It is sometimes difficult to determine if you might have Parkinson's disease. Here are some warning signs that indicate you should make an appointment to talk to your doctor:
- Twitching or shaking of a finger, hand, or foot.
- Tremor of the hands, arms, legs, jaw and face.
- Handwriting that looks cramped. Letters tend to be smaller than normal and words spaced close.
- Difficulty sleeping. Early signs include uncontrollable movements on a regular basis.
- Stiff and slow. Jerking motions and movement in a more uncoordinated pattern than before.
- Slowed movements with difficulty continuing to move.
- Problems with balance and walking.
- Constipation. Straining to move your bowels can be an early sign.
- Speaking in low tones, hoarse voice or with little inflection.
- Masking-no expression in your face, making movement and control of small muscles in the face difficult.
- Dizziness, fainting or low blood pressure when you stand up.
- Stooped posture, leaning and slouching due to loss of coordination and balance. Posture will change in small ways at first and will gradually worsen.
- Difficulty eating and swallowing.
- Healthy eating is important.
- You may need to modify what you eat and drink if you have difficulty eating and swallowing.
- speech therapy not only helps with speech but can help with swallowing.
- Exercise and keep active.
- Work on keeping stress at a minimum.
- Low energy may require that you rest throughout the day.
- Physical and occupational therapy will help to keep you independent.
- Place safety rails throughout the home to prevent falls.
- Assistive devices will help make movement easier. Some of these devices are; canes, walkers, wheelchairs, lifts, shower seats, raised toilet seats, and custom eating utensils.
- Parkinson's Support groups
- Counseling services
- Resources from the American Parkinson Disease Association
- Resources from the National Parkinson Foundation
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