General HealthParkinsonsReduce Your Risk

Ten Actions to Reduce Your Risk of Parkinson’s Disease

Fight back and reduce you risk of Parkinson's disease.

The following actions and personal changes are backed by medical science now supports specific lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of Parkinson's or its symptoms.

Drink coffee and green tea.

Coffee and green tea are high in antioxidants and associated with lower risk of Parkinson's disease.

Eat a vegetarian style diet.

Colorful fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are powerful chemicals that block brain cell damage caused by toxic free-radicals produced by cell metabolism. Aim for 8-10 servings daily.

Start exercising.

Exercise is medicine. High intensity exercise such as fast paced walking, cycling or hiking may protect vulnerable dopamine nerve cells from the damage that causes Parkinson's.

 Live an active lifestyle.

A sedentary lifestyle is associated with an increase risk in Parkinson's. You can change this in simple ways beyond just formal exercise. Take the stairs. Park your car farther from your destination. Ride your bike to work. Play with your children and grandchildren, visit a park.

Make neuroplasticity work for you.

Move better and feel better by changing your brain activity.  Neuroplasticity refers to the positive brain changes that results from our actions. See our blog post on how to optimize these changes.

Manage stress.

Stress can increase all Parkinson's movement symptoms but whats more, chronic stress also leads to damage in our cell's genetic code that can hasten brain cell death.

Recognize and treat depression.

Depression is not only a risk factor for Parkinson's but also one of the most important symptoms to treat since it influences all of our daily activities. You may be less likely to eat well, be positive, exercise and stay connected when you are depressed.

Work with a physical therapist.

Don't wait for your doctor to suggest a visit with PT. Ask your healthcare provider for a referral before your movement changes become a problem. Be proactive not reactive. Ask again if you haven't seen a PT in a couple of years of your symptoms change.

Avoid pesticides.

Pesticides are toxic to dopamine nerve cells and may exposure can increase your risk.This includes using pesticide on your lawn, garden or food. Eat organic produce if you can afford it. Some fruits and vegetables, labeled the Dirty Dozen are especially high in pesticide contaminants.  

Drink water, plenty of it.

However, be careful if you drink well water as this also is a risk factor for Parkinson's disease. Consider testing your water for pesticides and other contaminants if you do drink well water.

Above all, joint the National Parkinson's Foundation, Michael J Fox Foundation and American Parkinson's Disease Association. These national foundations are working for the cure and for your well-being. 

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