Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
If you've received a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, you'll need to work closely with your doctor to find a treatment plan that offers you the greatest relief from symptoms with the fewest side effects. Certain lifestyle changes also may help make living with Parkinson's disease easier.
Eat a nutritionally balanced diet that contains plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Eating foods high in fiber and drinking an adequate amount of fluids can help prevent constipation that is common in Parkinson's disease. A balanced diet also provides nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, that may be beneficial for people with Parkinson's disease.
If you take a fiber supplement, be sure to introduce it gradually and drink plenty of fluids daily. Otherwise, your constipation may become worse. If you find that fiber helps your symptoms, use it on a regular basis for the best results.
Walking with care
Parkinson's disease can disturb your sense of balance, making it difficult to walk with a normal gait. These suggestions may help:
- Try not to move too quickly.
- Aim for your heel to strike the floor first when you're walking.
- If you notice yourself shuffling, stop and check your posture. It's best to stand up straight.
- Look in front of you, not directly down, while walking.
In the later stages of the disease, you may fall more easily. In fact, you may be thrown off balance by just a small push or bump. The following suggestions may help:
- Don't pivot your body over your feet while turning. Instead, make a U-turn.
- Don't lean or reach. Keep your center of gravity over your feet.
- Don't carry things while you're walking.
- Avoid walking backward.
Daily living activities
Daily living activities, such as dressing, eating, bathing and writing, can be difficult for people with Parkinson's disease. An occupational therapist can show you techniques that make daily life easier.
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