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Topic cold weather make PD symptoms worse? Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By happygranny On 2008.12.28 23:26
Although I have looked for past discussions here about cold weather and its effect on PD, I can't find any and wonder if there is a connection.

We wonder if it is the stress of going out and visiting or the exposure to the cold air as we move from house to cold car and car to house that has exacerbated my husbands symptoms


By annwood On 2008.12.29 09:27
I have not heard of the cold but I do know that any change in routine, such as the holidays, meals, visitors, can make PD symptoms worse. They really like a set routine.

By mylove On 2008.12.29 10:56
Cold definitely exacerbates my DH's symptoms. I found the following blurb below:

"Cold temperature can cause symptoms identical to those of Parkinson's Disease including rigidity, loss or lessening of physical movement and tremor, either by being in a cold place, in cold water or by consuming cold drinks. Shivering is simply a cold temperature tremor. That is why people with Parkinson's Disease can tend towards increased symptoms during colder weather. The effect of the cold temperature is adding to the symptoms that they already have.

Stress can cause the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease in somebody that doesn't have it, and exacerbate the symptoms in somebody that does. This is because stress causes the formation of adrenaline, which increases acteylcholine, which increases muscle contraction - the primary symptom in Parkinson's Disease. This is why even people that don't have Parkinson's Disease can get stiffened muscles when they are stressed, and even shake with fear, as if they had tremor. What the body does in response to this is produce dopamine, because dopamine reduces excessive muscle contraction. Somebody with Parkinson's Disease can not produce sufficient dopamine, which is why the muscles contract excessively in Parkinson's Disease regardless of whether or not somebody is stressed. So stress is not a "cause" of Parkinson's Disease in that on its own it can not perpetuate the symptoms long term. " ~

By annwood On 2008.12.29 18:02
Very good explanation. As I said I had not heard of this before - now I know. Thank you!

By lurkingforacure On 2008.12.29 20:25
Yep, definitely true for my husband as well, also his tolerance to cold is much less reduced. This is actually a bonus, as I have never tolerated cold well, and we used to fight over the temperature on the thermostate-he would tell me I could always put more clothes on to get warmer but he could only take so many off to get cooler! Good thing we live in Texas where the winter is well, not much of a winter.

Stress also makes every symptom of PD worse for my husband, and I have read many places that a key to living as well as possible with PD is to reduce stress as much as you can. Perhaps that is why PDers crave routine so much. I have found myself letting a lot of things go which I would normally argue over to avoid the stress of an argument for him. It seems to really help.

By Life With Shaky On 2008.12.30 14:43
Cold weather does affect my dh. So does extreme heat. Pretty much anything over 90 degrees or under 50 degrees makes it harder for him.

By caregivermary On 2008.12.30 18:38
Cold/hot weather does affect my husb. The weather where we are has been hot one day and freezing cold the next. Today it's hot and my husb can get cool and tomo it will be 20 degrees cooler. This is easier to deal with than the crazy stuff. I can't believe I paid $20 to fill my car with gas today!!

By happygranny On 2008.12.30 19:18
I appreciate the discussion about this. Good information, thank you all.

As a newbie to the horrors of Parkinson's I have a lot to learn. Anything that can help my husband avoid those awful attacks of pain/contractions/shaking I will do.


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