Close-up of elderly man's hands showing symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

Essential Insights for Living with Parkinson's Disease

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Parkinson's disease is a severe neurodegenerative condition that mostly affects the substantia nigra, a region of the brain that produces dopamine. Like with any other health condition, patients are often asking themselves what steps they can take to keep it from getting worse. It raises the question of what worsens Parkinson's disease. Join us for this quick read to discover more.


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Causes of Parkinson’s Disease:

To this day, researchers and healthcare professionals haven’t found a specific set of causes for Parkinson’s, but it’s generally believed that it’s a combination of genetic and environmental factors. What we know for sure so far is that the severe loss of nerve cells in the substantia nigra is definitely a contributing factor. The more nerve cells you lose, the less dopamine you have, and this reduction in dopamine is the main reason for many of the symptoms of PD, especially motor symptoms because dopamine is mostly in charge of regulating motor functions.


What Triggers Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's disease symptoms vary from person to person and get worse with time. However, a number of variables can intensify Parkinson's disease symptoms and worsen the condition far more quickly than it would otherwise. Let's examine a few of them in more detail now.

Medication Issues:

Parkinson's disease treatments might have varying effects depending on when and how much is taken. If you're not being precise with your medications' timing and dosage, your symptoms can start getting out of hand. This is known as the medication's off period where it completely wears off, causing your symptoms to return. Additionally, taking too much of the medication can cause uncontrollable body movement.

It's also important to note that certain Parkinson's disease medications can worsen your symptoms as a side effect, or cause new ones. Therefore, it's important to work closely with a healthcare professional to understand what worsens Parkinson's disease for your particular case, and to create a treatment plan that will actually work.

Parkinson Disease and Stress:

Stress, anxiety, and other types of emotional and mental distress can directly and negatively impact the severity of your symptoms, due to the chemicals they release in the brain that tend to specifically aggravate the motor symptoms of the disease. Moreover, overwhelming stress can increase your muscles' tension leading to stiffness, which can be a serious obstruction holding you back from performing your daily tasks. So, if you're asking yourself "Does stress affect Parkinson's?" The answer is definitely. Therefore, try to incorporate stress-reducing activities into your daily routine. Activities like meditation, yoga, and physical exercises can play a major role in managing your stress levels.

Environmental Factors:

The environment you live in plays a role in determining the severity of your symptoms. For instance, excessively high temperatures can affect your body's motor functions and overall balance, as well as cause dehydration and fatigue. Therefore, it's important to stay hydrated and to keep yourself in cool environments to minimize the heat's impact on your symptoms.


What are The Treatment Options?

As a complicated neurological condition, the process of treating PD often involves a team of healthcare professionals, all of whom cooperate to find the best treatment plan for your particular case and conditions. While this treatment plan wouldn't cure PD, it would offer you a better quality of life, as well as manage the symptoms for slower disease progression. Let's go through some of the treatment options that you can choose from.


  1. Levodopa: Levodopa is usually the most commonly used medication for reversing PD's motor symptoms due to its high efficiency in converting it into dopamine to replace the amount you've lost. It is usually used in conjunction with other medications like carbidopa (Sinemet) to prevent it from converting into dopamine outside the brain, which is the intended area. One common question about this medication is “Can Levodopa make Parkinson's worse?” and the answer is yes because too much of it can trigger dyskinesia and worsen the currently existing symptoms.
  2. Dopamine Agonists: Similar to Levodopa, dopamine agonists mimic the action of dopamine in your brain to reduce the intensity of the motor symptoms. The only difference is that dopamine agonists are less potent so they're usually used in the early stages of the disease. It can also be used together with Levodopa for a stronger effect that could be helpful in advanced stages.

Physical and Occupational Therapy:

Physical therapy is highly beneficial for PD patients because of its role in improving balance and mobility. Therapeutic physical exercises can relieve you from muscle stiffness and allow your body to move more freely by providing the required flexibility. Moreover, these sessions will help you build a better understanding of what triggers Parkinson's disease. On the other hand, occupational therapy focuses on teaching patients how to be more independent throughout their daily lives by teaching them adaptive strategies and introducing them to assistive gadgets and home adjustments that make the environment around them easier to deal with.

Speech and Swallowing Therapy:

Some patients go through communication and eating difficulties due to the lack of control over their motor functions. This makes things like speaking and swallowing a bit challenging for PD patients. Speech and swallowing therapy is employed to strengthen the muscles you use to perform those specific tasks through a variety of techniques and exercises. After a while, you'll start noticing that you're gaining back control over those muscles.


