms slowly worsen over time.

The experience of living with Parkinson’s over the course of a lifetime is unique to each person. As symptoms and progression vary from person to person, neither you nor your doctor can predict which symptoms you will get, when you will get them or how severe they will be. Even though broad paths of similarity are observed among individuals with PD as the disease progresses, there is no guarantee you will experience what you see in others.

Parkinsons affects nearly 1 million people in the United States and more than 6 million people worldwide.

For an in-depth guide to navigating Parkinsons disease and living well as the disease progresses, check out our Parkinsons 360 toolkit.

What Is Parkinson’s Disease?

Dr. Rachel Dolhun, a movement disorder specialist and vice president of medical communications at The Michael J. Fox Foundation, breaks down the basics of Parkinson’s.

Also Check: Is Parkinson’s Disease Fatal

What Are The Symptoms Of Parkinsons Disease

Symptoms of Parkinsons disease and the rate of decline vary widely from person to person. The most common symptoms include:

Other symptoms include:

  • Speech/vocal changes: Speech may be quick, become slurred or be soft in tone. You may hesitate before speaking. The pitch of your voice may become unchanged .
  • Handwriting changes: You handwriting may become smaller and more difficult to read.
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Sleeping disturbances including disrupted sleep, acting out your dreams, and restless leg syndrome.
  • Pain, lack of interest , fatigue, change in weight, vision changes.
  • Low blood pressure.

Depression Sometimes Comes Even Before Other Symptoms

Not everyone with depression will get Parkinsons and vice versa, but it is common for depression to be among the very first symptoms of the disease to show up.

Sherri Woodbridge, blogger at Parkinsons Journey, explained how this depression feels:

One of the first symptoms that is often overlooked can be depression. By the time you are actually diagnosed, you may feel like your whole world has caved in and your diagnosis adds a thousand ton weight upon you as you lay smothered in a pit of grief.

Also Check: Abnormally Small Handwriting

Is Parkinsons Disease Inherited

Scientists have discovered gene mutations that are associated with Parkinsons disease.

There is some belief that some cases of early-onset Parkinsons disease disease starting before age 50 may be inherited. Scientists identified a gene mutation in people with Parkinsons disease whose brains contain Lewy bodies, which are clumps of the protein alpha-synuclein. Scientists are trying to understand the function of this protein and its relationship to genetic mutations that are sometimes seen in Parkinsons disease and in people with a type of dementia called Lewy body dementia.

Several other gene mutations have been found to play a role in Parkinsons disease. Mutations in these genes cause abnormal cell functioning, which affects the nerve cells ability to release dopamine and causes nerve cell death. Researchers are still trying to discover what causes these genes to mutate in order to understand how gene mutations influence the development of Parkinsons disease.

Scientists think that about 10% to 15% of persons with Parkinsons disease may have a genetic mutation that predisposes them to development of the disease. There are also environmental factors involved that are not fully understood.

Some One Who Has Pd Has Likened It To Wearing A Leaded Body Suit

This Device Lets You Feel The Effects Of Parkinson’s Disease | CNBC

You have the will to get where youre going or do what you want to do but your body is determined to get you there by the slowest means possible , while exerting the most energy you have. Its as if your life has switched to slow motion and everything takes so much longer. You expect to look into the mirror and see the likeness of a 70 year old and yet, youre only 42. Life can be hard.

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What You Can Expect

Parkinson does follow a broad pattern. While it moves at different paces for different people, changes tend to come on slowly. Symptoms usually get worse over time, and new ones probably will pop up along the way.

Parkinson√Ęs doesn√Ęt always affect how long you live. But it can change your quality of life in a major way. After about 10 years, most people will have at least one major issue, like dementia or a physical disability.

Exercise And Healthy Eating

Regular exercise is particularly important in helping relieve muscle stiffness, improving your mood, and relieving stress.

There are many activities you can do to help keep yourself fit, ranging from more active sports like tennis and cycling, to less strenuous activities such as walking, gardening and yoga.

You should also try to eat a balanced diet containing all the food groups to give your body the nutrition it needs to stay healthy.

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I Used To Be Like The Energizer Bunny

I could go and go and go. No more. I may go but its a much slower pace. I feel sluggish. I feel like my body is a bottle and Parkinsons is the cork and Ive got so much left to do, but I cant get out.

I am tired. I am weary. Fear whispers lies and hopelessness into my soul, leaving me scared and afraid.

People think Im drunk. If they only knew that the medication that seeks to bring reprieve is the culprit that leaves me vulnerable to wrong impressions and false assumptions.

What once brought me joy can now bring sorrow if I choose. I used to stop and smell the flowers but no more. The Little Monster took the sense of smell from me, too. But what once made me gag dirty diapers, feed lots does no more.

I may get frustrated over issues associated with this disease such as incontinence, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, choking, fatigue, inability to write legibly, tripping or I can choose to lift my masked face upward, refuse to let it weigh me down and keep walking forward one step, one shuffle, one moment at a time and never forgetting Gods got this.

Medical Treatment For Parkinson’s Disease

What does it feel like to have Parkinsons? Part 2 ...

Parkinson’s disease cannot be cured, though taking the medicines timely as prescribed by the doctor can control your symptoms, often dramatically. The doctor may suggest lifestyle changes, and exercises and physical therapy that focuses on balance and stretching.

Based on the severity of the patient?s condition the doctor may also suggest surgery.

Also Check: Can Parkinson’s Run In The Family

Living With Parkinson’s Disease

As Parkinson’s develops, a person who has it may slow down and won’t be able to move or talk quickly. Sometimes, speech therapy and occupational therapy are needed. This may sound silly, but someone who has Parkinson’s disease may need to learn how to fall down safely.

If getting dressed is hard for a person with Parkinson’s, clothing with Velcro and elastic can be easier to use than buttons and zippers. The person also might need to have railings installed around the house to prevent falls.

If you know someone who has Parkinson’s disease, you can help by being a good friend.


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