Parkinsons Disease Home > Parkinson's Disease Symptoms

Difficulty With Swallowing and Chewing
The muscles used in swallowing may work less efficiently in later stages of Parkinson's disease. In these cases, food and saliva may collect in the mouth and back of the throat, which can result in choking or drooling. Medications can often alleviate these problems.
Speech Changes
About half of all people with Parkinson's disease have problems with speech. They may speak too softly or in a monotone voice, hesitate before speaking, slur or repeat their words, or speak too fast. A speech therapist may be able to help these people reduce some of these problems.
Urinary Problems or Constipation
In some people with Parkinson's disease, symptoms affecting the bladder and bowel can occur due to the improper functioning of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is responsible for regulating smooth muscle activity. Some people may become incontinent, while others have trouble urinating.
Others may experience constipation because the intestinal tract operates more slowly. Constipation can also be caused by inactivity, eating a poor diet, or drinking too little fluid. It can be a persistent problem and, in rare cases, can be serious enough to require hospitalization. People should not let constipation last for more than several days before taking steps to alleviate it.
Skin Problems
In Parkinson's disease, it is common for the skin on the face to become oily, particularly on the forehead and at the sides of the nose. The scalp may become oily, too, resulting in dandruff. In other cases, the skin can become quite dry. These problems are also the result of an improperly functioning autonomic nervous system. Standard treatments for skin problems can be help helpful. Excessive sweating, another common symptom, is usually controllable with the medications used for Parkinson's disease treatment.
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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