10 Early Warning Signs of PD from the Parkinson’s Foundation
No objective test for PD exists. PD is more common in people age 60+. Talk to your doctor if you have two or more of the following:
- Tremor – Have you noticed a slight shaking in your finger, thumb, hand, or chin? A tremor while at rest is a common early sign of PD.
- Small Handwriting – Has your handwriting gotten much smaller than it used to? A change may be a sign of PD.
- Loss of Smell – Have you noticed you no longer smell certain foods very well? If you have trouble smelling foods like bananas, pickles, or licorice, ask your doctor about PD.
- Trouble Sleeping – Do you thrash in bed or act out dreams when you are asleep? Sudden movement during sleep may be a sign of PD.
- Trouble Moving/Walking – Do your body, arms, or legs feel stiff? it doesn’t go away, it can be a PD sign.
- Constipation – Do you have trouble moving your bowels without straining?
- Soft/Low Voice – Have others told you that your voice is very soft or that you sound hoarse?
- Masked Face – Have you been told that you have a serious, depressed, or mad look, even when not in a bad mood? This is called facial masking.
- Dizziness or Fainting – Do you notice that you often feel dizzy when standing up? Feeling dizzy or fainting can link to PD.
- Stooping or Hunching Over – Are you not standing as upright as you used to? Stooping, leaning, or slouching when you stand may be a sign of PD.
Early detection helps because it provides a better opportunity to learn how to manage symptoms and maybe even slow progression.