Parkinson's disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Symptoms start gradually, sometimes starting with a barely noticeable tremor in just one hand. Tremors are common, but the disorder also commonly causes stiffness or slowing of movement. In the early stages of Parkinson's disease, your face may show little or no expression. Your arms may not swing when you walk. Your speech may become soft or slurred. Parkinson's disease symptoms worsen as your condition progresses over time. Parkinson's disease signs and symptoms can be different for everyone. Early signs may be mild and go unnoticed. Symptoms often begin on one side of your body and usually remain worse on that side, even after symptoms begin to affect both sides. In Parkinson's disease, certain nerve cells (neurons) in the brain gradually break down or die. Many of the symptoms are due to a loss of neurons that produce a chemical messenger in your brain called dopamine. When dopamine levels decrease, it causes abnormal brain activity, leading to symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
Parkinson's signs and symptoms may include:
Tremor. A tremor, or shaking, usually begins in a limb, often your hand or fingers. You may a rub your thumb and forefinger back-and-forth, known as a pill-rolling tremor. Your hand may tremor when it's at rest.
Slowed movement. Over time, Parkinson's disease may slow your movement, making simple tasks difficult and time-consuming. Your steps may become shorter when you walk. It may be difficult to get out of a chair. You may drag your feet as you try to walk.
Rigid muscles. Muscle stiffness may occur in any part of your body. The stiff muscles can be painful and limit your range of motion.
Impaired posture and balance. Your posture may become stooped, or you may have balance problems as a result of Parkinson's disease.
Loss of automatic movements. You may have a decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, including blinking, smiling or swinging your arms when you walk.
Speech changes. You may speak softly, quickly, slur or hesitate before talking. Your speech may be more of a monotone rather than with the usual inflections.
Writing changes. It may become hard to write, and your writing may appear small.
• Avoid exposure to chemicals, pesticides, and potentially harmful fumes, such as those from ink toners and paint. • Rule out, or confirm and treat gut issues such as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). • Practice good sleep habits; get between 8-9 hours of sleep each night. • Engage in mental exercise by consistently learning new skills and information. • Manage stress and obligations; build positive relationships; practice clear communication, cooperation and forgiveness. • Engage in gentle exercises such as Tai Chi, stretching and yoga.
Dietary Tips and Caveats:
• Avoid or limit caffeine, alcohol, and other potentially neurotoxic compounds such as aspartame and MSG. • Avoid pesticides, herbicides and chemicals by eating organic fruits and vegetables. • Avoid high carbohydrate meals, especially those with gluten-containing grains. • Eat lean, organic, hormone-free protein such as chicken, turkey, lean beef, fish (especially salmon and sardines), eggs and whey protein (if no sensitivities). • Eat 5-9 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily , adequate amounts of daily fiber. • Increase intake of omega-3 fatty acids (i.e., large cold water fish, flaxseed, walnuts and pumpkin seeds); avoid trans fatty acids (hydrogenated margarine, shortenings and vegetable oils). Cook with olive oil, coconut oil, or macadamia nut oil at low heat. • Drink at least 64 ounces of filtered, bottled or non-chlorinated, distilled water every day. In addition, drink 2-3 cups of green tea daily (naturally decaffeinated).
Neurofeedback and Parkinson's Disease
Researchers claim very promising effects of Neurofeedback training for patients with PD. It is not a cure and it will not stop the progression of disease. However Neurofeedback does have a potential to reduce the symptoms of PD especially in early stages.Neurofeedback can improve static and dynamic balance significantly. It also may offer the possibility to reduce dependence on medications and improve quality of life.
Chiropractic Care and Parkinson's Disease
Chiropractic treatments can help Parkinson's disease by correcting the spinal misalignments caused by trauma and removing compression of the brainstem and surrounding nerves. After nerve irritation has been removed, proper communication between the brain and spinal cord and the surrounding nerves is restored. Although the treatments don’t actually slow the progression of a disease like Parkinson’s, patients can find reprieve from their symptoms and live an overall better quality of life.