Skip to Content

Parkinson Disease

AMBULATORY CARE:

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 Parkinson disease (PD) may progress and have a severe impact on your daily life, it is not a life-threatening disease. Symptoms often increase and get worse over time.

Common signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Tremors that go away when you move or sleep
  • Difficulty moving or getting up from a seated position
  • Difficulty with small movements, such as buttoning clothing or eating
  • Decreased blinking and facial emotion
  • Joint stiffness and jerky movements
  • Difficulty keeping balance when standing or changing positions
  • Shuffling or hunched position while walking
  • Difficulty speaking and writing

Seek care immediately 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.

Treatment for PD

may include medicines to improve movement problems, such as muscle stiffness, twitches, and restlessness. Your healthcare provider may give you an injection to help your muscles relax. Deep brain stimulation surgery may be done to help decrease tremors and rigidity.

Manage 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.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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.

Hide