Parkinson's disease is a movement disorder that progresses slowly. Some people will first notice a sense of weakness, difficulty walking, and stiff muscles. Others may notice a tremor of the head or hands. Parkinson's is a progressive disorder and the symptoms gradually worsen. The general symptoms of Parkinson's disease include:
Slowness of voluntary movements, especially in the initiation of such movements as walking or rolling over in bed
Decreased facial expression, monotonous speech, and decreased eye blinking
A shuffling gait with poor arm swing and stooped posture
Unsteady balance; difficulty rising from a sitting position
Continuous "pill-rolling" motion of the thumb and forefinger
Abnormal tone or stiffness in the trunk and extremities
Swallowing problems in later stages
Lightheadedness or fainting when standing (orthostatic hypotension)
Since you've recently been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, ask your doctor these questions at your next visit.
1. What stage is my illness in now?
2. How quickly do you think my disease will progress?
3. How will Parkinson's disease affect my work?
4. What physical changes can I expect? Will I be able to keep up the activities, hobbies, and sports I do now?
5. What treatments do you suggest now? Will that change as the disease progresses?
6. What are the side effects of medication?...
You suspect Parkinson's disease might be at the root of any of the symptoms listed above. In the disease's early stages, drugs can be very beneficial. There are many ways to help a person with Parkinson's disease.