Parkinson’s Disease is a serious condition that affects many parts of the body, particularly those involved in controlling movement. There are many things that can cause Parkinson’s Disease – some we cannot prevent – but there are some early warning signs that experts like Joon Faii Ong say we can watch out for and take steps to reduce our chances of developing it or slow it down if we do develop it.
The earlier a diagnosis is made, the easier it is to manage and the better the outcome. So here are ten signs you should be aware could be signs of the early onset of Parkinson’s Disease:
One of the most common early signs of Parkinson’s Disease is tremors. These can start in one hand, arm or leg, but often spread to other parts of the body. The tremors may be mild at first but can become more severe over time.
Another early sign that could be indicative of Parkinson’s Disease is loss or lack of smell. There are very few conditions, including Parkinson’s Disease, where this symptom occurs alone. However, it can be a tip-off to your doctor if other symptoms are present.
One of the first things that doctors look out for is a mild loss of balance. Often this may occur as a result of other symptoms such as tremors reducing stability and affecting gait (the way we walk).
Frequent urinary infections can be a warning sign of Parkinson’s Disease – particularly if they develop suddenly or early in life. For some reason, men seem to be more likely to suffer from urinary infections early on as a result of Parkinson’s Disease – although the reason for this is not known.
Many people diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease experience joint discomfort and stiffness as their disease progresses. This may only affect one or two joints in the early stages, but it can spread to other parts of the body over time.
In some cases, difficulty swallowing can be an early sign of Parkinson’s Disease. This is due to problems with muscles used for swallowing (the pharynx and larynx) becoming weaker.
Dementia is a common condition that can occur alongside Parkinson’s Disease. It can be mild or severe and can cause thinking, memory, and reasoning problems.
Depression is also common in people with Parkinson’s Disease. It can be caused by the disease itself or by medications used to treat Parkinson’s Disease. There is no clear reason why depression and Parkinson’s go together, but it is common enough that doctors need to know if you experience any mood or emotional changes when diagnosing and monitoring Parkinson’s Disease.
Finally, sleep problems are a common early sign of Parkinson’s Disease. People with Parkinson’s Disease may find it difficult to fall asleep, or they may wake up frequently during the night. They may also experience excessive daytime sleepiness.
Fatigue is a common symptom of many illnesses, and it can be one of the first signs of Parkinson’s Disease. People with Parkinson’s Disease may feel very tired, even after a good night’s sleep.
If you experience any of these early warning signs of Parkinson’s Disease, it is important to see your doctor for an evaluation. There may be nothing wrong, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. Many people with Parkinson’s Disease can lead full and active lives with early diagnosis and treatment.
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