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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Parkinson disease (PD) is a long-term movement disorder. The brain cells that control movement start to die and cause changes in how you move, feel, and act. Even though PD may progress and have a severe impact on your daily life, it is not a life-threatening disease.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You feel like hurting or killing yourself or others.
- You feel lightheaded, dizzy, or faint.
- You have chest pain or shortness of breath.
- You have weakness in an arm or leg.
- You become confused, or you have difficulty speaking.
- You have dizziness, a severe headache, or vision changes.
Contact your healthcare provider or neurologist if:
- You have a fever.
- You are not sleeping well or you sleep more than usual.
- You cannot eat or are eating more than usual.
- You feel that your condition is getting worse.
- You have new symptoms since your last appointment.
- Your sad feelings or thoughts change the way you function during the day.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Anti-Parkinson medicines are used to improve movement problems, such as muscle stiffness, twitches, and restlessness. Your healthcare provider may use several types of this medicine to help manage your symptoms.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider or neurologist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Manage your PD:
- Do not eat foods that are high in protein or dairy. They can cause problems with how some of your medicine works. Ask your healthcare provider how much protein and dairy is safe to eat. He may tell you to eat foods high in fiber to make it easier to have a bowel movement. Examples are cereals, beans, vegetables, and whole-grain breads. Ask if you need to be on a special diet.
- Do not drive unless your healthcare provider says it is okay.
- Exercise regularly. A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain. This may help you control your body movements, and keep your balance.
- Go to occupational therapy. An occupational therapist teaches you skills to help with your daily activities. Your occupational therapist may help you choose equipment to help you at home and work. He can also suggest ways to keep your home and workplace safe.
- Go to speech therapy. A speech therapist may work with you to help you improve your ability to talk or swallow.
- Go to counseling. A mental health counselor can help you talk about your feeling about PD. Your family may attend meetings to learn new ways to take better care of both you and themselves.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.