According to the Parkinson's Foundation, here are 10 signs that either yourself or a loved one has the disease.
Poor sense of smell
Are there certain foods that you/a friend/family member/acquaintance haven't been able to smell very well? If you seem to be struggling to smell foods like dill pickles, licorice or bananas, you should visit your doctor and enquire about Parkinson's disease.
Are you or someone that you know experiencing a mild tremor or shaking in your thumb, hand, chin or finger? According to the Parkinson's foundation, a tremor experienced whilst at rest is common early indicator of Parkinson's disease.
What kind of shaking is normal? Shaking can be expected after taking part in a lot of physical activity, if you're injured or if you are under a significant amount of stress. It could also be a symptom of any medication you're on.
Dizziness or Fainting
When you rise up out of a chair do you or someone you know experience dizzy-ness? Fainting or feeling dizzy can be an indication of reduced blood pressure and it can be connected to Parkinson's disease (PD).
Normal sorts of dizziness? Everyone has those moments when they stand up and feel dizzy, getting out of a bath for instance, if it occurs on a regular basis though, you should probably go and visit your doctor.
Sudden movements while you are sleeping might be an indicator of Parkinson's disease.
Normal movements? It's relatively normal for everyone to have evenings when they toss and turn. Quick body movements when in initiation sleep or light sleep are also quite normal and not unheard of.
A change in handwriting could potentially be a sign of Parkinson's disease titled micrographia.
Normal handwriting? Writing style may naturally alter with age, if you have a poor eye sight or stiff fingers and hands.
Do you have a hard time moving your bowels without straining each day? Struggling to move your bowels could be an early indication of Parkinson's disease.
What's normal? If you're not getting enough fiber or water into your diet - this may cause difficulties in the bathroom. In addition, medicines, including those used to ease pain, will result consequentially in constipation. If you don't believe that any other factors including medicine or diet that are interfering with your bowel movements, then you should probably speak with a doctor.
Unable to move and walk properly
Does your arms, legs and body feel stiff? Has anyone else identified that your arms do not swing as they had done when you move? Stiffness disappears as you move sometimes, and if it doesn't, this may be an indication of Parkinson's disease.
What is normal? If you've recently hurt your shoulder or arm, you might not be able to use it as effectively until it is healed. Another illness such as arthritis may cause a similar symptom.
Anyone mentioned that you have a depressed, serious or angry appearance on your face, even when you feel just fine? Apparently this is what is called facial masking - and is one known symptom of Parkinson's disease.
What's normal? Quite a few medicines can cause this similar sort of staring or serious appearance, though you'd return to the way that you were after stopping the medication.
A Low or Soft Voice
Have you noticed that someone you know or your own voice is quite gentle or that it sounds quite hoarse? If your own or their voice has changed then you should visit a doctor to see if this is related to Parkinson's disease.
What's normal? A virus or chest cold might consequent in your voice sounding very different, but your voice should go back to the way it was before when your cold or cough passes.
Standing hunched over or stooping
Is your posture not as great as it used to be? If you or someone you know notices that you appear to be slouching, leaning or stooping, this might be an indication of Parkinson's disease.
What isn't unusual? Pain from sickness or injury can result in you standing crookedly. Problems with your bones can also cause you to hunch over.
What can you do if you spot Parkinson's Disease?
Create a plan with your doctor for staying healthy. This may include:
- Aid from an occupational therapist, speech therapist or physical therapist.
- Referrals to a doctor who specialises in the brain, an neurologist
- Speaking to a medical social worker about how Parkinson's will change your life
- Begin a frequent exercise program to put on hold any additional symptoms.
- Speak to friends and family to gain the love and support that you require.