Parkinson’s Disease (PD)

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is well-managed using naturopathic medicine.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) develops gradually, often starting with a tremor in one hand; may be accompanied by sleep problems; difficulty chewing and swallowing; urinary incontinence or urine retention; constipation; sexual dysfunction; hallucinations; and depression.

Many of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) are the result of a lack of dopamine, a chemical messenger (neurotransmitter) in the brain, caused by death or impairment of the specific brain cells that produce dopamine. Although the cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, genetic mutations or environmental toxins may be play a role in its development.

Seek professional healthcare if you experience any symptoms that cause you to suspect you may have Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease (PD)

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) can vary widely from person to person. Possible symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) include:

  • Tremors, often beginning in the hands
  • Involuntary rubbing together of your thumb and forefinger (“pin-rolling”)
  • Muscle rigidity limiting range of motion and causing pain
  • Slowed movement
  • Impaired posture and balance
  • Loss of automatic movements (e.g., blinking, smiling)
  • Speech changes
  • Dementia

Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) at Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, the goals of Parkinson’s disease (PD) treatment are to reduce severity of symptoms, slow disease progression and manage side effects of conventional medical treatments.

Conventional treatment for Parkinson’s disease (PD) may include surgery, or a variety of medications, including levodopa, and medications described as dopamine agonists, MAO-B inhibitors, catechol O-methyltransferase inhibitors, anticholinergics and antivirals. These treatments may have short- or long-term side effects.

For this reason, you may choose to try natural treatment together with conventional medications in order to decrease dosages of conventional medications required to manage your Parkinson’s disease (PD) symptoms.

Naturopathic treatment of any chronic health concern must be recognized as a process that involves:

  • Identifying specific treatment goals
  • Development by your naturopathic doctor, of a thorough understanding of all factors affecting your health, including physical, psychological, emotional and lifestyle factors
  • Development of a comprehensive treatment plan
  • Implementation and maintenance of that plan through periodic monitoring and adjustment

At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, a typical approach to treating Parkinson’s disease (PD) may be to:

  • Identify and address underlying factors in your lifestyle (e.g., exposure to toxins, poor diet) that may be contributing to your Parkinson’s disease (PD) symptoms
  • Optimize levels of nutrients known to be deficient in Parkinson’s disease (PD) using nutritional supplements
  • Reduce severity of symptoms and slow disease progression using acupuncture or Bowen Therapy and manage side effects of conventional medical treatments

Where appropriate, a number of therapeutic options are available, to be used alone, or more often in a complementary fashion, including:

Treatments provided by naturopathic doctors and registered massage therapists are covered by most extended healthcare plans.

References

Parkinson’s disease [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; [cited 2010 Jan 17]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/parkinsons-disease/DS00295.

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