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Michael J Fox and Muhammad Ali, have raised awareness of Parkinson’s disease.

Michael J Fox and Muhammad Ali, have raised awareness of Parkinson’s disease.
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Living with Parkinson’s disease

2-minute read

Most people with Parkinson’s disease continue to live rich and rewarding lives but some adaptations and changes might be needed with time.

If you are living with Parkinson's, making changes to your lifestyle and physical environment may make it easier.

Healthy diet

Eating a high-fibre diet of fruit, vegetables and grains, and drinking plenty of water, can help prevent the constipation that often accompanies Parkinson’s disease. Make sure you eat a balanced diet high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Exercise

Exercising may increase your muscle strength and balance, and reduce depression and anxiety. A physiotherapist can advise you about an exercise program and strategies to overcome problems such as freezing of movement and loss of balance.

Work

Your ability to continue working safely and productively may involve simple modifications to your workplace, flexible hours, and the regular review and adjustment to your medicines. Whether you tell your employer is up to you. Remember, it is illegal in Australia for employers to discriminate against employees or potential employees on the grounds of disability.

Relationships and sex

Some people with Parkinson’s disease experience a decrease in sexual desire, performance or satisfaction. In others, medicines that substitute for dopamine can result in a preoccupation with sexual thoughts and desires. Seek advice from your doctor or a professional counsellor if this is affecting you.

Last reviewed: November 2016

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