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Lifestyle and Supportive Therapies:

  1. Regular Exercise: Regular daily physical activities can have a remarkable positive impact on your body's balance and mobility, as well as reducing stiffness and improving overall quality of life. Try to practice things like walking, swimming, or cycling for as much as you can every day.
  2. Nutritional Therapy: Consult with a nutritionist to create a healthy and balanced diet that will aid in improving your muscles' strength, neurofunctions, and overall health. This diet could include whole grains, lean meats, and fruits and vegetables. A suitable diet is especially important for its role in managing side effects, weight loss, and constipation.
  3. Support Groups and Counseling: Participating in support groups can reduce a patient's feelings of loneliness when they see other people around them going through the same hardships. This opens the door to learning from other people's experiences and how they're coping with the disease. 

Surgical Treatments:

  1. Deep Brain Stimulation: This surgical procedure involves implanting a device that produces an electric current that can stimulate the brain and help to reduce the severity of the symptoms. This solution is usually recommended for people who are no longer responding to medication or any other form of treatment.
  2. Duopa Pump: In this process, the gel form of Levodopa, called Duopa, is continuously pumped into the small intestine with a pump. When taken continuously, this medicine can help patients with severe Parkinson's disease manage their symptoms better and experience fewer motor fluctuations.


Let’s go through some of the most commonly asked questions about today’s topic.

What Time of Day are Parkinson's Symptoms Worse?

Many people with Parkinson's disease experience varying degrees of symptom severity throughout the day, however, some symptoms can occasionally seem more noticeable than others. Let's discover exactly when.

  1. Morning: Many PD patients experience a phenomenon called "morning stiffness" when they wake up. Hence the name, morning stiffness means that patients tend to have worse motor symptoms in the morning, which makes it challenging to get out of bed and perform daily activities. This stiffness can improve over the course of the day as medications take effect.
  2. Evening: It's common for Parkinson's disease patients to feel worse in the evenings or at night. This could be because of exhaustion, elevated stress levels, or the day-long accumulation of Parkinson's symptoms. Furthermore, symptoms may intensify in the evening before the next dose is taken as drug doses wear off.

How to Prevent Parkinson's Disease?

Unfortunately, since we don’t even know what causes the disease in the first place, there aren’t any proven methods of prevention. The best you can do is to keep a healthy life away from emotional and mental stress, incorporate a healthy diet, and do more physical exercises. And of course, do regular checkups to always be one step ahead of any potential danger.

Do Parkinson's Tremors Stop When Sleeping?

During sleep, many PD patients notice a dramatic decrease in their motion-related symptoms. This is commonly known as the "sleep benefit" or the "sleep effect." What happens is, during your sleep cycle, Brain activity and neurotransmitter levels tend to fluctuate, especially dopamine, the neurotransmitter that is most impacted in Parkinson's disease. It is thought that the repair and stabilization of dopamine levels in the brain throughout the sleep cycle is responsible for the decrease in tremors during sleep. 

Which is Worse Parkinson's or Alzheimer's?

Comparing Parkinson's to Alzheimer's is very difficult in terms of severity or in terms of which one is "worse" than the other. Both diseases are severe neurological conditions that completely alter patients' way of life for the worse. The main difference is that PD mainly affects motor functions, while AD can cause cognitive impairment resulting in memory loss and behavioral and communication changes and difficulties. Though AD often has a more substantial and quick impact on cognitive and functional abilities, both diseases have a significant impact on individuals' lives and their families.


Discover Our Steadi-Tow Solution:

Managing Parkinson's symptoms is quite a challenge, especially when it comes to the tremors. Fortunately, our Steadi-Tow glove perfectly and remarkably handles the situation for you.

The Steadi-Two glove absorbs your tremors, making them disappear in an instant. This makes it much easier for you to go about your day without having to worry about your symptoms getting in your way.


In Conclusion:

Coping with Parkinson’s disease is quite a challenge, and despite that, there are many methods, devices, gadgets, organizations, and clinics that offer you a lot of help to get by and overcome your symptoms. The most important thing is to know what worsens Parkinson's disease and avoid it while adhering to your doctor’s orders.


Learn more about the Steadi-Two- a revolutionary glove designed to reduce hand tremors.

Learn More


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