Published: 08/14/2015 - Updated: 08/30/2018
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
Did you know that Parkinson’s disease could also affect people that are as young as 30 years of age? Currently there is on average 300,000 people in the world that suffer from Parkinson’s, and of that number, 1 to 2% of those individuals are 30 years old.
Although this statistic may not seem alarming, it is worth all the effort to take care of your health and to not be reckless with this condition. Not only does it cause shaking and stiffness in the extremities, but it is generally degenerative and could lead to depression.
More obvious and aggressive Parkinson’s
In Peru, for example, according to the National Institute of Neurological Science, 5% of these cases involving younger people experience symptoms that are generally more aggressive, specialists say.
One could say that in young people, these physical or motor symptoms develop much more quickly and noticeably compared to individuals that suffer from this disease from age 60 on, which is more common.
Parkinson’s generally appears in younger people around the age of 30 due to genetic factors; this means that they carry it in their genes.
What causes Parkinson’s?
This disease is caused by a dopamine deficiency causing neurons to slowly die. Because there is not enough of this hormone, the cells that control movement can no longer act with the same efficacy. They no longer correctly send messages to the muscles, which leads to a lack of coordination, without being able to control themselves.
Doctors still have not discovered why the neurons responsible for dopamine wear out and die.
How to recognize Parkinson’s
Early symptoms for recognizing this disease include slight shaking, or even feeling like a leg or a foot becomes hard and rigid. This symptom could appear just in one side of the body, or in both.
You could also experience problems with balance and slouchy posture, along with difficulty swallowing. This is sometimes also associated with constipation problems and slow blinking.
Because there still has been no cure found for Parkinson’s, some foods can help fight the disease, and/or slow the appearance or symptoms or lessen the damage caused. We recommend consuming:
Beans, which are rich in levadope, a metabolic precursor amino acid for dopamine, which is medicinally used against Parkinson’s. It is best to consume this naturally.
Folic acid: consuming folic acid could prevent the development of some symptoms related to this disease. This element can be found in leafy greens like spinach, seaweed and broccoli. It is also present in avocados and soy.
Coffee: As said in a previous article, drinking caffeine daily (without going overboard) can help reduce the risk of contracting this degenerative disease. According to one thesis, this is explicable because coffee contains chlorogenic and malonic acids. These are powerful antioxidants that fight oxidative stress.
Turmeric: can protect the neurons responsible for producing dopamine, thanks to their excellent anti-inflammatory properties, according to an important study performed by John Hopkins University in the United States.
Green tea: is considered to be an excellent diuretic and weight loss aid. This herb is recommended for fighting Parkinson’s because of its high concentration of polyphenols. These antioxidants protect neurons.
Effects won’t be immediate. Studies show that they are progressive, and the more green tea you drink, the more protected you will be against this disease.
Apples: This fruit is also recommendable, because some people say that their flavonoids improve neuron life-span. Other beneficial fruits include oranges, grapes, and red berries.
Vitamin B6: This vitamin is recommended because some specialists have seen a relationship between B6 deficiency and people that have low dopamine levels, like patients with Parkinson’s.
You also need to be aware of the harmful effects that some prescribed medications could cause. It’s best to consult your personal physician.
Vitamins E and C can help protect brain cells from degeneration, which is why it’s a good idea to consume them. They have been proven to be more effective in patients going through the first stages of Parkinson’s, those who still haven’t been prescribed medications to increase dopamine levels.
Take care of yourself
Parkinson’s continues to be under constant research. Even though we don’t know specifically what causes it, it’s best to avoid smoking and to not use too many anti-inflammatories, which could be risk factors.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 08/30/2018
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