This guide was originally published on The Mighty
What Is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects your body’s ability to produce dopamine, a chemical found in your brain that helps you initiate and control your movements. This causes symptoms like uncontrollable shaking in your limbs (known as a tremor), slow movement, a rigid, stiff feeling in your body, unsteady gait and posture, as well as symptoms unrelated to movement like loss of smell, constipation, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, cognitive challenges and blood pressure issues. Parkinson’s most frequently develops in people over age 50, but can also appear in younger individuals, too.
You might feel stiff, like it’s hard to move your muscles, and maybe you have uncontrollable shaking in one or more of your limbs or fingers. You might also feel fatigued and have difficulty feeling motivated to get up. Everyday tasks like brushing your teeth, putting on your clothes, cooking and driving a car might be a struggle due to the stiffness and slowness of your muscles. Perhaps family members have noticed you don’t swing one of your arms when you walk.Continue reading