Parkinson’s disease is defined as an “a chronic and progressive brain disorder that causes loss of muscle control”, and about one million people in the US are affected by it. According to the he Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, the condition causes “the malfunction and death of vital nerve cells in the brain.” Many of the affected nerves are responsible for producing dopamine, the chemical that controls movement and coordination of the human body.
Commonly known symptoms of Parkinson’s include slowed movement, speech impediments, and tremors. But these often only present themselves when the illness has progressed to its later stages. As with any other disease, the earlier that it is detected, the easier it would be treat and medicate. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease that might be present in the early stages of it. Here are 12 such signs that you need to be on the lookout for.
1. Loss of Smell
Loss of or an impaired sense of smell, known medically as anosmia, is said to be one of the very first signs of Parkinson’s In fact, the NHS says that in some cases, this symptom might develop several years before any others do.
According to the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation the problem with smell arises when “messages such as odor cues don’t get through” to the brain due to cell and nerve damage, disrupting the signals passed to the brain from the muscle and nerves. This occurs due to the dopamine-producing cells being affected, as we saw earlier.
2. Trouble Sleeping
Having trouble sleeping is something that plagues all humans at some point or the other, but if it lasts for a long time, you might want to get it checked out as it is could be pointing to Parkinson’s disease. It is especially concerning in the case that you also experience shouting, kicking, or grinding your teeth during sleep. This is a condition called RBD or Rapid Eye-Movement Behavior Disorder.
RBD is very worrisome because about 40 percent of patients with it develop Parkinson’s disease, according to the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation. They also say that other sleeping disorders like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome are commonly linked to early stage Parkinson’s disease, sometimes even years in advance.
We already saw how Parkinson’s disease affects the body’s nervous system, including digestion and bowel movements. This is why constipation is another common sign of early stage Parkinson’s.
But, of course, just because you’re constipated doesn’t mean you have Parkinson’s. According to Reader’s Digest, its particularly worrying when this symptom appears along with other issues such as “difficulty sleeping and trouble moving or walking.”
4. Masked Face
As Parkinson’s affects the muscles in your body, the ones in your face also end up affected. As a result, your face might lack proper movement or well defined expression, making you seem like you have a serious or blank face at all times. This could also happened very early on in the development of the disease.
According to the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation, “it’s easiest to recognize by a slowness to smile or frown, or staring off into the distance, along with less frequent blinking.”
5. Mood Disorders
The reason for the link between Parkinson’s and changes in mood haven’t been fully discovered yet, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is commonly reported as an early indicator of the disease. Mood disorders that a patients with Parkinson’s might experience include depression, social withdrawal or heightened anxiety in unfamiliar situations.
According to Reader’s digest, Parkinson’s patients “tend to feel apathetic and generally disinterested in things they used to enjoy.” This, along with sadness and a feeling of helplessness, is a symptom often associated with depression.
6. Dizziness and Fainting
If you’ve experienced the feeling of dizziness more than a few times over the period of some time, you could have symptomatic Neurogenic Orthostatic Hypotension (NOH). According to the NHS, this is a condition that occurs when a person’s blood pressure drops suddenly while standing up, and is a common symptom among Parkinson’s patients. In fact, this is a symptom that is present in about 15-50% of people with the illness.
Doctors believe this symptom occurs due to the lack of norepinephrine in the nervous system, which is a “a chemical that ‘talks’ to sensors on your blood vessels telling them to tighten, or constrict, which raises your blood pressure and brings blood back up to your brain,” as defined by the NHS. Furthermore, an improper blood flow to the brain could also cause dizziness, lightheartedness, and even fainting.
7. Excessive Sweating
Since the main area affected by Parkinson’s is the nervous system of one’s body, it also impacts the skin and sweat glands. This could cause an excessive uncontrollable sweating, known medically as hyperhidrosis. Women who experience this symptom might find it similar to hot flashes felt during menopause.
Other changes in skin that patients with Parkinson’s might discover include their skin becoming more oily, including the scalp area, which could result in dandruff.
8. Slowed Movement
When the disease moves past its most initial stage, one of the most common ways it shows itself is through slowed movement, a symptom known as bradykinesia. Seemingly meaningless tasks like buttoning a shirt or eating with a spoon could become time-consuming and difficult.
Furthermore, it might also cause problems with walking, causing you to take shorter steps or drag your feet. Healthline.com says these problems arise due to “the impairment of the neurons that control movement.”
9. Rigid Muscles
Almost all patients with Parkinson’s will develop a stiffness in the muscles and limbs to some extent, known as rigidity. WebMD describes this as “the inability of the muscles to relax normally.”
