EPILEPSY BUSTING THE MYTHS, BEATING THE STIGMAMay 17, 2021
What is Parkinson’s disease (PD)?
- PD is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement.
- Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder alsocommonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement.
What are the sign & symptoms in PD?
- Tremor: A tremor, or shaking, usually begins in a limb, often your hand or fingers. You may rub your thumb and forefinger back and forth, known as a pill-rolling tremor. Your hand may tremble when it’s at rest.
- Slowed movement (bradykinesia): Over time, Parkinson’s disease may slow your movement, making simple tasks difficult and time-consuming. Your steps may become shorter when you walk. It may be difficult to get out of a chair. You may drag your feet as you try to walk.
- Rigid muscles: Muscle stiffness may occur in any part of your body. The stiff muscles can be painful and limit your range of motion.
- Impaired posture and balance: Your posture may become stooped, or you may have balance problems as a result of Parkinson’s disease.
- Loss of automatic movements: You may have a decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, including blinking, smiling or swinging your arms when you walk.
- Speech changes: You may speak softly, quickly, slur or hesitate before talking. Your speech may be more of a monotone rather than have the usual inflections.
- Writing changes: It may become hard to write, and your writing may appear small.
How to manage daily routine activities in PD?
- House floor should be stable with non-skid surfaces. Use smooth carpet & rugs to create a safe walking surface & prevent fall.
- Use bed poll to help with rolling & getting up, install grab bar near the toilet, tub and shower.
- Store commonly used items in easily accessible drawers to avoid the need to reach or bend over to find them.
- Place items used for cooking such as spices, pots and pan near to stove, to avoid reaching over to stove and which may cause burn.
- Sit down while dressing. Choose a chair with firm support & arm. Sitting on edges of bed to dress can lead to loss of balance & fall.
What are the ways to handle emotional well-being in PD
- Take a deep look at the positive aspects-family, friends or a new or favorite hobby-of your life and nurture them.
- Build a network. Have people to emotionally support you and those who can help with basic needs, such as transportation, meal preparation etc.
- Healthy behaviors, including attention to diet and regular moderate exercise can improve emotional well-being.
- Having a pet dog or cat may improve your emotional health.
- Massage therapy can reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation.
What are the tips to manage diet in PD patients?
- Avoid “fad” diets.
- Choosing a diet with plenty of grain products, vegetables and fruits, which provide proteins, vitamins, minerals, fibre and complex carbohydrates will help to maintain good health.
- Limit sugar intake as they have too many calories and too few nutrients. Reduce salt and sodium intake to help decrease the risk of high blood pressure.
- Incorporating foods high in antioxidants into diet may help to improve overall brain health.
- Choosing a diet low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol may help to reduce risk of heart disease and help to maintain a healthy weight.
- Drinking enough water and eating fibre-rich foods may ease digestive difficulties and constipation.
How Patient can improve & maintain a speech?
- Speak slowly
- Look at the person while you are talking
- Use short phrases. Say one or two words or syllables per breath.
- Over-articulate your speech by prolonging the vowels and exaggerating the consonants.
- Choose a comfortable posture and position that provide support during long and stressful conversations.
- Plan periods of vocal rest before planned conversations or phone calls.