Parkinson’s Symptoms You Don’t See

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What is Parkinson’s Disease? Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurological disorder in which the brain basically slowly stops producing dopamine. Dopamine is an important chemical which sends a signal to the brain which controls movement.  Tremor, muscle rigidity and slow movement are some of the symptoms you’ll see or notice among others. Treatment can help but there is no cure yet and there are no specific tests to diagnose it so doctors usually go by process of elimination as in my case.

From time to time I will be writing about Parkinson’s to raise awareness. Although I’m in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease I struggle daily with certain ailments. Today I want to get into symptoms that people don’t see that Parkinson’s patients experience. Not every  Parkinson’s patient has the same symptoms. For example, I don’t have the classic tremor that is commonly seen in PWP (Person With Parkinson’s) and because of that people assume I’m doing just fine when in reality I struggle with some symptoms you don’t see.

Symptoms can be basically broken into two categories Motor and Non-Motor. Motor symptoms are the more noticeable like tremor, slowness of movement and rigidity.

Non-motor are more the ones that family and friends usually won’t see. These include the following but there maybe more.

  1. Loss of smell
  2. REM sleep disorder
  3. Orthostatic hypotension
  4. Sleep disturbances
  5. Constipation
  6. Excessive Saliva
  7. Anxiety
  8. Weight loss or gain
  9. Vision and dental problems
  10. Fatigue or loss of energy
  11. Skin changes
  12. Cognitive issues such as memory difficulties and slow thinking
  13. Medication side effects- Impulsive behaviors

I personally suffer from a few of these especially anxiety and fatigue. Although I know it is important to exercise I have slacked in that department and need to get motivated to start back up.

So please always remember that just because a person is not showing the classic symptoms of the disease doesn’t mean they don’t have it or are doing better or great.  Sometimes we are just struggling with those non-motor non-visible symptoms. Don’t be afraid to ask how we are doing and always be kind because you don’t know what kind of battle that person is facing that day.

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