Aside from medication, there are several strategies for persons living with Parkinson’s disease to improve their health and well-being, retain physical function, alleviate symptoms, and improve their quality of life. The most important of them are regular exercise, a balanced diet, keeping hydrated, and getting enough sleep.
But what about alternative therapies? Integrative treatments, such as yoga, massage, nutritional supplements, and other movement modalities, have sparked interest in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease throughout the years. Although the judgment is still out on some of them, several nonmedical methods of treatment have a lot of potential.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that produces unintentional or uncontrolled movements such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulties with balance and coordination.
Symptoms normally appear gradually and progress over time. People may have trouble walking and communicating as the condition advances. They may also have mental and behavioral changes, sleep issues, depression, memory problems, and weariness.
What causes Parkinson’s disease?
The most noticeable signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear when nerve cells in the basal ganglia, a region of the brain that governs movement, become damaged or die. Normally, these nerve cells, or neurons, create dopamine, a key brain neurotransmitter.
When neurons die or become damaged, they generate less dopamine, which causes disease-related movement issues. Scientists are still unsure what causes neurons to die.
Parkinson’s disease patients also lose nerve endings that generate norepinephrine, the major chemical messenger of the sympathetic nervous system, which regulates numerous bodily processes such as heart rate and blood pressure.
Here are some lessons learned while living with Parkinson’s disease. Some people living with Parkinson’s disease have shared their thoughts and experiences which may potentially help others going through a similar situation.
1. Concentrate on One Day at a Time
One of our customers stated that it didn’t take long for him to understand that if he didn’t concentrate on one day at a time, he wouldn’t be able to do what he had convinced himself was vital. While we have the ability, we get to select how we want to spend this day right now.
What will you concentrate on? What will you do with this time, this present? Now (the now) is much more valuable to us than yesterday, and yes, even tomorrow.
2. Always Be Grateful
Having Parkinson’s disease has made him more aware of things he used to take for granted. We may be grateful for the dawn, the gorgeous sky, the pure air we breathe, the water we drink, and the bed we sleep in every day.
Every day, before you get out of bed, express gratitude for three things. On the odd occasion that you have trouble recognizing these objects, there are free computer programs available to assist you.
3. Engage More With People
When he was a kid, he remembers his mother encouraging him to make meaningful eye contact. There are many individuals in the world, Johnny, and you should realize that not everyone has what you have. We have enough, but there are those who may want help from time to time. His mum definitely understood the importance of helping others.
While people with Parkinson’s disease have unique medical issues and requirements that must not be overlooked, when we share our stories, we make new friends. These favorable encounters may also increase our vitality.
4. Wisdom is Power
His confidence and engagement with others, especially his physicians and healthcare partners, have grown as my knowledge and comprehension of Parkinson’s disease have grown. He empowers himself when he asks questions that are personal to him, and he needs to keep reminding himself of this.
Take notes when you go to the doctor to make the most of your time and comprehension. If you don’t think you’ll be able to get everything on paper because your handwriting isn’t up to the job, ask a friend or loved one to write for you.
5. Exercise Your Body and Mind
His eldest kid regularly reminds him that if you don’t utilize it, you lose it. He’s correct, particularly because he doesn’t want his father to be unable to get up from a chair! Read the following phrase twice: The importance of regular exercise for patients with Parkinson’s disease is being reinforced by research.
Although he has made some adjustments to his growing age, he believes that physical activity and cerebral stimulation, such as reading, writing, singing (ideally in the shower, according to my wife), puzzles, and a variety of other hobbies, are essential.
If you haven’t worked out in a long time, talk to your doctor or a physical therapist before starting. Begin with gentle stretching and then progress to more intense exercises. The more you love working out, the more likely you are to stick with it. Pick up a new book, learn to play an instrument, or learn a new language.
6. Laugh as Much as Possible
When utilized correctly, humor can give us moments of frivolity, a break from the hectic world we live in, relieve stress and high blood pressure, and deliver much-needed endorphins.
Diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease
There are presently no blood or laboratory tests available to identify non-genetic Parkinson’s disease. Doctors commonly identify the disorder by collecting a medical history and doing a neurological examination on the patient. If symptoms improve after taking treatment, this is another sign that the individual has Parkinson’s disease.
A variety of illnesses may produce symptoms comparable to Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s-like symptoms caused by other causes, such as multiple system atrophy and dementia with Lewy bodies, are also referred to as parkinsonism.
While many conditions may first be misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s, specific medical testing, as well as pharmacological therapy reactions, may aid in determining the etiology. Many other illnesses have similar symptoms but need different treatments, so getting an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible is critical.
Wrapping It Up
While the course of Parkinson’s disease is normally gradual, a person’s everyday activities may ultimately be disrupted. Working, caring for a house, and engaging in social events with friends may become difficult. These adjustments may be challenging, but support groups can help patients adapt.
For people living with Parkinson’s disease their families, and caregivers, these organizations may offer information, guidance, and referrals to services. The organizations mentioned below may assist affected people in locating local support groups and other community services.