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Staying Hydrated with Parkinson’s

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Parkinson’s disease can have a big affect on the daily lives of its sufferers. Parkinson’s is a central nervous system disorder that causes trouble with movement, such as difficulty walking, rigidity and stiffness of the limbs, tremors and shaking, stooped posture, and slowness of movement. In addition to mobility and motor control problems, Parkinson’s sufferers may also experience a range of psychiatric symptoms, such as depression, sleep problems, and dementia.

Medications can help to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s. However, it’s essential for patients and caregivers to carefully manage potential side effects. Some medications commonly used in the treatment of Parkinson’s can increase the risk of dehydration. Dehydration can result in constipation, worsen tremors, exacerbate problems with balance, and increase confusion and other dementia symptoms. Extreme dehydration may require a trip to the hospital, and can cause severe respiratory and kidney problems. Because many Parkinson’s sufferers experience a loss of appetite and a correspondingly low desire to drink liquids, it’s especially important that caregivers and patients make sure that enough liquid is ingested during the day to prevent dehydration.

The best way to insure that Parkinson’s sufferers stay hydrated is to make liquids available at all times. Good liquids for hydration include water, herbal or decaffeinated tea, juice mixed fifty-fifty with water, and low-fat milk. Watered-down juice is a good idea because its sweet taste makes it more appealing and palatable than plain water; however, it also has less sugar than full-strength juice, which can contain as much sugar as soda. Low-fat milk and buttermilk are less filling than whole milk, and provide hydration as well as protein and calcium, while creating less of a sensation of fullness than regular dairy products. In order to decrease the risk of dehydration, people with Parkinson’s should avoid caffeine and alcohol.

Edison Home Health Care is happy to advise and assist you or any loved one who seek appropriate care of Parkinsons disease. Give us a call at 888-311-1142, or fill out a contact form and we will respond shortly.

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