Parkinson’s: The lifestyle decision that ‘can be as important as medication’ – symptoms

Parkinson’s: The lifestyle decision that ‘can be as important as medication’ – symptoms

Philip Tindall says he 'tried to ignore' his Parkinson's

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People with Parkinson’s do not have enough of the chemical dopamine because some of the nerve cells that make it have died.

“Exercise can be as important as your medication to help you take control and manage your symptoms,” according to Parkinson’s UK charity.

With Parkinson’s, the best exercise to do depends on the way it affects you.

If you’re newly diagnosed then it’s best to focus on vigorous exercise like running, gym sessions and cycling, according to Parkinson’s UK.

Indeed, many people in the early stages of Parkinson’s tend to be just as physically fit as healthy individuals of the same age.

If your symptoms are more complex, focus on everyday movements. For example, practising getting up from a chair.

Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world, and in the UK around 145,000 people live with it.

Regular exercise is particularly important in helping relieve muscle stiffness, improving your mood and relieving stress.

If you have any underlying health conditions such as heart problems, breathing problems, diabetes or joint problems, you should contact your GP before starting any new exercises.

To help manage the symptoms of the condition, be sure your exercise program includes “a few key ingredients”, state the Parkinson’s Foundation.

These should include aerobic activity, strength training, balance, agility and multitasking and flexibility.

The organisation adds: “There is no “exercise prescription” that is right for every person” and the type of exercise you do depends on your symptoms and challenges.

“More active people can build up to regular, vigorous activity. Many approaches work well to help maintain and improve mobility, flexibility and balance to ease non-motor PD symptoms such as depression or constipation.”

Started in 2009, the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project is the largest-ever clinical study of Parkinson’s disease with more than 13,000 participants in five countries.

It found that increasing physical activity to at least 2.5 hours a week can slow decline in quality of life.

A person with Parkinson’s disease can experience a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms.

Not all individuals with the disease show every symptom.

The three main symptoms of Parkinson’s include tremors, slow movement, and having stiff muscles.

Another common sign of the condition is losing your sense of smell, which is also known as anosmia.

The NHS states: “See a GP if you’re concerned that you may have symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

“They’ll ask about the problems you’re experiencing and may refer you to a specialist for further tests.”

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