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Is it Parkinson’s disease? 10 signs to look out for.

There are currently over 10 million people worldwide living with Parkinson’s disease (PD), which makes it the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer’s disease. The good news, however, is that PD can be treated and managed with proper care, so it isn’t necessary to resign yourself to a decline in your quality of life as you grow older. Here are 10 signs that could mean you have Parkinson’s disease—and when it comes time to schedule an appointment with your doctor, these points will help you make the case to do so sooner rather than later.

1) A strange feeling in your arm

It can be hard to tell if you or a loved one has Parkinson’s disease (PD). Below are 10 signs that you might have the disease. No single one of these signs means that you should worry, but if you have more than one sign you should consider making an appointment to talk to your doctor
One common symptom of Parkinson’s is trouble with your arm.

2) Loss of smell

Some people with PD lose their sense of smell over time, but not everyone loses the ability to smell. For some people, their sense of smell gets worse with age or after they eat certain foods, like red onions. If you notice that food tastes bland or you can’t taste things as well as you used to, it could be a sign that your sense of smell is declining and you may want to get a medical evaluation.

3) Problems walking, cold hands and feet

Cold hands and feet can be a sign of PD and mean that the person is experiencing cold extremities in the absence of cold weather or illness. People with this symptom might experience numbness, tingling, burning sensations, or cramping in their fingers, toes, hands, or feet. Other symptoms include tremors, stiffness, problems with coordination and balance (especially while walking), and difficulty swallowing food. These symptoms could also point to other disorders like Lewy body dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides more information on these topics here

4) Memory loss, trouble concentrating, and depression

Memory loss, trouble concentrating, and depression are three of the most common symptoms that people with PD experience. These symptoms may be the first warning sign of the disease and can occur even in those who don’t have any other PD symptoms at the time, such as a tremor or difficulty moving. Memory loss can range from mild forgetfulness to severe dementia, where people cannot remember recent events or learn new information anymore.

5) A funny turn in your handwriting

What kind of ink do you use and what color should I use when writing on a whiteboard or chalkboard?
The best type of pen to write on a chalkboard is an erasable marker, which has a tip that can be easily rubbed off with your hand or by using one of the blackboard erasers that are usually kept nearby. When using a whiteboard, dry-erase markers are ideal because they erase cleanly without any messy smearing. Ask someone at your local art supply store to recommend the best type of pen for the board surface you’ll be writing on before you purchase one.

6) Strange symptoms with no known cause

A few months ago, I started getting these strange, but not uncommon symptoms– a stiff neck and pain in my back and hips. My doctor said that those were all just a consequence of aging. But then one night the pain got so bad that I couldn’t sleep on either side or my stomach, so I went to the emergency room.

7) Headaches and neck pain

No single one of these signs means that you should worry, but if you have more than one sign you should consider making an appointment to talk to your doctor. Neck pain can be a result of postural strain and the repetitive movements associated with PD like turning the head, nodding yes or no, or even chewing food can cause neck pain.

8) Sensitivity to medication/ drugs

It can be hard to tell if you or a loved one has Parkinson’s disease (PD). Below are 10 signs that you might have the disease. No single one of these signs means that you should worry, but if you have more than one sign you should consider making an appointment to talk to your doctor
Parkinson’s is caused by the loss of neurons in the brain that produce dopamine, which regulates muscle control and coordination. Dopamine also affects mood, sleep, and some aspects of memory.

9) Painful joints and stiffness in arms/ legs/ fingers and toes

If you or a loved one experiences painful joints and stiffness in arms/ legs/ fingers and toes, this could be a sign of PD. In addition, experiencing tremors while at rest or while performing repetitive tasks may also be a sign that there is something wrong with the brain. If you experience both symptoms at the same time, contact your doctor as soon as possible to schedule an appointment before any long-term damage occurs!

10) Other problems that don’t go away

It is not uncommon for people with PD to have problems that don’t go away, like constipation and falls. If you have had these problems for more than three months, ask your doctor about them and make sure they are followed up on. Constipation can be caused by a number of things including medications, so if this problem doesn’t get better after trying different medications or adding fiber to the diet then talk to your doctor. Falls can happen because of medication side effects such as dizziness or lack of coordination so if you have been falling a lot lately then let your doctor know.

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