Rigidity can cause a decrease in a person’s range of motion, and this can be accompanied by pain or discomfort in the affected parts of the body. One of the common ways to detect rigidity is if you’re having trouble swinging your arms while walking.
10. Changes in Writing
Patients with Parkinson’s have also reported a sudden difficulty in writing. Micrographia, or small handwriting that seems more crowded and chaotic is a common sign of the disease.
Although this might appear to be a more subtle sign than some of the other motor-impairments, it is nevertheless also caused by slowed movements (bradykinesia). The Parkinson’s Disease Foundation says that bradykinesia makes it difficult to perform repetitive tasks, and that’s why microphagia might occur.
11. Impaired Posture and Balance
As Parkinson’s affects the person’s coordination, muscle movement and reflexes, it becomes difficult to maintain posture and balance. This may cause them to slouch, become stooped over, or retropulsion – the action of swaying backward when arising from a sitting position. Retropulsion makes actions like turning around or quick movements especially challenging.
But, Healthline.com acknowledges that these changes won’t happen all of a sudden. They say that “posture will change in small ways at first, and will gradually worsen.”
12. Speech and Voice Changes
Muscle impairment originating from Parkinson’s can also affect the way a person talks and cause problems with speech. Often, they will seem to slur their words, talk too fast, or hesitate before speaking. Their voice may become softer and more monotone as well.
Often times, this is a symptom that is more commonly recognized by the people around those with Parkinson’s than the patient themselves. And Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation says that it is one of the earliest symptoms of the disease.
Eggs are one of the best and cheapest forms of protein that you can include in your diet. Each egg contains about 85 calories, and among these are a ton of amino acids, antioxidants, iron, and of course, protein.
And don’t skip the egg yolk, even if you’re looking to lose weight, because they actually contain a fat-fighting nutrient called choline. So, the next time you’re enjoying that oozy egg yolk, there’s no need to feel guilty!
When buying eggs, the thing you need to pay close attention to is that you get the organic kind whenever possible. These are free or antibiotics, vaccines and hormones. The color, however, doesn’t matter according to Molly Morgan, RD, a board-certified dietitian and sports-medicine specialist in New York.
Here are 12 amazing effects eating eggs can have on your body:
1. Boost the Immune System
Adding an egg to your daily diet can help your body in its fight against various infections, viruses, and diseases. A large egg contains about a quarter of your recommended daily intake of selenium, a nutrient that helps your immune systems and regulates the thyroid hormone.
Adding eggs to your kids’ diets can also be particularly beneficial as kids and adolescents don’t get as much selenium, and this can lead to ailments like Keshan disease and Kashin-Beck disease, conditions that target the heart, bones and joints. Not to mention eggs are one of the things that most kids enjoy eating, so you can sneak a whole load of nutrition into their tiny bodies through it!oints.
2. A Dosage of Good Cholesterol
There are good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol, and needless to say, it is the bad cholesterol that we should be worried about. You might think that someone facing cholesterol issues might think of staying away from any and all kinds of fat completely. But the fact of the matter is that a healthy dosage of good cholesterol in their daily diet can help regulate bad cholesterol. Sounds counter-intuitive, but it works!
Each egg contains about 212 mg of cholesterol, and the good news is that these contribute largely to increase the HDL cholesterol. So, even if you have issues with cholesterol, eggs are a great addition to your breakfast but of course, in moderation.
3. Better Heart Health
LDL cholesterol is bad, we all know that. But scientists have found through further research that there are different types even within LDL cholesterol, specifically relating to the size of the particles.
Research indicates that larger particles of LDL cholesterol pose a significantly less threat of cardiovascular problems than smaller LDL particles. And here’s the best part: even though eggs can increase LDL cholesterol in some people, the size of the existing LDL particles go from small to large. This means that, not only do eggs give you a dose of good cholesterol, but they also modify the “bad” cholesterol in your body to make it more beneficial, resulting in less risk of heart disease!
4. Fuel for the Body
Food is fuel for the body, which is why you should be careful of the quality of it just as you would about the quality of fuel you pump into your vehicle. That’s why eggs are considered great to add to your diet for a release of slow and effective energy.
A single egg contains about 15% of the recommended daily intake of riboflavin, also known as Vitamin B2. All Vitamin B are known to help the body turn food into fuel, which is what gives you the energy. So, if you want that beach body, it might help to eat more eggs, as it will keep you energized and ready for workouts!
5. Better Hair and Skin
Not only are eggs rich in vitamin B2, they also contain vitamins B5 and B12 as well. B-complex Vitamins also help nourish and keep your skin, hair, eyes, and liver healthy. They are high in protein, which help keep your hair healthy and strong. Eggs also contain Biotin, a specific type of Vitamin B that is known to be good for keeping your scalp healthy and encouraging hair growth.
