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7 Triggers That May Heighten Your Parkinson’s Symptoms

Getting a handle on what activates or triggers Parkinson's symptoms can be a mystery. However, the longer you’ve had the illness and the closer you pay attention to your circumstances, the better you will be able to identify some of the answers to why you do what you do. Below is a list of the triggers that I can identify and can sometimes control.

Stress & anxiety

Avoiding stress and anxiety is dependent upon how you receive, choose to react, and respond to any situation. In other words, how you choose to react to feedback, interactions, or events may play a role in the result of how you feel physically, mentally, and spiritually. They are all linked and must be balanced for our optimum health.

I have found so much benefit in yoga, massage, reiki, reflexology, and meditation to improve relaxation and to find calm.

Start with simple yoga breathing techniques that can expand lung capacity, improve airflow, lower blood pressure, and help bring you back to a calmer state. Taking time for yourself to read or write or just doing a favorite hobby can show a favorable result. By being focused on a project near and dear to you, a strong intent devoted to a project can prove to be relaxing, satisfying, and often productive.

Sleep issues

Not all of us face sleep issues but on occasion, a broken night of sleep or sleep deprivation can have consequences. Symptoms may be exacerbated and even the medications that we take may appear to be less effective when we lose a good night’s sleep.

Being put on the spot

Whether you are on stage, speaking to a crowd, or having a one on one with someone close to you, the feeling of pressure may take hold. Serious topics that move you and may demand immediate attention, feeling pressed to make a split decision, or encountering an unforeseen complication to daily life may upset our whole routine and the whole body.

Being forced to act quickly, strategically, and under pressure, heightens the stress and anxiety we may feel. This type of stress can easily trigger dyskinesia or involuntary uncontrollable writhing and moving, for no apparent reason. Placing a time limit or a strict time target on someone with Parkinson’s disease doesn’t usually work well for either party.

Cramped and tight spaces

Color, light, carpet patterns, and overall discomfort can have an impact on our well-being. Sensitivity to the ease of navigating a space can play a part in the comfort of a location.

Loud noises

Unexpected loud noises can shock the system and put your system on edge.


Crowds can impede movement, increase noise, change the energy of an environment, and add to confusion.

Seasonal change

Change in each season, with light and temperature shifting, can affect mood and energy for most people. This is even more true for people with a health condition, like Parkinson’s disease.

In all 7 of these triggers, the senses may be heightened and therefore activated by outside stimuli, thus bombarding our sensory intake. These are just some triggers to consider. I’m sure that there are more, but these are some that I'm aware of and I'm able to recognize for myself.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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