Parkinson’s disease is becoming increasingly common in the Western world. It begins when – over the course of many years – there has been a loss of cells from the part of the brain which controls movement. These cells normally produce a chemical messenger known as dopamine, which works with another chemical messenger called acetylcholine to enable us to perform smooth, controlled movements. Once 80 percent of the dopamine-producing cells in our brains have been destroyed, the symptoms of Parkinson’s become noticeable.
Symptoms vary greatly between individuals and may appear very gradually. Shaking, or tremor, is a common sign, usually beginning in one hand or arm only to diminish when the affected limb is being used. This can be an embarrassing symptom, but it is often very slight and usually has little impact on daily life.
Stiffness or rigidity of the muscles is another common symptom. It means that people with Parkinson’s may have trouble getting up from chairs, or in doing up buttons or generally getting around. This can be compounded by the third major symptom, slowness of movement (bradykinesia). This makes it difficult to “get going”, so that walking is an effort; the sufferer may also come to a halt and have difficulty starting again.
Other symptoms are caused by the interaction of these three sets of problems, with the result that people with Parkinson’s may have altered posture, difficulties in balance, speech and writing, as well as an absence of facial expression. Parkinson’s can also be very tiring and sometimes swallowing is a problem, too.
In practice what all this means is that Parkinson’s can dramatically upset your quality of life, affecting everything you do from getting dressed in the morning to being able to smile at your nearest and dearest.
At Lifeworks we have a lot of experience in treating Parkinson’s patients and helping them without the use of pharmaceutical drugs to improve their lives. At our Clearwater clinic we have found that combinations of nutrients can reduce symptoms in most patients.
For more information, call us at 727 466 6789.
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