For Senior Citizens: Eating Right With Parkinson’s Disease

Hands.

Inevitably, we all must face the difficulties of aging, and unfortunately among those problems is disease. Those of us who are fortunate enough not to have been struck down by a fatal disease must instead contend with the disease for control of our bodies, our lives, and our dignity. Parkinson’s disease, which afflicts so many, is such a disease.

The causes of Parkinson’s are ill understood. It is known that for most, genetic causes lie at the root of their affliction, though it is believed that there may be environmental causes of Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson Disease causes ‘motor symptoms’, including slow movement, tremors, stiffness, and problems walking, among others. Individuals with Parkinson’s can also development cognitive difficulties related to memory, or even dementia. They may lose their sense of smell, have difficulty speaking, and problems sleeping. Depression or anxiety is not uncommon.

The relationship between diet and Parkinson’s disease is strong, which isn’t unusual for any disease. Your body is at its strongest when it is well-fed, receiving all of its nutritional needs while not having to deal with junk food, excess fats or sugars, or any of the other dietary problems modern Americans face. Most doctors recommend that for those patients who have Parkinson’s, diet include all of the portions of meat, vegetables, fruit, and other essential vitamins and nutrients to keep the body strong and able to fight the disease. A diet that also accounts for the patient’s medications is also essential, as they are less effective – or even dangerous – when taken with the wrong foods.

Unfortunately, for those with Parkinson, diet is not a cure; in fact, there is no cure. Instead, there is training and therapy to deal with the symptoms on a day-to-day basis, along with medication to curb the excesses of those symptoms that are beyond mere therapy. Diet is, again, a fantastic help to both of these treatments. A strong, well-fed, otherwise healthy body will have a much easier time working with trainers and therapists to gain more control over their body and their condition. Meanwhile, eating the right foods at the right time can increase the effectiveness of your medication.

It’s not the end of the world to have Parkinson’s, but rather a new chapter of your life. One with its share of hardships, but certainly not one that you can’t manage with a combination of hard work, healthy living, good eating, and medical care. The truth is, that’s all still true even without Parkinson’s: as you age, the best way to ‘stay young’ is to treat your body right, and that means listening to your doctor, staying active, and feeding it the right nutrients. Nothing has changed, really, except that you’ve got a rougher patch to hoe. With the help of your friends and family, and some self-determination on your part, you can do it.

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