Parkinson’s Awareness Month
April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month and the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF) provides a host of resources you can take advantage of to help raise awareness for Parkinson’s in your own community. From social media badges and hashtags to green tree ribbons, they are full of ideas and tools you can use to raise awareness for Parkinson’s.
The PDF is promoting the hashtag #EndParkinsons to help raise awareness for the disease during the month of April. You can use the hashtag and see what other people are posting under that hashtag to help bring awareness of Parkinson’s to your community.
Better yet, you can familiarize yourself with some of the early warning signs of Parkinson’s There’s no cure yet, but the earlier you identify it, the better your chances for being able to minimize some of the damage it causes and help maintain your health and independence as long as possible.
Shaking or twitching can sometimes be experienced after exercise, an injury, or can be caused by certain types of medication. But if none of these are the cause of your tremors, and it happens repeatedly, you might want to talk to your doctor.
Our handwriting can change as we get older, either as a result of stiff limbs and/or poor eyesight, but if you notice your handwriting has suddenly gotten much smaller and/or words are closer together, it might be a sign of a deeper problem and you should consider consulting your doctor.
Trouble Sleeping Or Holding Still
We all have the occasional night when we can’t fall asleep and spend the night tossing and turning. That’s normal, but what’s not normal is falling out of bed while asleep or kicking/thrashing while asleep. If your partner notices a sudden increase in your activity when your asleep, or even wants to move to another bed because of your constant movement, it may be an early sign of Parkinson’s.
Many of us experience stiffness as we age, especially after long periods of sitting or lying still. But if you still feel stiff while/after moving for a few minutes, you might have a problem. Some people in the early stages of Parkinson’s have reported feeling like their feet are “stuck to the floor,” their arms don’t swing back and forth when they walk, and other people telling them they look stiff.
Everyone has the occasional bowel movement that gives them trouble, but if you notice you’re consistently straining every time you go the restroom, you should probably consult your physician.
A change in how you speak can also be a sign of Parkinson’s. If your friends and family notice that you suddenly sound hoarse or that you’re speaking softly, even if you think you’re speaking normally, it might be time to see your doctor.
People in the early stages of Parkinson’s might look serious, depressed, or even angry, even when they’re not in bad mood. It’s known as masking and it might come along with staring off into space and/or going for long periods without blinking.
Having one or two of these symptoms might not necessarily mean you have Parkinson’s, but if you’re experiencing two or more symptoms, they could be warning signs, especially if they come on suddenly and don’t appear to have any outward causes.
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