Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative illness, which is not considered fatal, but severely reduces longevity and the quality of life. Symptoms of the disease begin to progress quickly, especially in older patients. Within a decade the disease can go from mild to completely incapacitating, depending upon the patient, it could progress quicker. Mental and daily functions decline rapidly, leaving those who suffer from the illness, virtually helpless.
Parkinson’s disease is difficult to diagnose and there is no cure for the disease. There are only medications and methods to ease the symptoms for patients. Early detection is imperative to improving overall wellness and the wellbeing of Parkinson’s disease patients. Many early signs of the illness are often overlooked.
Below are a few other surprising facts about Parkinson’s that you may not know:
- IBS Symptoms – Parkinson’s affects nerves in the brain, which produce dopamine. Dopamine sends signals to the brain that affect the way the body moves and functions. Parkinson’s disease affects the digestive function of the body, causing constipation and diarrhea. Dopamine has a major affect on the way the entire body functions, often times slowing down the movement of bowels. Many Parkinson’s disease patients take medication to ease the symptoms of constipation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms.
- Speech Impairment – Speech is also one of the five senses that Parkinson’s disease attacks. Patients report degradation in their ability to communicate, with some saying that their voice pattern has completely changed. Some patients report that their voices have become hoarse or soft, requiring others to strain to hear them.
- Dizziness and Fainting – Parkinson’s changes the way you walk, speak, communicate, sleep and most importantly it affects your bodily functions. Parkinson’s patients report dizziness and fainting. Parkinson’s can affect the blood pressure in the body and cause patients to faint or feel dizzy.
- Loss of Smell – Did you know that a loss of smell is a warning symptom of Parkinson’s disease? If you experience trouble noticing the smell of certain pungent foods like dill pickles or onions, and the issue doesn’t improve, check with your doctor.
- High Rates of Depression, Psychosis and Suicide – Dopamine also affects the mood and energy of Parkinson’s patients. Parkinson’s disease may increase thoughts of suicide and depression in patients who are already slightly depressed. It is important for patients to visit their Psychiatrist or Therapist along with their other specialists, to help them with the mental and psychological effects of suffering from Parkinson’s disease.