Parkinson's patients spend more than $5 billion on treatment each year. Drug treatments have improved so much that doctors are now less likely to recommend surgery to people with Parkinson's. These tips can help you manage your symptoms and maintain an active lifestyle, but it's important to consult with your doctor, too.

  • Stay active.

    Continue your regular activities, as much assafety permits, to maintain mobility and prevent depression. Try to walk, stretch, and do weight-bearing activities daily to maintain physical conditioning.
  • Eat well.

    It's important that Parkinson's patients maintain proper nutrition. A registered dietitian or nutritionist can design meals for you if you're having problems with appetite, chewing, swallowing, weight loss, or constipation.
  • Seek out specialists.

    Rehabilitation professionals, such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists, can help you maintain day-to-day functions and independence. Rely on them to help determine a realistic exercise level and for tips on handling daily activities, such as getting in and out of the tub.
  • Use medical devices.

    Canes, walkers, and wheelchairs can be helpful to Parkinson's patients if balance is a problem.
  • Control constipation.

    Parkinson's disease, along with certain medications and inactivity, can lead to constipation. So remember to eat a high-fiber diet, and talk with your doctor about dietary supplements, such as psyllium, that may help to regulate bowel movements.
  • Manage stress.

    Stress can exacerbate the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Your doctor or therapist can help you find strategies to control stress, which may include behavioral modification, early retirement, or reduced work hours.
  • Plan your travel carefully.

    Budget enough time for rest, and take advantage of services at airports and hotels designed for people with disabilities. Keep your medicines in their original bottles, and carry them onto the airplane with you just in case checked baggage gets lost or delayed.