Your doctor has told you that you have Parkinson’s disease. This disease affects the brain and leads to (tremors) and problems with walking, movement, and coordination. Other symptoms or problems that appear over time include difficulty swallowing, constipation, and drooling.
Over time, symptoms get worse, and it becomes more difficult to take care of yourself.
Your doctor may place you on different medicines to treat your Parkinson’s disease and many of the problems that may come with the disease.
Exercise can help your muscles stay strong and help you keep your balance. It is good for your heart. It may also help you sleep better and have regular bowel movements. Pace yourself when you do activates that may be tiring or need a lot of concentration.
Keep tripping hazards out of your home.
Have good lighting. Put hand rails in the bathtub or shower and next to the toilet. Place a slip-proof mat in the bathtub or shower.
Re-organize the home so things are easier to reach. Keep a portable phone with you so you have it when you need it make or receive calls.
Your doctor or nurse can refer you to a physical therapist to help with:
If you have Parkinson’s disease you may trouble the constipation. Have a routine. Once you find a bowel routine that works, stick with it.
Also try drinking more fluids, staying active, and eating a diet with lots of fiber (fruits, vegetables, prunes, andcereals).
Ask your doctor about medicines you are taking that may cause constipation (such as some medicines for depression, pain, bladder control, and muscle spasms). Ask for stool softeners.
These general tips may help with swallowing problems:
Eat a healthy diet, and keep from becoming overweight.
Many patients with Parkinson’s disease feel sad or depressed at times. Talk to friends or family about this. Ask your doctor about seeing a professional to help you with these feelings.
Keep up to date with your vaccinations. Get a flu shot every year. Ask your doctor if you need a pneumonia shot.
Ask your doctor if it is safe to drive your car.
Call your doctor if you have:
The American Parkinson Disease Association - www.apdaparkinson.org
The National Parkinson Foundation - www.parkinson.org
Updated by: Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Gene Therapeutics Research Institute Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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