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10 Early Signs of Parkinson’s Disease | Affinity Health

Affinity Health, leading providers of affordable medical insurance, shed light on Parkinson’s disease and its subtle symptoms.


“Parkinson’s disease can be difficult to diagnose. But it can show a few red flags that meet the clinical criteria,” explains Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health. “Although Parkinson’s disease is ongoing, treatments can ease symptoms.”

What Are 10 Symptoms that May Suggest Parkinson’s Disease?


A tremor, or shaking, tends to begin in one of your limbs, most often in your hand or fingers. You may tremble in your thumb and fingers as you rub them back and forth, referred to as a pill-rolling tremor.


Sluggish Motion:

Parkinson’s disease may slow down your motion over time. Moving slower makes completing ordinary tasks more complex and time-consuming. When you walk, your steps may become shorter. It may be challenging to rise from a chair. You may find that your feet drag as you attempt to move.

Stiff Muscles:

Muscle stiffness can manifest itself anywhere in your body. Stiff muscles can be uncomfortable and restrict your range of motion.


Difficulties with Reasoning:

You may develop cognitive issues (dementia) and difficulty thinking. These may manifest themselves in the late stages of Parkinson’s disease. Such cognitive difficulties are not responsive to medicines.

Depression and Mood Swings:

You may experience early stages of depression. Additionally, you may experience more emotional changes. These may include dread, anxiety, or a lack of motivation.


Swallowing Difficulties:

As your disease advances, you may encounter swallowing issues. Due to slower swallowing, saliva may collect in your mouth, resulting in drooling.

Problems in Chewing and Eating:

Late-stage Parkinson’s disease affects oral muscles. Your mouth may stiffen and struggle to chew. Without proper chewing, you may end up choking or eating less.


Sleep Apnoea and Sleep Disorders:

People with Parkinson’s disease experience sleep issues. These include waking up too early throughout the night or falling asleep during the day.

Bladder Issues:

Parkinson’s disease can result in an inability to control urine or trouble urinating.



Constipation occurs in many individuals with Parkinson’s disease, often due to a sluggish digestive tract.

When to Consult a Physician

Consult your doctor if you experience any signs of Parkinson’s disease. Medication can assist control your symptoms. Additionally, your doctor may urge lifestyle adjustments, most notably continued aerobic activity. Physical treatment focusing on balance and stretching may also be necessary.

Learn More: Types of Parkinson’s and How They’re Diagnosed

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of affordable medical insurance. Members enjoy access to a network of healthcare providers. We have designed healthcare products to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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