SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
The primary symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are all related to voluntary and involuntary motor function and usually start on one side of the body. Symptoms are mild at first and will progress over time.
Tremors: Trembling in fingers, hands, arms, feet, legs, jaw, or head. Usually tremors occur while resting, but not while involved in a task. Tremors may worsen when a person is excited, tired, or stressed.
Rigidity: Stiffness of the limbs and trunk, which may increase during movement. Rigidity may produce muscle aches and pain. Loss of fine hand movements can lead to cramped handwriting (micrographia) and may make eating difficult.
Bradykinesia: Slowness of voluntary movement. Over time, it may become difficult to initiate movement and to complete movement. Bradykinesia together with stiffness can also affect the facial muscles and result in an expressionless, “mask-like” appearance.
Postural instability: Impaired or lost reflexes can make it difficult to adjust posture to maintain balance. Postural instability may lead to falls.
Parkinsonian gait: Individuals with more progressive Parkinson’s disease develop a distinctive shuffling walk with a stooped position and a diminished or absent arm swing. It may become difficult to start walking and to make turns.
While the main symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are movement-related, progressive loss of muscle control and continued damage to the brain can lead to secondary symptoms. These vary in severity, and not every individual will experience all of them. Some of the secondary symptoms include:
- anxiety, insecurity, and stress
- confusion, memory loss, and dementia (more common in elderly individuals)
- Executive dysfunction, Slowed cognitive speed
- insomnia, daytime drowsiness
- mask-like face expression
- small handwriting
- slowed, quieter speech, and monotone voice
- pain, paresthesia, Fatigue
- Dystonia (abnormal, sustained, painful twisting muscle contractions)
- difficulty in speech, swallowing and excessive salivation
- diminished sense of smell (hyposmia or anosmia)
- excessive sweating
- Altered sexual function
- skin problems, oily skin
- urinary incontinence
- Psychotic symptoms—hallucinations or delusions
- low blood pressure upon standing (orthostatic hypotension)
- blurred or double vision, decreased blink rate, dry eyes
Most people with Parkinson’s disease have idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (having no specific known cause). A small proportion of cases, however, can be attributed to known genetic factors. Other factors have been associated with the risk of developing PD, but no causal relationship has been proven.
The syndrome was comprehensively described by James Parkinson in 1817 (An Essay on the Shaking Palsy). But the review of much early literature of Ayurveda date back as far as 5000 BC would show that syndrome strikingly similar to Parkinsonism was already known including the treatment with the seeds of a plant containing therapeutic levels of what is today known as levodopa apart from several other preparations. It is known as “Kampa vata”.
According to Ayurveda, most of the diseases of the Vata are essentially the conditions of degenerative diseases of the nervous system. Kampa vata is one such condition caused by imbalance of Vata. The treatment of ‘kampavata’ consists of both internal and external administration of drugs in different forms aimed to reverse the ‘vata’ imbalance.
Approach towards Parkinson’s disease
Nidaan Parivarjana:- The natural treatment for Parkinson’s deals with the treatment of the etiological factors responsible for Parkinson’s tremors. In the treatment of Parkinson, patients are guided to avoid such type of Aahar and Vihar (diet and lifestyle) which increases the Vata in an unhealthy manner. The food,having Rookshaya (dry), Laghu (light), Sheet (cold), Daruna (unstable), Khara(rough),and Vishada (clear) is generally not recommended for the Parkinson’s patients.
Samshodhan (removing of accumulated Dosha from the body): – In this line of treatment, exaggerated Vata Dosha is expelled out from the body via Snehana, Abhyanga, Swedana, Nasya, & Basti.
Shaman (balancing of exaggerated Dosha in the body):- In this final step, the Vata Dosha is balanced with the help of ayurvedic formulations.
.If the patient is already on Allopathic medication, these treatments and medicines can be comfortably combined with them. Our Ayurveda treatment regime proves effective in controlling the side effects of allopathic medications and even in reducing the dosage of allopathic medications.If a patient can come in the initial stages or before starting the allopathic medication, the results are wonderful.