Medically reviewed by Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Shera.
What does it feel like to shrink? To alienate yourself from your social circle because you no longer want to be seen? You are unable to move and when you do, you shake! Think what it feels like when tremors wake you up in the middle of the night, the muscular dystrophy makes it harder for you to smile, your speech becomes hesitant, and your handwriting incomprehensible taking hours for you to complete your everyday chores. Each day becomes a living challenge for the sufferers of Parkinson’s disease.
Coming to grips with the disease
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that particularly targets the motor functions of the body. The nerve cells in the brain fail to produce a chemical called dopamine which causes an abnormal brain activity resulting in the symptoms of PD.
The symptoms usually begin with a slight tremor or stiffness in the body and may progress to memory loss in its much later stages.
The disease takes most patients by surprise in their late 50s or even at a younger age. It takes over their body gradually like an uninvited guest.
Fighting back and taking control
While there is still no complete cure for Parkinson’s disease, there are few things that can help in slowing down its progression.
- Medication- Prescription drugs are the first line of treatment for this disease.
- A healthy outside starts from inside- A good nutrition is essential for the wellbeing of people with Parkinson’s. Foods that fight inflammation such as; fruits, nuts, leafy greens, fish and olive oil are definitely the saviors!
- Exercise is the key- Regular stretching and exercise has proven to reduce symptoms. It helps to keep the muscles strong. It improves flexibility, mobility as well as balance. Exercise also keeps diabetes and heart diseases at bay. You definitely do not want an added illness to make your life any worse.
- Simplify your task- With Parkinson’s, your life cannot be just the same. It’s only better to embrace the change it brings. Do not try to do things like you always used to do. It’s okay to take your time even to do your everyday tasks and you should never give up on the will power to do it yourself.
- Do not put your social life to a halt- You have every right to be happy like any other being on this planet. Continue to meet your friends and do activities that you love to enjoy. This will not only keep you energetic but also keeps you away from falling prey to depressive thoughts.
- Give yourself periods of rest – Do not overwork yourself, instead take short breaks while doing hectic work.
- Speech Therapy– if you’re struggling with your speech due to the disease, seek therapy to regain control over your words.
The takeaway message from this blog is that Parkinson’s Disease is indeed a challenging diseases. You might never be able to defeat it, but you shouldn’t stop fighting it!
Guest Post Credit: Dr. Tooba Irfan