Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, lifelong nervous system disorder caused by the gradual breakdown or death of nerve cells in the brain. The condition predominantly affects motor function, causing muscle rigidity or inflexibility, tremors, slowed movement (bradykinesia), and loss of automatic movement. Given the progressive nature of Parkinson’s disease, its symptoms start mild and occur on one side of the body and worsen over time and gradually affect both sides.
Although Parkinson’s disease cannot be cured, medications, along with diet and exercise, can help to significantly improve its symptoms, slow the progression of the disease, and improve the overall quality of life.
Below are some tips to help you mitigate your symptoms, so you can focus on overall good health.
Tip #1 Know which foods to eat and which ones to avoid.
Some key ways to stay energized and healthy include a diet consisting of whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole-grain bread and cereals, beans and legumes, and lean protein. Certain nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, have also been found to offer some benefits to people with Parkinson’s disease.
High-protein foods, such as meat, eggs, fish, and cheese, can disrupt the absorption of some of your medications, such as carbidopa-levodopa. Avoid eating high-protein foods around the time you take your medications in order to maximize their effects.
Limit sugar intake, alcohol, and caffeine particularly before bedtime, as they interrupt sleep. Alcoholic beverages may not be advisable to mix with your medication so please check with your doctor regarding alcohol consumption.
Tip #2 Stay hydrated.
Parkinson’s disease also affects the nerves and muscles of the bladder and those lining the digestive tract, which explains why you may have been experiencing constipation and/or bladder problems. Experts recommend drinking warm liquids in the morning and consuming up to eight glasses of water a day.
Tip #3 Combine diet with exercise.
Regular exercise alongside a healthy diet can help to increase muscle strength, and improve mobility, flexibility, and balance. It can also help to enhance your sense of well-being and reduce depression and anxiety.
You don’t need to engage in strenuous exercise: simple walking, swimming, and jogging can go a long way toward tamping down your symptoms.
Your doctor will likely recommend that you work with a physical therapist, who can design an exercise program that works best for you
Parkinson’s Disease Treatment and Management in Sarasota and Bradenton, FL
At Intercoastal Medical Group, our board-certified neurologists work in tandem with our primary care physicians and physical therapists to provide the best treatment outcomes for Parkinson’s disease and other types of neurological conditions.
To see one of our neurologists, get a referral from your primary care physician. If you don’t have one yet, we’ll be happy to schedule an appointment for you with one of our PCPs. Simply contact us at our office near you or fill out this appointment request form.
Our internists accommodate patients at these locations: Lakewood Ranch I, Lakewood Ranch II, Hyde Park, Cattleridge Medical Building, Palmer Ranch I, and Palmer Ranch II. Our family medicine physicians accommodate patients at these offices: Lakewood Ranch I, Lakewood ranch II, Beneva Family Practice, Beneva Professional Center, Cattleridge Medical Building, Palmer Ranch I, and Palmer Ranch II.