The little-known symptom of Parkinson’s disease you might spot on your weekly shop – and 9 other signs

PARKINSON’S DISEASE is a neurological condition that gets worse over time.

Typically, the condition is associated with tremors, stiffness, and slow movements, but these symptoms usually do not appear until significant progression has occurred.

Smaller handwriting is an early sign of Parkinson's


Smaller handwriting is an early sign of Parkinson’sPhoto credit: Getty – Contributor

According to the charity Parkinson’s UK, there are several signs that can appear much earlier.

These include trouble sleeping, loss of smell, and feeling depressed or anxious.

You may also notice that your handwriting is smaller – something you might notice when compiling your weekly grocery list.

Here are the 10 most common early symptoms of the disease.

1. Problems with your sleep

According to experts, nocturnal problems are common in Parkinson’s patients.

They are more likely to suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders due to symptoms such as stiffness, pain and restless legs syndrome.

Tiredness and sleepiness during the day are therefore typical.

2. Loss of your sense of smell

Someone with Parkinson’s may find that their sense of smell isn’t as strong as it used to be or has disappeared altogether, says Parkinson’s UK.

This can sometimes start years before other symptoms appear.

3. Smaller handwriting

Another telltale sign is smaller handwriting—either smaller than before, or progressively smaller on a page.

Because changes in the brain can lead to movements being reduced or less powerful than before.

4. Problems with your bladder or bowels

Signs of an overactive bladder, such as Things like having to go to the bathroom immediately without warning or having to walk frequently throughout the night are the most common bladder symptoms in people with Parkinson’s, according to the charity.

5. Experiencing depression

Depression can be characterized by feelings of extreme sadness or a feeling of emotional “emptiness” over a long period of time.

This can occur months before any other symptoms in Parkinson’s patients.

6. Feelings of anxiety

Anxieties – such as feelings of uneasiness, worry, or fear – are also common in the early stages.

This is partly due to sufferers’ concerns about living with a long-term health condition.

According to Parkinson’s UK, some of the most common symptoms of anxiety include: feeling anxious, being constantly worried or having trouble concentrating, sweating, palpitations, palpitations, breathlessness, dizziness or tremors.

7. Fatigue

Fatigue – tiredness that doesn’t go away with rest – affects up to half of all people with Parkinson’s disease.

It’s thought to be caused by chemical changes in the brain, but it can also be related to other symptoms or features of the condition.

It can fluctuate dramatically from day to day, leaving someone feeling energized one day but completely exhausted the next.

Fatigue can also manifest itself physically and mentally, making it difficult for some people to concentrate for long periods of time without a break.

8. Uncontrollable Actions

A more typical symptom of Parkinson’s disease is tremors — an uncontrollable movement that affects a part of the body.

Usually this starts with a hand tremor before spreading to the rest of the arm or foot on the same side of the body.

9. Slow movement

According to Parkinson’s UK, slowness of movement, also called bradykinesia, can make someone with Parkinson’s take longer to get things done.

For example, you may have problems with coordination, walking becomes more like a shuffle, or walking speed becomes slower.

Everyday tasks like paying for items at the checkout or getting to a bus stop could take longer, it said.

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10. Stiffness, inflexibility and cramps

stiffness, such as Symptoms such as stiff muscles, inflexibility and cramps are other early signs to show up.

People may notice that it is harder than usual to write, button up, stand up, or tie shoelaces.

What is Parkinson’s disease?

PARKINSON is a progressive neurological disease.

This means it causes problems in the brain and gets worse over time.

People with Parkinson’s don’t have enough of the chemical dopamine in their brain because some of the nerve cells that make it stop working.

Around 145,000 people are living with Parkinson’s in the UK.

It is the fastest growing neurological disease in the world.

Symptoms occur when the brain cannot produce enough dopamine to properly control movement.

This usually happens around the age of 50, but in some people the first signs can appear as early as the age of 40.

There are over 40 symptoms, but the three most important are:

  • A tremor (tremor)
  • slowness of movement
  • rigidity (muscle stiffness)

Various treatments, therapies and support are available to help manage the condition.

Source: Parkinson’s UK

Aila Slisco

Aila Slisco is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Aila Slisco joined Dailynationtoday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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