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Living with Parkinson's Disease
In Rural Northwest Kansas

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The Healthy Living Personal Program

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Ten Early Signs
of Parkinson's Disease

  1. Tremor: A slight involuntary shaking, or rhythmic muscle contraction in one or more parts of your body is a common sign of PD. You may notice tremors in your finger, thumb, hand or chin.

  2. Small Handwriting: An almost diagnostic sign of PD called, micrographia, many people notice their handwriting becoming progressively and abnormally smaller, minute, and often diminishing.

  3. Loss of Smell: If you seem to have more trouble smelling foods like bananas, dill pickles or licorice, you should consult your doctor.

  4. Trouble Sleeping: Sudden movements during sleep may be a sign of PD; this could mean thrashing around in bed or acting out dreams when in a deep sleep.

  5. Trouble Moving or Walking: 

    1. Do you feel stiff in your body, arms or legs?​

    2. Have you noticed that your arms don't swing when you walk?

    3. Do your feet seem stuck to the floor?

    4. If you answer yes to any of these questions, you should consult your doctor.

  6. Constipation: If your diet contains enough fiber and water, yet you are still experiencing constipation, please seek a doctor. Caused by a lack of neurotransmitters called dopamine, people with PD experience impaired control of muscle movement throughout the entire body, including the bowels. ​

  7. Soft or Low Voice: Talk to your doctor if people seem to suddenly be telling you that your voice is very soft or that you sound hoarse.

  8. Masked Face: A sign of PD includes diminished facial expressivity. If people have difficulty interpreting your emotions, or act as if you are too serious, depressed or mad because of the look on your face, you may be experiencing "masked facies," or an expressionless appearance.

  9. Dizziness or Fainting: Feeling dizzy or fainting can be linked to Parkinson's.

  10. Stooping or Hunching: Stooping, leaning, slouching or hunching over can be a sign of Parkinson's Disease.

These early signs of Parkinson's Disease are shared directly from our partner organization, Parkinson's Foundation. A helpline is available if you'd like to speak with someone in addition to contacting your primary health provider. (800)4PD-INFO.

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