April Is Parkinson's Awareness Month: Are You at Risk?

Did you know that more than 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s disease?

Did you know that more than 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s disease? The real number may be even higher because many people in the early stages of Parkinson’s mistake their symptoms, such as hand tremors and a shuffling walk, for normal signs of aging and don’t see a doctor.

Parkinson’s Disease Risk Factors

  • Age. The risk of developing Parkinson’s increases as you get older. People usually develop symptoms around age 60.
  • Heredity. Certain genetic mutations are known to cause Parkinson’s. If you have one or more close relatives with Parkinson’s, your risk of developing the disease increases.
  • Sex. Men are more likely to experience Parkinson’s than women.
  • Exposure to toxic substances. Long-term exposure to certain toxins, including herbicides and pesticides, may increase your risk.

Managing Parkinson’s Disease

There is no cure for Parkinson’s, but treatments include medications and deep brain stimulation. If you are diagnosed with it, the following lifestyle changes can help you manage the disease and slow its progress:

  • Exercise Regularly. Marilyn Moffat, a physical therapist on the faculty at New York University, told the New York Times, “The earlier people begin exercising after a Parkinson’s diagnosis, and the higher the intensity of exercise they achieve, the better they are.”
  • Practice Tai Chi. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, regular tai chi practice appears to improve balance and reduce falls in patients with mild-to-moderate Parkinson’s.
  • Eat Healthy Food. The Mayo Clinic recommends a balanced diet that is high fiber and provides beneficial nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Adapt Your Home. Johns Hopkins shares tips for modifying your home to make it as safe as possible for someone living with Parkinson’s.

If you or a loved one experience symptoms of Parkinson’s, talk to an expert health advisor. It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis in order to treat and manage the disease. Better Health Advisors specializes in Parkinson’s. We have numerous clients with the disorder and work closely with top neurologists to incorporate Parkinson’s treatment into a healthy lifestyle.

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