Newly Diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease
Date Posted: 27.03.2012
If you have recently been diagnosed with Parkinson's you probably have quite a few questions and some worries.
This section hopes to help you find the answers and information you need.
Parkinson's symptoms and signs
For information on Parkinson's symptoms, see:
Signs and Symptoms
Drugs are the main treatment used to control the symptoms of Parkinson's while research into finding a cure continues, but there are also other methods of managing and treating the condition.
Please see our section on Treatment for information about the different medications and exercises.
Parkinson's can have an effect on many parts of life and there are many ways of coping. Please see our Branches sections for information and local groups in your area, or contact our National Office for further information.
Talking to your friends and family about Parkinson's
If you have Parkinson's, you may be thinking about the best way to talk to others about the condition, whether it's your family, friends or colleagues, or people you've just met.
You may be naturally open and find it relatively easy to do this, or you may be more private, and find it hard to come up with the right words.
Talking with other people who have been through similar experiences can be a great help. On our Forum is a great place that you can chat, ask questions or just read what others have to say.
Our section for Carers has practical information for friends, family and partners who care for someone with Parkinson's.
If you want to have a chat, or have any questions, please feel free to call us on the free phone helpline, and speak to our helpline staff or our nurse.
Diet and exercise
A healthy diet and regular exercise is important for everyone. It can be especially beneficial for people with Parkinson's in managing symptoms and easing any discomfort.
We have a Healthy Eating Handbook, which was complied by Chef Neven Maguire. It offers tips on planning a healthy and balanced diet, and buying, preparing and enjoying food. It also looks at how some foods can affect medication and some tips for getting the most from your food.
There is no special diet that you should be adhering to, the old “everything in moderation” saying is very apt. However, if you have been started on Levodopa medication (Sinemet, Madopar or Stalevo), you may need to avoid food, in particular protein, at tablet time. Please contact our helpline for further information.
Within our Treatment section, you'll find information on the benefits of Exercise for people with Parkinson's and how to find an exercise class. It also gives advice on exercising at home and there is a Flexibility chart which was designed specifically for people with PD.
If you would prefer to have either, or both of these advice booklets posted out, please contact our National Office, and we will post them out to you for free.
Driving and Parkinson's
Parkinson's does not necessarily mean you need to stop driving but you should inform your insurance company. There should be no increase in your premium, however as times goes by, you may need a letter from your consultant, or have to undergo a driving assessment.
Employment and Parkinson's
If you're currently working, being diagnosed with Parkinson's may make you concerned. But just because you have Parkinson's doesn't mean you have to stop work. Many people with the condition keep working for years after their diagnosis. Your decision to tell your work colleagues is your own.
You can find out more about work and welfare benefits in our section from Irish Citizens Information Board.
How Parkinson's changes and develops
Symptoms vary greatly from person to person and usually begin slowly, develop gradually and in no particular order. Everyone with Parkinson’s will have a different set of symptoms, and be on a different drug regime, so try not to compare yourself to others.
We would advise all those who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s to contact your Public Health Nurse, even if you have never met them before, just to let them know you are in their area. That means if you should ever need community services such as Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Meals-On-Wheels, or home help, they will be your link to these.
It does not matter whether you are attending you Doctor privately or publicly, everyone is entitled to avail of these services.
Source : www.parkinsons.ie