OHSU

Living Well with Parkinson's Disease

Living Well with Parkinsons If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (PD), treatment can help you live a full, productive life.

You will do better if you make confront the disease with creative adjustments and a commitment to improving your physical, mental and spiritual wellness.

Exercise

Exercise makes a difference. A number of studies show the benefits of a well rounded exercise program, which includes stretching, strengthening and aerobics.

People with PD benefit from exercise in the same ways as others with improved:

  • Health and physical conditioning
  • Stamina, sleep and mood

Research now underway suggests exercise may have a special role in PD by increasing dopamine in the brain. This research is in its early stage, but there's no reason to wait to start exercising.

Learn more about exercise classes

Nutrition

Eating a well balanced diet, drinking lots of water and controlling your weight are even more important if you have PD.

Good nutrition is important for overall health. Check out the NPF booklet, Parkinson's Disease: Nutrition Matters, which can be found at the National Parkinson Foundation website

Helpful tips include:

  • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fluids to combat constipation. See PD Handbook for more information
  • Talk to your doctor about managing the amount of protein and iron you take in.

Education

You and your family should learn as possible about PD. This will help you cope with the disease and get the best healthcare.

Your doctor will diagnose you and create the best treatment plan based on the information you provide. You should:

  • Provide accurate, brief and thoughtful observations
  • Know what questions to ask
  • Know when to ask for referrals for additional treatment