Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurological disorder affecting millions worldwide. It is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, following Alzheimer’s. It can be hard to understand, so here is all you need to know about it.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a chronic, progressive neurological disorder caused by the breakdown of nerve cells in the brain responsible for producing dopamine — a neurotransmitter responsible for helping to regulate movement and coordination. As these cells break down, individuals experience tremors, rigidity, and difficulty with walking and balance. Other symptoms may include slowed movement and speech problems. PD is more common in older adults (over 50 years old), but this disease may also affect younger adults.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

PD can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms can be similar to other conditions or diseases. A doctor will typically conduct physical tests, review medical history and order an MRI or CT scan of the brain for further evaluation before making a diagnosis. Once diagnosed, there are several treatment options available. Here are some of them:

Physical Therapy

The most common form of treatment for PD is physical therapy. Physical therapists will work with you to improve your balance, gait, and range of motion. They can also recommend exercises to help strengthen muscles and reduce stiffness.


Medication is used to replace the dopamine in the brain and help regulate movement. Common medications include Levodopa, carbidopa-levodopa, dopamine agonists, MAO-B inhibitors, and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors.

Elderly woman taking medicine

Alternative Treatment Options

Traditional treatments such as medication and physical therapy are the go-to options for managing symptoms. Still, there are also alternative treatments available that may help to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with the condition. Let’s look at some alternative treatments that may be beneficial in managing Parkinson’s disease.

Dietary and Nutrition Changes

Evidence suggests that nutrition plays a vital role in managing Parkinson’s disease. Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables is critical. It is also essential to maintain proper hydration, as dehydration can lead to increased tremors. Additionally, reducing the consumption of processed foods and beverages high in sugar and caffeine can improve symptom management. Finally, supplementing with specific vitamins has been shown to improve motor skills, reduce fatigue, and have other beneficial effects for those living with PD.

Complementary Therapies

Complementary therapies such as acupuncture, massage therapy, meditation/yoga/tai chi, aromatherapy, herbal remedies, light therapy, and reflexology have all been used by individuals living with PD to manage their symptoms more effectively. These therapies may help reduce stress levels while improving circulation throughout the body—all of which can improve symptom management over time. Additionally, these therapies may help reduce anxiety and depression associated with Parkinson’s disease by providing an outlet for relaxation and psychological support during difficult times.

Medical Cannabis

While more research needs to be conducted on medical cannabis as an effective treatment for Parkinson’s, some studies have shown promise in terms of its ability to help manage the symptoms of the disease. For example, one study found that medical cannabis could reduce tremors and improve sleep quality in participants living with the condition. However, if you decide to pursue this option, consult your doctor beforehand since taking medical cannabis may interfere with other medications or treatments you may already be taking.


Exercising regularly has been proven to affect those with Parkinson’s disease positively. Not only does it help manage symptoms such as tremors and stiffness, and it can also improve balance and coordination while increasing muscular strength. In addition, exercise increases dopamine levels in the brain, which helps control movement and coordination; however, it is essential to remember that not all activities are suitable for those living with PD—it is best to consult your doctor before starting any new exercise routine or program.

Living with PD

Living with PD can be challenging for both patients and caregivers; however, many organizations are devoted to helping those living with PD better manage their symptoms and live active lives. One of them is hospices. A reliable hospice care service can help manage your symptoms and emotionally support you. In addition, the hospice can advise you on diet, exercise, and other lifestyle changes that can help you manage your symptoms. The best part is that they can watch over you, so you know you’re safe.

Parkinson’s might be a complex disease, but treatments and support networks are available to help those living with it manage their day-to-day. With the right combination of traditional therapies, alternative treatments, and lifestyle changes, individuals can live full life despite this condition.

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