Symptoms of Parkinson’s
We hit bumps in the road more than we drive on smooth ones. Nothing is ever straight forward no matter how easy the journey is. It almost seems as if life is telling you to give up and throw in the towel.
“There’s always hope for a better tomorrow.”
No matter how hard you fall, there’s always room for trying again. You need to bounce back up and prevail over your difficulties, and Parkinson’s is one of them.
What is Parkinson’s
It’s a nerve disease that takes over your ability to control your hands, legs, and other physical movements. It’s a nerve disorder that results in uncontrollable handshakes when performing certain tasks. Some people even find it difficult to write, drink a glass of water, or lift certain items without dropping them.
Parkinson’s disease starts unnoticeable, it begins with simple low-frequency tremors in your hands or other parts of your body. It also may cause slow movement as you walk and get up or stiffens. In general, the disease takes over your motor skills and makes it difficult to do simple tasks.
Some research and facts say that both men and women can be diagnosed with Parkinson’s, which doesn’t make it a one-sex disease. However, some studies say that it may affect men more than women seeing the statistics say 50% more men get diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
Another study shows that age is a factor in Parkinson’s diagnosis. Most people get diagnosed with Parkinson’s at higher ages like 60 or more. Although it's still possible that younger people might get diagnosed with the disease, it’s still pretty rare according to the stats. Young people with the disease have inherited it from their family tree, but it’s not always genetic-based.
Even though the list provided below are some of the symptoms you might face with Parkinson’s, they’re still not definite for everyone. Each person may suffer from some or all the symptoms below, and usually, they affect one side and get worse on that same side. These symptoms are:
Difficulty in Movement:
Some patients will feel some stiffness in their muscles and find it hard to practice simple movements like walking and getting up. These stiffnesses can be painful and might limit your motor skills. You won’t be able to do certain movements like you used to.
Difficulty in Speech and Writing:
Patients might suffer from difficulty in writing or even certain changes in their usual handwriting. They might start writing smaller letters than usual and have shaky handwriting because of loss of motor skills.
Others might also find it hard to speak. They might take their time to form proper sentences and might speak in a monotone with softer or quicker responsiveness.
Uncontrollable Shaking and Tremors:
People with Parkinson’s may notice uncontrollable shakes that start unnoticeable at a young age and increase as they grow. These tremors usually begin from the limb, hands, or finger, and you may start rubbing your fingers together unconsciously. Some of these hand tremors may act up when resting. You may find your hands shaking as you're comfortably sitting in your chair.
These shakes might also happen when performing tasks like picking up a glass of water to drink or writing a letter. Your hand will shake constantly which will end up with you spilling the glass or scribbling on the paper you’re writing.
This symptom usually is found in people suffering from Parkinson’s for a long time. It only happens after aging with Parkinson’s. In this case, patients won’t be able to perform certain tasks at their own pace. They are unintentionally moving at a slow pace and unable to speed up. They might drag their feet as they walk, take smaller steps when moving, and take time to pick up objects or do certain activities.
In this particular symptom, patients don’t realize their slow movement until someone points it out for them. In their mind, they think they are moving at a promising pace where actually they’re not. It’s very difficult to determine if you’re facing this kind of symptom since it’s unnoticeable by the patient.
Loss of Unconscious Movements and Balance:
Not every patient can suffer from this symptom; however, it’s still a possibility. This symptom includes losing balance while moving and might end up with the person falling down. They might also suffer from a lack of straight posture.
Furthermore, they will start forgetting how to do automatic actions like swinging their arms when walking, smiling, and blinking. These are all results of severe and long-term diagnoses of Parkinson’s disease.
These are the main symptoms that are found in most Parkinson’s patients. Although as mentioned before, they aren’t definite for every patient. Some may only suffer from one or more of these symptoms.
Other Uncommon Symptoms and Complications
Even though Parkinson’s may cause severe tremors and uncontrollable movement, it doesn’t only affect motor-related skills. People that have been suffering from this disease for a long time have developed other complications.
Depression and Mental Issues:
There’s no doubt that the moment a person is diagnosed with Parkinson’s, depression starts to kick in. Although the news of having this disease isn’t what triggers these mental and emotional changes. The disease itself affects the person’s emotions and might start feeling fear, anxiety, lack of motivation, and so on.
This can be treated with depression pills and other medications as they will help the person overcome some of the difficulties faced with this disease.
People may find it hard to fall asleep at night and might wake up during the night as well. They might also fall asleep during the day without intentionally doing so. They have no control over their sleep schedule and they can’t control their exhaustion. Some meditation might help in treating this symptom.
In the late stages of Parkinson’s disease, people could find it harder to chew on their food. Their muscles become weaker as they progress with the disease. This will also make it harder to chew and swallow. Moreover, saliva starts to accumulate in their mouth which leads to drooling because of their difficulty swallowing.
Difficulty in Thinking:
This symptom could be the reason behind the slow movement and the difficulty in speaking. As time passes, patients find it hard to remember things as they start to suffer from dementia and slowly lose their ability to think straight. Medication isn’t very effective in this case for it hasn’t proven yet to make it improve their thinking.
- Other Symptoms Include:
o Bladder problems
o Skin problems
o Blood pressure change
o Lacking Sense of Smell
o Energy loss
o Sexual Dysfunction
o Muscle pain
Don’t Lose Hope
Even though it still isn’t clear how a person can be diagnosed with Parkinson’s or how to prevent it, it’s still not the end of the world. There are many heroes and influencers that have prevailed over their disease and made the best of it.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to helping people suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. They are a well-educated and high certified team of professionals striving to find a cure for this disease whatever it takes. You can always seek help and shelter with this foundation sanctuary.
You can also control your tremors and uncontrollable shaking with our Steadi-One. It’s a glove gadget that uses a smart fluid that stiffens & works together with a counter-weight that moves in the opposite direction of your tremor. This technology will make things a bit easier!
You can become the best version of yourself even with a few setbacks in your life. Parkinson’s isn’t the end of the world; it just forces you to do things a little bit differently from now on. Stay strong and hang in there, you got this.