Staying Healthy With Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease that can affect the way you move. It is characterized by slowed reaction times, muscle stiffness, and tremors. People with Parkinson’s disease may experience a number of other symptoms, including loss of smell, swallowing difficulties, headaches, and changes in speech. While Parkinson’s cannot be cured, there are many ways to control your health so that your symptoms affect you less.
Stay on top of your coverage
To ensure you get the right care for your needs, it’s critical to keep tabs on your health insurance coverage, especially since plans change every year. It’s also worth taking advantage of extra perks through your insurance that can improve quality of life. Some plans cover chiropractic care, massage, and even access to wellness programs, all of which can be highly beneficial for those with Parkinson’s disease. For seniors, you should also make the most of your Medicare coverage. If you’re a Medicare Advantage recipient, you’ll have access to additional coverage for dental and vision care, which should be monitored carefully as your disease progresses.
Supplements and nutrition
Eating a proper diet is one of the best ways to help control the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Your daily food intake should include plenty of antioxidants, which come from dark foods like berries. There is also strong evidence to suggest that upping your consumption of fiber can help reduce gastrointestinal irritation, including constipation, which is a common complaint among Parkinson’s patients. Today’s Dietitian also notes that vitamin D and leafy green vegetables are important to people with Parkinson’s, since decreased bone density is possible.
Many people with Parkinson’s also find relief by taking dietary supplements that address issues such as headaches and inflammation. CBD is one of these, and it’s available in a variety of delivery methods, including gummies. CBD may also reduce nausea. This cannabis-derived compound, however, does not cause intoxication. If you are considering CBD or any other supplement, speak with your doctor first.
Sleep is essential for everyone, but may be especially beneficial for those suffering from Parkinson’s. When your body is at rest, it essentially shuts down all but your most important functions. During this time, your body gets to work repairing damaged cells and tackling any issues that may have come up during the previous day. If you have trouble sleeping, consider creating a bedtime routine that helps you relax and settle down. No Sleepless Nights’ Ethan Green notes that this should include listening to music, walking away from electronics, or having a light snack before bed. Further, yoga, meditation, prayer, and a simple warm bath are all also effective ways to lull yourself into a restful state. If you do plan for an evening bath, make sure that you have grab bars and a no-slip rug in your bathroom to lessen the chances of falling.
Boost your brain
Parkinson’s disease has an adverse effect on the brain. But, there are many ways to boost your brainpower. Reading, spending time with friends and family, and even listening to music are all healthy habits you can enjoy each day that will give your brain a fighting chance against this difficult-to-diagnose disease.
Other healthy habits that heal
In addition to eating well, sleeping, and prioritizing your brain health, doing small things each day, like drinking an extra glass of water or taking a 10-minute walk, can help keep your body in mind in top shape. If you are a smoker, now is the perfect time to quit. Likewise, your alcohol consumption should be reduced, although moderate amounts of beer may actually reduce the chances of developing Parkinson’s in healthy adults. Perhaps the most important thing you can do for yourself is to stay physically active. You do not have to hit the gym for hours on end, but exercise is a powerful weapon against virtually all diseases.
You will also need to pay attention to your mental health. Parkinson’s can take a toll on your brain and body, and this can have a dire effect on your emotions. If you find yourself suffering from depression, talk to a therapist, and make a point to spend time doing things you enjoy.
Parkinson’s disease does not have to control your life. While you cannot stop it from progressing, you can fight back by prioritizing your health.
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Author: Jennifer McGregor
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