May 2, 2012

Important facts you should know about Parkinson's

• Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease that affects the brain and in turn does not produce enough dopamine and affects movement.

• Parkinson’s worsens over time and Medical Science does not know the causes although they are researching and testing and looking for answers all the time. There are no conclusive facts that it is hereditary.

• Possible causes for Parkinson’s include poisons of the environment and aging.

• Parkinson’s affects the limbs of the body and usually starts between the ages of 50 and 60. It might start with a slight tremor on one side of the body, particularly the hands and the legs. The tremor may stop when the person is sleeping or the hand or arm is moved. The symptoms are not the same for everyone.

• Symptoms for Parkinson’s include stiff muscles, slow movement, a tremor in the extremities such as the leg or arm, balancing, nervousness, and constipation and swallowing.

• In the later stages of the disease the person may have a fixed expression and have difficulty speaking. Some sufferers may experience dementia. It is not a given that when you have Parkinson’s that you will also have dementia.

• Some people have balancing problems and become dizzy and often fall. A good thing to do for a person with Parkinson’s is to have hand railings in the bathroom and in the hallway. It might also be time for a walking stick.

Treating Parkinson’s Disease

• The first thing towards a healthier life is to get a doctor you trust. There is no reason why someone with Parkinson’s cannot live ten or fifteen years longer. You may have to adjust certain things but you can still work. In fact, some doctors do not prescribe treatment until the disease interferes with their lives. This should give Parkinson’s sufferers tremendous hope. The disease is incurable but there are many things you can do to improve life.

• Eat healthily. This cannot be said enough. Include seeds and nuts and fresh vegetables in your diet; not too much fruit.

• If you are slow moving, walk a kilometer every day with a friend and go to the park and get fresh air and Vitamin D from the sun.

• Don’t forget to take your medication and do so at the same time every day.

• People with Parkinson’s are prone to falling; have a little stool in the shower so you can sit down while you wash.

• When you feel depressed, see your doctor and follow the treatment plan. You can also go online for support groups to talk about how you feel. You should feel tremendously hopeful when you consider that there are many people out there in the workplace who have been living with Parkinson’s Disease for many years.

Can one follow two conflicting systems of belief?

Posing the question as to whether one can hold two conflicting systems of belief, the answer in all likelihood would be no because it would be difficult for someone to be both Muslim and Christian or Jewish and Christian or any other combination of belief systems. We are born to parents who hold a particular view and as we grow up we follow in their footsteps. We are too young to choose and not given a choice and we would not know better anyway. However, as a psychologist told me once, when a child is three or four he must know who he is; he has an identity. He must be able to identify with other people. He will know he goes to church on Sundays. He will grow up with the word of Jesus. His faith will be dear to him and no one will be able to penetrate the fabric of his belief. The same is true for people of other faiths.

Practice humility

Having said that, parents are human beings and they have prejudices and will look at the downside of other religions to make them feel more secure as to where they are. You can’t tamper with a man’s faith, and should not even try. If you do you’d better have a big net under him. The question that really should be asked and answered with honesty is whether we can follow what we have been taught by our parents and still have a large enough heart to include the culture and religious traditions of people of other faiths. Some of us become arrogant in our belief that we are the number one religion. So what? What is number one? That one lot of people is better than another? Instead of following the actions of the prophets we blow our own horns. We are in fact arrogant and treat people less fortunate than ourselves with disdain. So the question remains: would you be able to go to your own place of worship and also be able to appreciate someone elses faith?

Love a stranger

When you become all embracing it is easier to love than to hate. It uses less energy and you feel good when you have no malice towards others. You also learn humility which will make you a much better person. When you are interested in others they become interested in you. When you love others they don’t’ harm you. We are all people. What does it matter whether we go to temple or the mosque? We all want to do well in God’s eyes and are all after the same thing. Not one of us is more special than the other; we are all God’s creation.

Improving concentration for Parkinson's sufferers

There is no shortcut to improve memory and brain function as it takes time, but there is a lot you can do on your own to nourish your brain and have good concentration. To do this it is best to start with a healthy body. Here are some suggestions on how to develop good brain function and improve your memory and concentration. It suffices to say that an unhealthy or unhappy person may not like the space he is in and that it will be harder for him or her to concentrate. The experience is different for everyone.

• For people who love reading, this is a plus as they are naturally concentrating for longer periods of time on what they are doing and have an edge over those who do not read at all. If you are reading too slowly, read aloud so you can hear the sound on your ear. It will force you to concentrate.

• Play word games such as Boggle and Scrabble where you are learning new words all the time and are retaining them in your memory.

• Crossword puzzles are also good as it requires concentration to come up with the answers.

• Play some mathematical games even if you don’t like it. You want to exercise all parts of your brain.

• Eat the right nuts and seeds such as walnuts, almonds, flax seed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and red raisins. Put a tablespoon of all of these ingredients into a grinder and spread the powdered nuts over three fat dollops of Greek yogurt and pureed apple or mango. This is delicious and can replace either breakfast or lunch. Eat the right kind of food to develop a sound mind.

• Whichever way you decide to go, practice your concentration routine and do it regularly as it will keep your brain in shape.

• Get a friend to walk with you three or four times a week for at least forty minutes. Parkinson’s and other ailments entail stiffness and it will be good exercise for you. The walking will also help with constipation as this apparently is part of Parkinson’s. Walk your way to wellness and do it every day.

Meditation is a great way to calm down, relax, and concentrate. Pick a quiet spot in your room and sit down and close your eyes. Think about anything, such as visualizing yourself as a young woman lying on the golden sands of a beach. Feel the sun on your body and listen to the rhythm of the waves. Continue the visualization until you feel totally relaxed.