Before we begin, it should be noted that Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and degenerative disorder that occurs in both men and women. The first symptoms of Parkinson’s are manifested in a gradual loss of the ability to control one’s own movements : this is one of the most frequent characteristics when detecting this disease.
How does Parkinson’s occur ? It begins when nerve cells in the substantia nigra of the midbrain, that is, the area of the brain that controls movement , is damaged or dies . It could also be a pathological inheritance .
Parkinson’s affects approximately 120,000 – 150,000 people in Spain. After Alzheimer’s, it is the second most detected neurodegenerative disease.
- 1 First symptoms of Parkinson’s in women
- 2 Prevention of Parkinson’s in women
- 3 Physical rehabilitation for Parkinson’s patients
- 4 Tips to improve your quality of life if you suffer from Parkinson’s
- 5 Important data
First symptoms of Parkinson’s in women
The first symptoms of Parkinson’s are progressive , that is, as the disease progresses over time, they become more common and, therefore, worsen.
Generally, it begins with a barely visible tremor in one hand : for example, the involuntary movement of one of the fingers. As mentioned at the beginning, tremors are one of the most common characteristics of the disease; however, it tends to cause decreased movement or stiffness .
In the early stages of Parkinson’s, you may also notice some mild or no expression on the face . Another symptom is that when you walk you do not notice that your arms swing . The manner of speaking can also change, becoming incomprehensible or soft .
But do not despair: although there is still no cure for Parkinson’s disease, with the right treatment these symptoms improve favorably . And even, on certain occasions, the doctor may suggest surgery to regulate certain areas of the brain and improve symptoms.
Typical initial picture in the first stage of Parkinson’s
In the first symptoms of Parkinson’s, there are usually joint pains , problems to carry out certain movements and fatigue . In addition to this, the calligraphy or way of writing tends to begin to change, becoming irregular and small.
Likewise, moods also tend to change suddenly: it is normal to feel irritated or sad, without apparent cause . These symptoms usually appear and last long before the development of the classic first symptoms of Parkinson’s.
80% of patients suffering from Parkinson’s begin to explore the first symptoms on only one side of the body, and little by little it becomes general.
Typical symptoms of Parkinson’s
Next, we delve into the characteristic symptoms of the pathology :
- Tremors : it is a rhythmic movement that occurs backwards and forwards.
- Rigidity : it is produced by the lack of muscular flexibility.
- Bradykinesia : is the loss of spontaneous movement, which leads to slow actions.
- Instability : The instability of the posture causes the patient to involuntarily lean forward or backward, causing falls as a consequence . Instability can also cause the patient to “planted” midway without being able to move.
- Depression : Like any chronic illness, Parkinson’s can make the patient feel depressed. However, antidepressants are effective in stopping such emotional changes with total success.
- Swallowing and chewing problems : this is due to the malfunction of the muscles; that is why it can be common for Parkinson’s patients to drool or choke easily due to the accumulation of saliva and food in the oral cavity.
- Diction : half of Parkinson’s patients have diction problems, that is, they tend to speak in a low voice, repeat words or can even speak very quickly.
- Urinary problems : due to muscle problems, some sufferers suffer from incontinence or difficulties in being able to urinate.
- Constipation : Because of the slowness of the intestinal and abdominal muscles, Parkinson’s patients often suffer from constipation; however, this is also due to unbalanced diets or little physical activity.
- Drowsiness and nightmares : this, generally, is another of the characteristics of the pathology, and is usually associated with medicated drugs.
- Zero expressiveness : the face loses expressiveness due to the lack of activity of the muscles of the face. In addition to this, Parkinson’s patients often find it difficult to close their mouths.
- Akinesia : it is a complete immobility of the body that can appear unexpectedly. It usually lasts from a few minutes to an hour.
- Weight gain or loss : Parkinson’s patients often lose, or gain weight, due to various causes, such as the same disease, diet, medications, surgeries, etc.
- Hyposmia : Hyposmia is the difficulty in being able to detect odors.
Prevention of Parkinson’s in women
So far, the causes of Parkinson’s disease are totally unknown and there is no method to prevent the disease.
Physical rehabilitation for Parkinson’s patients
It is extremely important that Parkinson’s patients have some physical activity on a daily basis . These exercises can be done individually or with assistance.
- Shoulders and Arms : Shrug your shoulders up and rest. Roll your shoulders in a forward and backward circle. Place your hands on the back of your neck and move your elbow back and forth. Try touching the back with your hands. Raise and lower your arms as much as possible.
- Hands : move the wrists simulating a circle to one side, and then to the other. Place your elbows on your abdomen, and the palms of your hand up, now close and open your hands.
- Neck : Sit in a chair with your back straight, now tilt your head until your chin touches your chest, then tilt your head back. Turn your head to your sides.
- Legs : get into a chair, and raise and lower your legs, pretending that you are walking.
- Feet : place the soles of your feet on the ground and raise and lower the balls of your feet. Now raise your heels and lower them hard.
Other exercises and / or therapies
- Tai Chi.
Tips to improve your quality of life if you suffer from Parkinson’s
For those patients with Parkinson’s, common activities can become somewhat difficult. That is why these tips must be taken into account to offer a better quality of life :
To avoid these bulky accidents, it is advisable to remove any obstacles, such as carpets or steps . A super practical tip is to install grips on the walls to make walking easier for the patient.
A person with Parkinson’s usually takes longer to eat than a person without it. So, to facilitate their activity, it is necessary to cut the food into small pieces, make purees and provide them with instruments such as cutlery or plastic spoons to make their use safer.
It is advisable to forget about buttons on clothing, and replace them with something more comfortable, such as elastic or zippers .
It is essential that you take into consideration that Parkinson’s disease affects both women and men equally . The development of this disease is much more related and it is more common for it to appear after 50 years of age , and the onset of its symptoms begin after the age of 60. However, it is estimated that 10% of patients who suffer from Parkinson’s are under 40 years of age.