Loss of taste or smell can occur over a period of time in Parkinson’s disease but it may be so gradual as to remain undetected in many patients. Some studies have shown that impaired sensation of smell may occur in a PD patient even long before the development of motor symptoms. Disorders of taste (gustatory) and smell (olfactory) may occur normally with advancing years but suffering from a neurodegenerative disorder such as Parkinson’s disease seems to increase chances of such disorders.
Surgery may be contemplated in a Parkinson’s disease patient either to control symptoms of the disease or for some cause unrelated to Parkinson’s disease, such as a hip replacement or prostate gland removal. The risks associated with surgery need to be analyzed so as to decide whether the benefits outweigh the risks and if surgery is justifiable in such patients. Considerations such as age of the patient, type of surgery, and the stage of Parkinson’s disease should be kept in mind before arriving at a decision.
The typical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease such as tremor, rigidity, slowness of movement, and postural instability may also occur in certain other conditions not related to Parkinson’s disease. These symptoms are grouped together under the term “Parkinsonism” and the conditions may be called “secondary Parkinsonism”.
Parkinson’s disease is difficult to diagnose in the early stages. The first signs and symptoms of the disease are so subtle that its often missed. Often an observant family member or friend will notice the beginning of the changes in a person, which may be so vague that it is often dismissed as occurring due to old age. Diagnosis is frequently missed in younger people since the first signs and symptoms, even when noticed earlier, may be attributed to other conditions instead of Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease, unless in the late stages, should not be a contraindication for traveling, provided adequate preparations are made in advance. Although it may be intimidating for a PD patient to consider traveling to distant unfamiliar places, certain basic considerations, if kept in mind, can make the trip comfortable, enjoyable, and problem-free.
This article is a continuation of the concepts discussed under the Complementary Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease and Natural Remedies for Parkinson’s Disease. Energy Therapies Energy therapies are based on the presumption of the existence of energy fields (universal life force) in and around the body. Treatment aims at balancing this energy by various means.
Natural remedies for Parkinson’s disease may vary from herbs to homeopathic remedies, nutritional substances and floral extracts. Many modern drugs have been sourced from plants and once the active ingredient was identified, it was synthetically manufactured in easy to acquire and convenient dosage forms like tablets and capsules. In the more traditional approach to health care, the naturally occurring ingredients are either used for its pharmacological action or based on alternative approaches to treating disease. Nutrition is a cornerstone of most complementary therapies for Parkinson’s disease but individual beliefs have varied according to regional and cultural differences.
When considering any type of alternative treatment for Parkinson’s disease, one very important point needs to be kept in mind – there is as yet no cure for Parkinson’s disease. The various treatment options available can only help to treat the symptoms of the disease and provide some degree of relief. Treatment by means other than conventional Western medicine (allopathic medicine) falls under the banner of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). These are considered as natural therapies. Many natural forms of treatment are based on ancient systems of healing as were practiced in India, China, Africa, Tibet, and the Americas.
Parkinson’s disease medicines can be expensive and the financial impact can be devastating in the long term, especially if health insurance is an issue. It is not uncommon for any chronic disease sufferer to seek alternate sources, especially if the more expensive branded medicine may be available at a cheaper rate. However, the possibility should be kept in mind that the drug obtained from such sources is cheaper because it is a counterfeit or fake. This could mean that it may not have all the necessary ingredients, the proportions may be wrong, or it may contain harmful substances. In spite of taking the drugs as prescribed by the doctor, the patient may have slow or no improvement at all or may even deteriorate drastically.
A range of sleeping problems are associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and unless they are recognized and tackled effectively, they can give rise to serious consequences. Sleep disorders can manifest as restless sleep, nightmares, vivid dreams, acting out dreams during sleep, and excessive daytime sleepiness. These sleep-related problems can affect the quality of life in PD patients, resulting in fatigue, poor attention, memory deficits, and predisposition to accidents.