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Parkinson disease - discharge

Paralysis agitans - discharge; Shaking palsy - discharge; PD - discharge

Your doctor has told you that you have Parkinson disease. This disease affects the brain and leads to tremors, problems with walking, movement, and coordination. Other symptoms or problems that may appear later on include difficulty swallowing, constipation, and drooling.

What to Expect at Home

Over time, symptoms get worse and it becomes more difficult to take care of yourself.

Your doctor may have you take different medicines to treat your Parkinson disease and many of the problems that may come with the disease.

Activity and Safety

Exercise can help your muscles stay strong and help you keep your balance. It is good for your heart. Exercise may also help you sleep better and have regular bowel movements. Pace yourself when you do activities that may be tiring or need a lot of concentration.

To stay safe in your home, have someone help you:

Your health care provider can refer you to a physical therapist to help with:

Bowel Care

Constipation is a common problem if you have Parkinson disease. So have a routine. Once you find a bowel routine that works, stick with it.

Also try drinking more fluids, staying active, and eating lots of fiber, including fruits, vegetables, prunes, and cereals.

Ask your doctor about medicines you are taking that may cause constipation. These include medicines for depression, pain, bladder control, and muscle spasms. Ask whether you should take a stool softener.

Diet and Swallowing

These general tips may help with swallowing problems.

Eat healthy foods, and keep from becoming overweight.

Other Care

Having Parkinson disease may make you feel sad or depressed at times. Talk to friends or family about this. Ask your doctor about seeing a professional to help you with these feelings.

Keep up to date with your vaccinations. Get a flu shot every year. Ask your doctor if you need a pneumonia shot.

Ask your doctor if it is safe for you to drive.

Resources

These resources can provide more information on Parkinson disease:

The American Parkinson Disease Association -- www.apdaparkinson.org/resources-support/

The National Parkinson Foundation -- www.parkinson.org

When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor if you have:

References

American Parkinson Disease Association website. Parkinson's Disease Handbook. www.apdaparkinson.org/handbook-download/. Updated 2017. Accessed September 17, 2021.

Flynn NA, Mensen G, Krohn S, Olsen PJ. Be independent: a guide for people with Parkinson disease. Staten Island, NY: American Parkinson Disease Association, Inc., 2009. action.apdaparkinson.org/images/Downloads/Be%20Independent.pdf?key=31. Accessed December 3, 2019.

Fox SH, Katzenschlager R, Lim SY, et al; Movement Disorder Society Evidence-Based Medicine Committee. International Parkinson and movement disorder society evidence-based medicine review: update on treatments for the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord. 2018;33(8):1248-1266. PMID: 29570866 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29570866.

Jankovic J. Parkinson disease and other movement disorders. In: Daroff RB, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, eds. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 96.

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Review Date: 6/23/2019  

Reviewed By: Alireza Minagar, MD, MBA, Professor, Department of Neurology, LSU Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. Editorial update on 12-03-19.

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