Physical Activity, Mental Exercises & Healthy Lifestyle: 9 Ways To Fight Parkinson’s Disease

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Managing Parkinson’s Disease
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Managing Parkinson’s Disease

Being diagnosed with any health problem is taxing, but correctly understanding it is the key to dealing with a progressive, neurological condition. One such neurological condition is Parkinson’s disease, first described by James Parkinson’s 200 years ago. It is characterised by tremours, overall slowing, rigidity, falls, speech troubles, constipation and more.

With research ongoing to find a permanent cure, there are many things one can routinely do to keep its multifaceted symptoms under control.

On World Parkinson’s Day, Dr Azad M Irani, Consultant Department of Neurology at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, shares some points that will help you fight the disease.

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Educating Oneself About Their Illness
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Educating Oneself About Their Illness

Understanding the disease is a key to successful management. Once diagnosed with Parkinson’s, request your doctor for reliable sources of information. Avoid reading unreliable information online as it may often be untrue and stressful. Advice received during small talks with relatives and friends must also be counter-checked as it may often be untrue and add to unnecessary stress.

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Treatment Compliance And Timely Follow-Ups
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Treatment Compliance And Timely Follow-Ups

One must take medicines on time. Don’t miss follow-up appointments. Don’t adjust your own medication. These can be harmful.

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Physical Activity
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Physical Activity

An essential part of successful treatment is daily exercise and physiotherapy, as this can delay progression of symptoms significantly if done regularly. Adequate sleep, preventing constipation are very important to minimise symptoms. The significance of weight loss for those overweight-obese should be emphasised. Continuing household chores, taking walks, and yoga help delay progression of symptoms significantly.

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Healthy Lifestyle
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Healthy Lifestyle

Keeping oneself fit with a nutritious diet, sleeping on time, and daily meditation to relax calm a worried mind.

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Mental Health
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Mental Health

Maintaining emotional and psychological health is of utmost importance. Feeling low after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease or for that matter any chronic illness is very common, and rather a natural response. However, long-standing symptoms of sadness, anxiety may occasionally need reference to a mental health professional. Keep socialising and maintain good family relations.

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Mental Exercises
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Mental Exercises

Puzzles, card and board games, online brain games, learning a new language or musical instruments can stimulate dormant areas of the brain. Indulge in your hobbies, leisure activities with utmost excitement.

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Support Groups
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Support Groups

Participating in support groups has significant benefits. People with Parkinson’s and their caregivers should attend Parkinson’s-specific support groups. These disseminate scientific knowledge and methodologies to cope with day-to-day problems. They encourage one to partake in monotonous activities like exercise which one may not do alone. They are morale-boosting in letting you know you aren’t alone in your fight against the disease.

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Caregiver Health
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Caregiver Health

Care-givers are the most important life-line in management of chronic conditions like Parkinson’s disease. Long-term illnesses can take a toll on family members who take on the role of 'caregivers'. Caregiver counselling on coping with symptoms, sharing responsibilities and taking regular breaks will prevent caregiver burnout.

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Keep Spirits High
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Keep Spirits High

You cannot let any illness keep our spirits low. Hence, keep yourself involved in everything you enjoy doing. Pursue your hobbies, indulge in leisure activities that you have always wished to pursue and remember to always keep smiling!

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