Did you know that Parkinson’s disease affects about half a million people in the United States? According to the National Institutes of Health, the real number may be even higher. That’s because many people in the early stages of Parkinson’s mistake their symptoms, such as hand tremors and a shuffling walk, for normal signs of aging and don’t see a doctor. If you or a loved one experience symptoms of Parkinson’s, it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis in order to treat and manage the disease. Better Health Advisors specializes in Parkinson’s. We have numerous clients with the disorder, and work closely with top neurologists to incorporate Parkinson’s treatment into a healthy lifestyle.
Are You at Risk of Parkinson’s?
According to the Mayo Clinic, the primary risk factors for Parkinson’s disease are:
- Age. The risk of developing Parkinson’s increases as you get older. People usually develop symptoms around age 60.
- Heredity. Certain genetic mutations are known to cause Parkinson’s. If you have one or more close relatives with Parkinson’s, your risk of developing the disease increases.
- Sex. Men are more likely to experience Parkinson’s than women.
- Exposure to toxic substances. Long-term exposure to certain toxins, including herbicides and pesticides, may increase your risk.
Managing Parkinson’s Disease
There is no cure for Parkinson’s, but if you are diagnosed with it, you may be able to slow its progress:
- Exercise Regularly. In a recent New York Times article, Marilyn Moffat, a physical therapist on the faculty at New York University, said, “The earlier people begin exercising after a Parkinson’s diagnosis, and the higher the intensity of exercise they achieve, the better they are.”
- Practice Tai Chi. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, regular tai chi practice appears to improve balance and reduce falls in patients with mild-to-moderate Parkinson’s.
- Eat Healthy Food. The Mayo Clinic recommends a balanced diet that is high fiber and provides beneficial nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids.