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PD and Women

Following are 10 things that women patients of Parkinson’s Disease can do to get the needed care:

  1. Be aware that even young women can have PD: Self education is vital. One needs to be extra attentive and monitor your own symptoms

  2. Find healthcare professionals who understands you and your needs: it’s vital that they work with a care team — including neurologists and physical and occupational therapists — who understand their needs and make them “feel seen and heard”.

  3. Understand that PD affects different people differently: There are common features of PD, but that doesn’t mean every PD patient experiences them. Research suggests that women may be inclined to experience mental symptoms years before they experience moto symptoms.

  4. Don’t be stoic: Rather than suffering in silence, women need to take care of themselves. It is hard for women to take the time they need to give themselves love and nourishment. Women need to take good care of themselves first before helping others.

  5. Track your symptoms around menstrual cycle: During pre-menopausal period, menstrual cycles may influence PD symptoms. Hormonal cycle can affect the symptoms dramatically. A week before menses can be worst time.

  6. Ask for specialist referral: It takes 60% percent longer for women to diagnose PD as compared to the men. Women should be evaluated by specialists at least once a year if they have PD. The care team should include neurologists, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, yoga teacher, personal trainer, dietitian, psychologist, social worker and spiritual leader.

  7. Get organized before doctor’s visit: Bring document all symptoms, make a list of questions, list of medications and doses with you when you visit doctor. Most importantly, get someone (friend / relative) with you.

  8. Get support from family, friends, and groups: Emotional and mental effects could be acute, hence it is important to get support from family, husband and external support group.

  9. Work on daily wellness: Exercise and mind-body strategies such as yoga or mindfulness.

  10. Get involved in advocacy: Get involved in PD-related advocacy. Participating in clinical trial could be empowering.

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