12 Ways to Manage Parkinson’s Disease

Every year, approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system. Over time, neurons become increasingly damaged, impairing their functionality. This damage ultimately leads to difficulty controlling the body’s muscles, in turn causing tremors, stiffness, and problems with speech. 

What Helps Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s disease can be intimidating, but there are a lot of management techniques you, your medical team, and the people close to you can try to relieve the worst symptoms of this disorder. Here are just a few of the different strategies people have found helpful for managing their Parkinson’s disease… 

12. Changing Your Diet

A healthy diet can change the way we look at the world. When we are eating healthily, our bodies and our minds will feel better than ever before. Parkinson’s disease is a complicated disorder and everything we can do to improve our health will improve our quality of life. 

Why Changing Your Diet Helps

While there is no recommended diet for people with Parkinson’s disease, there are things you can do to help yourself fend off the worst symptoms. Diets that are rich in fruits and vegetables, for example, will help to make sure you have great overall health which improves mobility, stamina, and strength. 

A key part of your diet is staying hydrated…

11. Staying Hydrated

One of the key symptoms of Parkinson’s disease is difficulty controlling movement. This is also one of the key symptoms of dehydration. Not only is hydration important for your overall health, it can also help to lower the severity of your Parkinson’s disease symptoms. 

Why Staying Hydrated Helps

When the body becomes dehydrated, it struggles to send signals to the muscles. This can lead to difficulty moving, loss of balance, and increased fatigue. These are all also symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Staying hydrated helps keep your body from experiencing the combination of these two conditions. 

Another key part of managing Parkinson’s disease is finding a way to regularly exercise… 

10. Exercising 

Staying fit is a vital part of your Parkinson’s disease treatment plan. Our bodies require regular exercise in order to stay healthy, you see. Specifically, exercise helps us train our muscles and increases our stamina, which can help offset the severity of symptoms experts associate with this condition. There are plenty of exercise strategies out there for people living with Parkinson’s disease. 

Why Exercising Helps

Exercising builds up our strength, stamina, and can even improve things like balance. Exercising regularly builds up your mobility and, the longer you stick with it, the better the results you will see. People with Parkinson’s disease enjoy swimming, dancing, and even non-contact boxing. There are plenty of exercise plans for you to explore, even if it takes a little time finding the one you like. 

One way to help yourself get a better understanding of your needs is to journal… 

9. Journaling

In our busy lives, we tend to lose sight of the day-to-day moments. This might not be a problem for the little things, but when it comes to our health and wellbeing, journaling can make all the difference. 

Why Journaling Helps

Journaling helps in two major ways. You can use a journal to track your symptoms, which will help your medical team fine-tune your treatment, for starters. This gives them vital information that they can use to give you the best care. Additionally, journaling also helps you get a better understanding of what you can do to make your condition better. Finally, it also helps to center our minds and give us a sense of stability in tough times. 

While there are plenty of things you can do on your own to help your condition, some of the most effective treatments are with medical providers… 

8. Alternative Medicine

These support therapies might not have the power to replace your regular medicines and treatment, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t dramatically improve your life. Alternative medicine may help with a variety of symptoms and improve your overall quality of life. 

Why Alternative Medicine Helps

Alternative therapies like yoga, tai chi, and the Alexander technique can all help you rebuild your physical health while boosting your mental health. Namely, they can help with muscle strength, flexibility, and balance. There are plenty of alternative therapies out there to explore. 

If you are looking for a high-tech way to manage your condition, you can try the latest medical science…

7. Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep brain stimulation is a cutting-edge treatment. Unlike some of the other treatments on our list, this is one you definitely need to talk to your medical team about. This treatment can help provide relief for some of the worst symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Why Deep Brain Stimulation Helps

Deep brain stimulation is a surgical technique that places electrodes into specific areas of the brain. These electrodes are connected to a generator that is placed somewhere in the chest cavity or near the collarbone. This device then sends electric pulses to the brain ,which helps reduce, or can even eliminate, some of the movement difficulties that come with this condition. 

One of the key things you can start doing today to help with your condition is finding the right support. 

6. Finding Support

Parkinson’s disease is best treated with a holistic approach. In other words, some conditions only need the occasional trip to the doctor to manage, but Parkinson’s disease requires a more complete treatment method. 

Why Finding Support Helps

Support helps in every way possible because support comes into play in every part of your life. You can find medical support for your treatments, get support from an exercise group, and of course find support in friends and family. The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can lead to social alienation and depression. Keeping up a strong support network can therefore help lower the odds of depression. 

An often overlooked support technique is pet therapy… 

5. Pet Therapy

Having a pet can be more than just fun. It can actually help you manage your Parkinson’s disease. 

Why Pet Therapy Helps

There are a few key reasons why pet therapy helps with Parkinson’s disease. When you have to take care of a cat, dog, or other pet, you will have new motivation to stay physically active. This improves your strength and mobility. Pets also give up companionship and relieve the loneliness that can come with conditions like Parkinson’s disease. 

Another way to help reduce the social isolation that often comes with Parkinson’s disease is to see a speech pathologist… 

4. Seeing a Speech Pathologist

Speech pathologists are experts at identifying and treating speech problems. They work with people from all walks of life, including those with Parkinson’s disease. 

Why Seeing a Speech Pathologist Helps

Parkinson’s disease can change the way we speak and make talking more difficult. This condition can thereby be treated by a speech pathologist. These therapists can help people with Parkinson’s disease learn new ways to speak and get around difficulties they might be having. Correcting speech problems will help you in social situations, which can ease alienation and depression. 

A speech pathologist is just one part of a complete treatment team, though…  

3. Forming a Treatment Team

Parkinson’s disease is a complicated disorder; it can change how we live our lives. However, it doesn’t have to stop us from living life to the fullest. Having a treatment team gives you all the best options for managing your condition. 

Why Forming a Treatment Team Helps

A treatment team for Parkinson’s disease can include an occupational therapist, a medical doctor, and much more. People often include social workers, physical therapists, and neurosurgeons on their treatment teams. These people can coordinate their efforts to help give you a treatment plan that responds to your unique needs. 

One way they can help is by getting you medication to treat your Parkinson’s disease… 

2. Taking Medications

There are a variety of medications that can treat Parkinson’s disease. These medications can do everything from treating the condition directly to helping relieve some of the most challenging symptoms. 

Why Taking Medications Helps

The most widely used medication is carbidopa/levodopa. This medicine helps by stimulating the brain to produce more dopamine. People with Parkinson’s disease have severely low dopamine levels, which can be offset with medication. 

Another way to stay on the cutting edge of medicine is to sign up for clinical trials… 

1. Joining Clinical Trials

Clinical trials might not sound like they can help, but there are a few things they can do to help people with Parkinson’s disease. 

Why Joining Clinical Trials Helps

When you sign up for a clinical trial, you’ll be getting access to a cutting-edge treatment. This treatment could therefore open up new pathways for you when it comes to managing your condition. These trails also help researchers build a body of knowledge and develop new treatments. All in all, signing up for a clinical trial will help you and the rest of the community of people who live with Parkinson’s disease. 

Final Thoughts

Parkinson’s disease is a lifelong condition that needs to be monitored and managed in order to stave off the worst symptoms. Combining these treatment options while improving your overall health and quality of life is the best way to meet the challenges imposed by Parkinson’s disease. Talk with your medical team about trying out some of these treatment options.

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