Symptoms Head to Toe

Symptoms of Parkinson's

  1. Brain. Your brain has slowed thinking. Do word games, crosswords. Anything new that makes you think.

  2. Vision. PWPs do not blink often enough so eyes become dry. Use over the counter eye drops for dry eyes.

  3. Smell. Loss of smell often occurs in Parkinson's. This is an early symptom. The sense of taste is often affected also.

  4. Drooling. Occurs because the PWP does not swallow often enough. Sucking on hard candies or chewing sugarless gum helps.

  5. Difficulty swallowing. Occurs due to slowness in the act of swallowing and is often a symptom seen late in the disease. Sips of ice water awaken the swallowing reflex. Chin to chest while swallowing may also help.

  6. Soft voice. The muscles used for speech are affected. LSVT Loud therapy will help.

  7. Chest pain. These occur when the muscles in the chest become stiff. NEVER assume these symptoms are PD-see your doctor if they occur.

  8. Shortness of breath. See above (#7).

  9. Digestion. Slowing of digestion can cause heartburn, bloating and nausea. Antacids help as does prescription drugs like Nexium, or Protonix etc.

  10. Bowels. Slow peristalsis occurs because the food is not moving though the gastro- intestinal tract fast enough. Seek a natural remedy for constipation and eat a diet rich in fiber, drink plenty of water and exercise.

  11. Bladder. PWPs may have urge incontinence. (need to void in a hurry)

  1. Joint pain. This pain is especially in the shoulder, although it can affect almost any joint and is often thought of as a sign of aging or arthritis, when in fact it is Parkinson's.

  2. Leg and foot cramping. This most often happens during the night or early morning when the Parkinson drugs have worn off. A pillow at feet will help.

  3. Handwriting. Handwriting becomes tiny cramped and hard to read. Practice writing large using lined paper. Use a label maker for notations on your calendar.

  4. Facial masking. PWPs often show little facial expression, which causes people to think them disinterested, bored or depressed. Stand in front of a mirror and exercise the facial muscles by doing exaggerated facial expressions.

  5. Posture. Stooped posture, exaggerated forward head position. This causes balance issues and falls. Also it may contribute to swallowing problems.

  6. Arm swing. Lack of arm swing when walking is an early sign and tends to occur on one side only. This is a diagnostic sign of Parkinson's.

  7. Shuffling & Propulsive gait. PWPs tend to take short shuffling steps, often accompanied with propulsive gait which contributes to falls. LSVT BIG & LOUD physical therapy will help with this problem.

  8. Freezing gait. Abrupt and temporary inability of PWP to move. Occurs when beginning to walk, moving through doorways, or turning around.

This is not an all-inclusive list and no one will have all of these symptoms. Any of these symptoms can be caused by something other than Parkinson's. See your physician.