Recognizing the first 10 signs of Parkinson's disease
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Recognizing the first 10 signs of Parkinson's disease

Recognizing the first 10 signs of Parkinson's disease

Other symptoms may appear well before the tremors.

Most people recognize the late stages of Parkinson's disease; the most common signs are tremors and a random walk. But the condition is difficult to diagnose early. Doctors have great difficulty in making an accurate diagnosis until they have gone beyond the initial stages of the disease.

So, is there a way to detect the first signs and get treatment sooner?

Yes, but you still have to know what to look for.

The symptoms of Parkinson's disease are vague and could indicate many different problems. This is what makes early diagnosis difficult and frustrates those who are looking for the reasons for your early movement problems.

It can be difficult to tell if you or a loved one has Parkinson's disease.

Here are 10 signs of Parkinson's disease, indicating that you may have this condition. None of these signs means that you should worry immediately, but if you have more than one of these signs, you should consider making an appointment with your doctor.

Tremors

Although tremor is often the first clear sign of the disease, its importance diminishes over time as movement slows down and stiffness increases. Have you noticed slight tremors or tremors of the fingers, thumb, hand, or chin? A resting tremor is a common early sign of Parkinson's disease.

What is normal?

It may be normal to shake after many exercises, if you are stressed or if you have been injured. Some medicines you take may also cause tremors.

Tiny Handwriting

Has your writing become much smaller than in the past? You may notice that the way you write words on a page has changed, for example, the size of the letters is smaller and the words pile up. A writing change can be a sign of Parkinson's disease called micrographic.

What is normal?

Writing can sometimes change as you get older, especially if you have stiff hands or fingers or poor vision.

Loss of Smell

Have you noticed that you do not smell certain foods right anymore? If have trouble smelling foods like bananas, dill pickles or licorice, you should consult your doctor about Parkinson's disease.

What is normal?

Your sense of smell may be affected by a cold, flu or a stuffy nose, but it should come back once you are better.

Trouble Sleeping

Do you move abruptly in bed or act out your dreams when you're fast asleep? Your spouse may have noticed and will want to sleep alone in another bed. Sudden movements during sleep can be a sign of Parkinson's disease.

What is normal?

It is normal for everyone to occasionally spend a night twirling and ruminating instead of sleeping. Similarly, rapid body shaking during initiation sleep or light sleep is common and often normal.

Akinesia or displacement and walking problem

The general slowing down of movements is particularly evident during walking. Do you feel stiff in your body, arms, or legs? Have your loved ones noticed that your arms do not swing as vigorously as they did when you walk? Sometimes, the stiffness disappears as you move. If this is not the case, it can be a sign of Parkinson's disease. An early sign could be stiffness or pain in the shoulder or hips. People sometimes say that their feet seem "stuck to the ground" and they have trouble taking the first step.

What is normal?

If you have injured your arm or shoulder, you may not be able to use it for as long as it is not healed. Otherwise, another disease such as arthritis could cause the same type of symptoms.

Constipation

Do you have daily difficulty with your bowel movements? Forcing your bowels can be an early sign of Parkinson's disease and, you should talk to your doctor.

What is normal?

If your diet does not contain enough water or fibre, it can cause problems for the bathroom. In addition, some medications, especially those used to relieve pain, will cause constipation. If there is no other reason, such as a diet or medication, that makes it difficult to produce stool, talk to your doctor.

A soft or low voice

Speech is often slow and can be deaf or even incomprehensible. The voice loses its intonations and the rhythm of sentences becomes monotonous. Did other people tell you that your voice had become very soft or that you seemed hoarse? If your voice has changed, talk to your doctor about whether it could be Parkinson's disease. Sometimes you may think that other people are losing their hearing, while you speak more softly.

What is normal?

A cold or another virus can give you a different tone of voice, but you should get back to normal after coughs or colds.

Altered Mimicry

The mimicry is generally impoverished and the face seems to wear a mask. This impression is all the stronger as the blinking of the eyelids is rare. Were you told that you had a serious, depressed or haggard look, even when you were not in a bad mood or depressed? If so, you should consult your doctor about Parkinson's disease.

What is normal?

Some medications may give you the same type of serious or fixed look, but you will come back to what you were after stopping treatment.

Dizziness or Fainting

Have you noticed that you often feel dizzy when you get up from a chair? Feeling dizzy or fainting may be a sign of hypotension and may be linked to Parkinson's disease.

What is normal?

We all have had a light head-turning one day or another but if it happens regularly, you should consult your doctor.

Bending Down or Hunching Over

Are you no longer standing as straight as you were before? If you or your loved ones have noticed that you seem to be leaning, bending or slouching when you get up, this can be a sign of Parkinson's disease.

What is normal?

If you have an injury or are sick, it could cause you to stand up strangely. In addition, a bone problem can alter the standing posture and make you lean backwards or forwards.

What to do if you have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease?

In collaboration with your doctor, create a plan for staying healthy. This could include the following:

  • a reference to a neurologist, a specialized doctor of the brain
  • care of an occupational therapist, physiotherapist or speech therapist
  • meeting with a medical social worker to discuss the impact of Parkinson's disease on your life
  • starting a regular exercise program to delay the onset of other symptoms.
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