You may have heard that shaking hands, or tremors, are the defining sign of Parkinson’s disease. While tremors are a common symptom of this disorder that mainly affects people older than 60, not all cases of trembling hands are due to Parkinson’s disease.
At Dignity Health Central Coast, our team of neurologists evaluate your symptoms with an emphasis on attention to your physical, mental, and spiritual needs. Your doctor will work with you to rule out other potential causes for what you are feeling or determine if you are experiencing signs of Parkinson’s disease.
Find a Doctor today to discuss your treatment for Parkinson’s disease symptoms on the Central Coast of California.
Identifying Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms at Dignity Health Central Coast
Parkinson’s disease is considered a movement disorder. Its signs and symptoms involve challenges with movement. They include:
- Problems with balance and coordination
- Slow movement
- Muscle rigidity, especially in your legs, arms, or torso
- Tremors in your leg, foot, arm, hand, or face
- Voice tremors
Part of the challenge of diagnosing Parkinson’s disease is that many other disorders share these signs and symptoms. Your Dignity Health Central Coast doctor provides expert care when ruling out other potential underlying conditions.
Early signs of Parkinson’s disease may be very mild and affect only one side of your body. As the disease gets worse, symptoms, such as hand shaking or an abnormal walking pattern, are more noticeable. You may feel that your symptoms start to interfere with daily activities, such as grocery shopping and cooking.
Diagnosing Parkinson’s Disease Signs & Symptoms
There are no specific tests to diagnose Parkinson’s disease. Your doctor will typically work with you to rule out other potential causes of your symptoms before arriving at a diagnosis.
Diagnosing Parkinson’s disease may include:
- Medical history evaluation to determine if you have a family history of Parkinson’s disease or history of other movement disorders.
- Examination to assess your balance, muscle tone, and walking pattern (gait).
- Confirming that your symptoms are not the result of side effects from medications.
- Taking medicine for a while (medication trial) to determine if your symptoms improve.
Your doctor may recommend diagnostic testing, including imaging tests such as a DaTscan. This newer type of brain scan can help tell the difference between Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor, a common movement problem that involves hand tremors.
A thorough approach to diagnosing Parkinson’s disease helps your Dignity Health Central Coast doctor develop an effective, personalized treatment plan. Contact us today to learn more about the possible causes for your symptoms and how our skilled experts can get you back to doing the activities you enjoy most.
Dignity Health provides award-winning care for a range of neurological conditions, including the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease signs and symptoms, on the Central Coast of California.