Joon Faii Ong is a recognized authority on Parkinson’s Disease and has helped thousands improve their quality of life through his work on the disease. Today, he is giving us eight warning signs of Parkinson’s disease that we should know about:
1. Muscle stiffness and cramps
Stiffness and cramps in the limbs occur due to the absence of dopamine in the brain. But not all stiffness and cramps are caused by Parkinson’s disease. It is good to see your doctor if you feel muscle stiffness or cramps because this could also be a symptom of arthritis, scoliosis, or other medical conditions.
2. Shuffling gait
Shuffling gait or slow movement, in general, is a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease, and it can be one of the most embarrassing ones for those who suffer from it.
3. Rigidity and loss of facial expression
Rigidity occurs when stiffness increases in the neck, arms, legs, or trunk muscles. Loss of facial expressions is another symptom you should look for because it could indicate that your body’s muscles are not responding well.
4. Deepening of voice
A deepening in the voice could be an early sign that Parkinson’s disease is progressing. This can become apparent when you try to talk or speak fast. However, it might also be accompanied by other symptoms, such as having difficulty swallowing and an impaired sense of smell, to name a few.
5. Loss of body control
If you find it hard to coordinate movements such as standing up from a sitting position, turning the head while driving, or starting your car engine, Parkinson’s disease could be affecting your body. But not all of us will experience these symptoms, and this does not mean that we have the disease. However, if you experience other symptoms like rigidity and a shuffling gait, it is best to consult your doctor anyway.
6. Early stages of dystonia
Dystonia occurs when we experience abnormal muscle movements such as twisting or mask-like facial expressions that cannot be controlled even by the person who has them. This could be an early sign of Parkinson’s disease.
7. Excessive trembling in the fingers, hands, feet, or chin
Excessive trembling happens when tremors become more noticeable, and you can spot them easily with your eyes. It is not clear why some people experience these symptoms while others do not, but it is easier to treat tremor symptoms if detected early.
8. Choking sensation in the throat or trouble swallowing
Trouble swallowing, especially when feeling a choking sensation in the throat, is one of the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and it can be detected early if you know how to spot it.
If you have 2 out of these eight symptoms, this does not necessarily mean that you have Parkinson’s disease. But suppose you do experience symptoms like muscle stiffness and cramps. In that case, trouble walking or speaking, and involuntary movements like tremors, make sure to visit your doctor as soon as possible because these symptoms could indicate the progression of Parkinson’s disease.