Eating eggs regularly can also give you supple, younger looking skin. This is because eggs helps increase blood levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, while regulating cholesterol. This helps in the betterment of skin’s elasticity and fight against sun damage. These also help regulate the functions of the nervous system.
6. You’ll Protect Your Brain
Eggs are not just fuel for your body, they are also fuel for your brain. So, the addition of eggs to your breakfast routine might help keep you feeling sharper and more focused throughout the day.
Eggs contain an essential nutrient called choline, which is an element of cell membranes and is necessary to produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter. This is said to be essential in maintaining a better memory and encouraging effective communication among brain cells.
According to research, a lack of choline could be the cause of certain neurological disorders and decreased cognitive function. And the worst part is that a US dietary survey found that more than 90% of Americans consume less than the RDA for choline.
7. Essential Amin Acids
The body produces 11 types of amino acids on its own, but it requires a total of 20 essential amino acids which help you you stay energized and keep your immune system, muscles, skin, and hair healthy as well.
Lucky for you, these remaining 9 amino acids can be found in, you guessed it, eggs! These amino acids are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lycine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. On top of containing essential amino acids, eggs are also a rich source of three non-essential amino acids called alanine, aspartic acid and glutamic acid. With all of these combined, you must be starting to get an idea of why eggs are considered such a powerhouse of beneficial properties!
8. Better Mental Health
Amino acid deficiency has been linked to mental health problems like stress, anxiety, and depression. Amino acids help modulate the serotonin in a person’s nervous system, which is what keeps you feeling happy. Eggs contain 9 types of amino acids (12 if we consider the non essential ones as well), and that’s why eating them will not only keep your body happy, but also your mind.
So, if you know someone that has been going through a tough time or has been feeling down lately, make them a breakfast rich in eggs. Not only will the delicious meal please them, the eggs will get right to work on the inside of their bodies!
9. Crystal Clear Vision
The leading causes of vision impairment or blindness in the elderly can be attributed to macular deterioration and cataracts. Egg yolks contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that play a major role in helping curb these problems. While leafy green vegetables like spinach, broccoli and Kale also have these antioxidants, research says the human body is able to absorb lutein from eggs better and faster than these vegetables.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition studied participants who ate 1.3 egg yolks per day for four-and-a-half weeks. They found that these people experienced an increase in blood levels of zeaxanthin by 114-142% and lutein by 28-50%!
10. Healthy Teeth and Bones
As we all know, Calcium is one of the most important elements to help determine bone health, but a lesser known fact is that Vitamin D is also very important. And no, milk isn’t the only good source of Calcium around!
Eggs are rich in Vitamin D, and in fact one of the few natural sources of it. Vitamin D aids the body in absorbing calcium, which is essential in maintaining strong bones and teeth, is also a major player in heart and colon health, as well as boosting metabolism.
Eggs also contain sulphur, which helps create collagen. And since 65% of our bones are made up of mineralized collagen, this is certainly a good thing. The high amount of sulphur in eggs is also great for maintaining long and healthy hair and nails.
11. Satiate Your Hunger and Make You Eat Less
Eggs are not only a great source of many essential nutrients, they also have an interesting effect on the body due to the high levels of protein in them. Researchers have concluded that a general diet of high-protein foods can affect the appetite, meaning they make you feel fuller, thereby discouraging you to eat more. High-protein foods are also good as a quick snack as you’ll need to eat way less to feel full for way longer.
Compared to all other types of protein, eggs fare a lot better. In fact, they get a perfect score of a 100! Eggs also score extremely high on something called the Satiety Index which is a measure of how full people feel after eating certain types of food.
12. Lose Weight and Fat
Because you feel fuller when you eat eggs, you are unlikely to feel hungry often. This means that you end up eating less, and therefore lose fat and weight. This is why eggs are a good addition to your breakfast routine when you’re trying to lose weight, especially through exercise. It gives you the energy with all the vitamins and minerals you need while limiting your food intake.
In fact, this was demonstrated through an eight-week long study that compared people who ate eggs against people who ate bagels (containing the same amount of calories) every day. The results indicated that those who ate eggs lost 65% more body weight and 16%. They also registered a loss in waist size and a decrease in BMI by 34%!
Looking for a friend to spend your golden years with? Get a dog!
Dogs are a great life companion, and there’s no one that needs a friend for life than retirees who might be feeling lonely and bored. Here are some of the dog breeds that are ideal for seniors to get:
Pomeranians are just fluffy balls of love! Being people-pleasers, they will cater to your every need. And since they small and don’t weigh too much, they are easy to handle and require very little physical effort, making them perfect for seniors.
