This Article is From Jan 31, 2023

Parkinson's Disease: Here Are 9 Early Signs To Look Out For

Continue reading as we discuss some common symptoms of Parkinson's disease and signs that might go unnoticed.

Parkinson's Disease: Here Are 9 Early Signs To Look Out For

Parkinson's disease can be diagnosed by looking out for the early signs

Parkinson's disease is a chronic condition that affects both the neurological system and the bodily components that are under the control of the nervous system. Symptoms emerge gradually. The initial sign could be a slight tremor in just one hand. Although tremors are typical, the disease might also make you stiff or move more slowly.

Each person will experience the signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease differently. Early symptoms could be negligible and overlooked. Even after symptoms start to affect the limbs on both sides, symptoms frequently start on one side of the body and usually continue to be severe there. In this article, we discuss some common symptoms of Parkinson's disease and signs that might go unnoticed. 

Here are some signs of Parkinson's disease that might go unnoticed:

1. Tremor

The first limb to experience a tremor, or rhythmic shaking, is typically the hand or fingers. You could wiggle your thumb and forefinger. The term "pill-rolling tremor" describes this. Even when at rest, your hand could shake. While working on a task, the shaking might lessen. 

2. Slowed movement and muscle stiffness 

Parkinson's disease may cause movement to slow down over time, making routine actions challenging and time-consuming. When you walk, your steps can get smaller. It could be challenging to get up from a chair. As you attempt to walk, you can shuffle or drag your feet. You can have muscle tightness in any area of your body. Your range of motion may be restricted and made painful by the stiff muscles. 

3. Slow or low voice

When you talk more softly, you may occasionally mistakenly believe that other people are having trouble hearing you. Your voice may change as a result of a virus or chest cold, but once your cough or cold has passed, you should resume sounding normal. However, prolonged changes in voice should be checked by a doctor. 

4. Lack of balance and automatic movements 

You may also face poor balance and posture. You might start to slouch. Or Parkinson's disease may cause you to trip or have balance issues. You may also experience a reduction in automatic movement. It's possible that you'll be less able to make unconscious gestures like smiling, blinking, or swinging your arms while you walk.

5. Poor sleep

Your partner may occasionally notice or request to switch beds. An indication of Parkinson's disease may be sudden movements while you're sleeping. Everybody experiences nights where they "toss and turn" rather than sleep. Similar to this, abrupt bodily movements during the onset of sleep or throughout lighter sleep are frequent and frequently normal.

6. Issue with speech and writing 

You might mumble, speak fast, slur, or pause before speaking. Your speech may lack the customary speech patterns and seem more monotonous. It could get challenging to write, and your writing might look cramped.

7. Smaller handwriting

You might have noticed that the way you write on a page has changed, with smaller font sizes and words being more closely spaced out. Micrographia, a form of Parkinson's disease, can cause changes in handwriting. Although, if you suffer from stiff fingers or hands or poor vision, writing may occasionally change as you age.

8. Loss of smell

Losing one's sense of smell is known as hyposmia. This condition is known as olfactory dysfunction. A loss of smell is a rather typical symptom of Parkinson's disease, affecting 70–90% of patients. One of the most obvious Parkinson's disease symptoms that is unrelated to movement is a loss of smell. The condition may manifest for a number of years before beginning to impair movement.

9. Constipation

You should consult your doctor if you're having trouble moving your bowels because this could be an early indicator of Parkinson's disease. It can be problematic in the bathroom if you do not consume enough fibre or water in your diet. Additionally, some medications, particularly those prescribed for pain, can lead to constipation. You should consult your doctor if you are experiencing constipation and there is no other apparent cause.

Watch out for these signs to ensure an early diagnosis of Parkinson's disease.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.