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Parkinson's Disease, Ambulatory Care

Parkinson disease

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 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 immediate care for the following symptoms:

  • Feeling that you may hurt or kill yourself or others
  • Feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or faint
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath
  • Weakness in an arm or leg
  • Confusion or difficulty speaking
  • Dizziness, a severe headache, or vision changes

Treatment for Parkinson disease

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 Parkinson disease:

  • Avoid foods 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 talk or swallow.
  • Go to counseling. A mental health counselor will listen and teach you new ways to act towards things that bother you. 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.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

© 2015 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.

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