April is Parkison's Disease Month: Get to Know the Early Warning Signs

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April is one of the most pleasant months of the year. Winter has finally receded and the flowers are in bloom. Besides being the gateway to summer, April also serves as an annual reminder about a very serious disease - Parkinson's Disease.

One of the problems with Parkinson's Disease is that it can be tough to tell if you or a loved one has it. As a result, education is vitally important when it comes to identifying this disease. Below are the top ten early warning signs of Parkinson's Disease. It is important to note that having just one symptom is not an indicator that you or a loved one has the disease. If you or your loved one exhibit two or more signs, then you should schedule an appointment to speak with your physician.

#1 - Shaking or Tremors

One of the most common signs of Parkinson's Disease is the tell-take tremors it causes. Most commonly, the tremors affect the fingers, hands, lips, and/or the chin. Tremors can also be experienced in the legs. However, involuntary shaking or tremors are not always attributed to Parkinson's. In truth, body parts can shake for a variety of reasons, from post exercise muscle tremors to a reaction to medicine, but it is still important to mention any tremors you might be having to your doctor.

#2 - Loss of Smell

Patients with Parkinson's Disease often report experiencing a loss of smell. While a dulled sense of smell can actually due to a wide range of factors, such as a stuffy nose, a head cold, or the flu, should you experience a loss of smell during a time when you are not recovering from a cold or flu, then it is something to mention to your doctor at your next visit.

#3 - Trouble Sleeping

Sleep troubles can be caused by a wide variety of factors, but if you are experiencing very restless sleeps in which you thrash around or kick out in your sleep, then it might be an early sign of Parkinson's Disease. In some cases, the thrashing can become so animated that the sleeper winds up falling out of bed.

#4 - Shrinking Handwriting

People with Parkinson's Disease will often see a sudden change in their handwriting. More precisely, the writing becomes smaller with words more crowded together. But, shrinking handwriting alone does not mean you have the disease. It could be related to your eyesight, stiff fingers, and other problems. Talking with your doctor will help you determine the cause.

#5 - Difficulty Walking or Moving About

Most older adults naturally feel stiff in the morning, but most recover and get more limber as the day wears on. But, if your stiffness never leaves and you find it difficult to move about, then you need to speak with your doctor as it could be an early warning sign for Parkinson's.

#6 - A Change in Your Voice

Parkinson's Disease can sometimes affect how one talks. If someone tells you that your voice has become soft or low, or hoarse, and you are not recovering from a chest cold or the flu, then you should definitely mention it to your doctor.

#7 - Constipation

Constipation is another symptom of Parkinson's Disease that can be caused by a huge variety of other factors. It can be caused by everything from medication to poor diet to a lack of exercise. But, if you are having trouble moving your bowels and you have any of the other symptoms listed here, then you should definitely talk to your doctor about it.

#8 - Dizziness or Fainting

If you feel dizzy every time you stand up from the sitting position, or you faint easily, it can be caused by low blood pressure that is sometimes linked to Parkinson's Disease cases. If the dizziness only occurs on very rare instances, then it is probably normal, but if it happens often, then you should mention it to your doctor.

#9 - Wearing a Masked Expression

People who have Parkinson's will sometimes wear facial expressions that make them appear angry, serious, or depressed, even when they're in a good mood. This is called a "masked expression." If your friends or family are always asking you what's wrong based on your facial expression, and you're perfectly happy at the time, then you should mention it to your physician.

#10 - Hunching Over

Many people with Parkinson's Disease experience a change in their posture. They will often lean, stoop, or hunch over when they walk about. A hunched over appearance can also be attributed to injury, pain, or a bone problem, but if you don't have any of these problems and your family or friends have noted you having a hunched look, then it could be an early warning sign for Parkinson's.

Schedule a Visit to The Marshes' Retirement Homes in Savannah, GA

Parkinson's Disease is a serious condition, but with the right help and support, those who have it can still enjoy rewarding lives. At The Marshes of Skidaway Island, we have created a luxurious community where retirees can get the assistance they need in order to live healthier and more fruitful lifestyles.

Our retirement homes in Savannah are set on a resort-style campus where older adults can enjoy more active lifestyles and a premium quality of life at an affordable price. With on-site medical services, daily exercise programs, and other valuable assets, we can help those with Parkinson's Disease manage their lives more comfortably.

To learn more about The Marshes of Skidaway Island, or to schedule a visit to our retirement homes in Savannah, please call us today at 800-889-6238.