2. Shih Tzu
Ranging in weight from 9 to 16 pounds, Shih Tzu is easy to handle. Though the breed is a bit stubborn, most can be trained without much trouble. The Shih Tzu is prone to suffering from skin issues and brachycephalic syndrome.
Pugs are a great option for elders to get as pets because they are charming and playful, and so not a boring day would go by with them by your side. At the same time, they are also resilient little things that do not require much exercise, so they are easy to handle as well. A bonus is that they are quite small, which means they meet the size requirements that many assisted living communities have in place.
4. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
If you want a dog that’s not too much effort to manage, but also isn’t too small, you might be looking for the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. This medium-sized dog has adorably short legs, and weighs only about 24-30 pounds. It also requires minimal grooming, and is easily trained, which is perfect for elders.
Beagles were a breed of dog that were originally intended as hunting companions, but they’ve become so much more than that as of late. They are also great family dogs, which makes them one of the best breeds for a senior to get, especially for those who want to stay fit in their golden years as beagles are quite spunky and very active.
6. Labrador Retriever
If you love spending your evenings out on your yard, and want someone to accompany you during that time, get a Labrador Retriever! These charming dogs are gentle and affectionate, but also very active, intelligent, and quick learners. They love running around, ergo great for those with yards.
No one can pass a poodle by on the street without looking back, cause they’re just so cute! The best part about this breed is that it comes in all sizes – from tiny to the standard (which is a medium to large sized dog). Poodles have great personalities and will shower you with love and loyalty. They are very quick to adapt to different situations, but do require professional grooming once every two months or so.
Cute, fluffy, and fits right into your lap. What is it? The Maltese! Not only does it fit in your lap, it loves spending time there. Similar to the poodle, it is easy to train, but also requires semi-regular grooming. But since they weigh only about 7-9 pounds, they are quit easy to handle, and are also the perfect size for your bag if you ever need to take them anywhere.
9. Yorkshire Terrier
This breed might be tiny, but it has a lot of character, so you definitely won’t every be bored around them. They are adaptable, and are the perfect size for assisted living homes. While they can get be a bit tenacious at times, their small size means you shouldn’t find it too hard to handle them. They do require plenty of exercise, and their long hair needs to be groomed regularly.
10. Basset Hound
With their large, floppy ears and short legs, the Basset Hound is a unique breed of dog. These dogs are easygoing, loving, and adaptable, making them great companions for seniors. They like to follow you closely, so you’ll never be without a friend by your side. Basset hounds do require some exercise, and can be a bit stubborn at times, but they do not require frequent grooming.
If you prefer to go for a larger breed of dog, but still don’t want to have to put in too much effort, the Greyhound is perfect for you. Although they are known as racing dogs, they aren’t as active or aggressive as many people think. In fact, you might even call them couch potatoes because they love lounging and goofing around with their owners. But, they do enjoy daily walks, which can be a good thing because you can also get your daily dose of exercise.
12. Bichon Frise
This fluffy little ball of happiness only weighs around 7-12 pounds, so its pretty easy to take care of. They are easy to train and will shower you with more love and affection than you can handle. Other than needing to be groomed once in a while, maintaining them doesn’t require much else.
13. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Just need a snuggle buddy to be by your side while you watch TV? The Cavalier can be just that for you. They aren’t super active and love laying beside you. Since they are pretty small, weighing an average of 11-18 pounds, they are quite easy to take care of. But, they do need to be regularly groomed, so a visit to the dog salon for hair brushing, ear cleaning, etc. is a must.
14. French Bulldog
A bulldog might be a bit much for you to handle, but a French bulldog is the just perfect size. These miniature bulldogs weigh only about 24-30 pounds, and are easy to maintain as they do not require much grooming. They are active, muscular, and so, so, happy all the time that all that positive energy is bound to rub off on you as well! However, you will need to be on the lookout for health concerns like brachycephalic syndrome and various skin issues.
A schnauzer is another dog breed that comes in various sizes, so you can pick one that suits you whether it be large or small. Schnauzers are easily trained and adaptable. They are playful dogs, and are great with children as well. So, if you’ve got grandchildren that love to visit, they’ll be a great help in keeping them occupied!
Lower abdominal or pelvic pain followed by pelvic heaviness and changes in the bowel habits can indicate ovarian cancer. The chances of developing this type of cancer are higher in:
women with a family history of ovarian, colorectal, or breast cancer
women who have never been pregnant
women diagnosed with colon, breast, uterine, or rectal cancer
In addition, pain in the pelvic area might indicate leukemia or uterine cancer.
15. Unusual Pain Lasting Longer than 4 Weeks
Pains and aches can be caused by numerous reasons. However, pain occurring for no apparent reason which comes and go, or stays for a period of 4 weeks or more, needs to be checked by a doctor as it may indicate testicular or bone cancer