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Tactics to get the help you need from your GP or neurologist. PD advocate.

Updated: Apr 6

Dealing with Parkinson's disease can be a challenging journey, but you don't have to navigate it alone. Your general practitioner (GP) and neurologist are essential partners in managing your condition and improving your quality of life. To ensure you get the help you need, it's crucial to approach these medical professionals with a gentle and proactive mindset. Here are some tactics to help you in this process:

1. Open Communication: Start by establishing open and honest communication with your GP. Remember, they are your primary point of contact for healthcare. Share your concerns, symptoms, and any questions you have. Be candid about how Parkinson's is affecting your daily life.

2. Educate Yourself: Knowledge is power. Learn about Parkinson's disease and its management. This not only helps you better understand your condition but also allows you to have more informed discussions with your doctors.

3. Prepare for Appointments: Prior to your doctor's appointments, jot down your questions and concerns. This ensures you won't forget important details when discussing your condition. It also shows your doctors that you are proactive and engaged in your healthcare.

4. Record Symptoms: Keep a symptom diary. Note when symptoms worsen or improve, as well as any triggers or patterns. This information can help your doctors make more accurate assessments and treatment recommendations.

5. Request Referrals: If your GP doesn't refer you to a neurologist, kindly ask for a referral. Neurologists are specialists in conditions like Parkinson's and can provide more targeted care. Consider osteopathy, naturopathy and acupuncture, all provide effective help

6. Be Patient: Parkinson's can be a complex condition to diagnose and treat. Understand that it may take time to find the right treatment plan. Be patient and trust the process.

7. Ask About Medications: Discuss available medications for Parkinson's with your neurologist. Be open about your concerns, such as potential side effects or changes in medication effectiveness. Your doctors can adjust your treatment accordingly. Dont be afraid to ask about Mucuna pruriens as a more natural treatment.

8. Inquire About Therapies: Physical, occupational, acupuncture, osteopathy and speech therapy can be incredibly beneficial in managing Parkinson's symptoms. Ask your healthcare team about these options and their potential benefits.

9. Supportive Care: Talk to your doctors about ways to improve your overall well-being. This includes exercise, nutrition, and mental health. They can guide you on lifestyle changes that can complement your treatment plan.

10. Engage in Shared Decision-Making: Your doctors are experts, but you are the expert on your own body. Encourage a shared decision-making approach, where you actively participate in making treatment choices. This empowers you and ensures your voice is heard.

11. Join a Support Group: Consider joining a Parkinson's support group. It's a place to connect with others who are going through similar challenges, share experiences, and gather valuable insights about managing the disease.

12. Stay Informed: Stay up-to-date on the latest research and treatments for Parkinson's. Your doctors will appreciate your informed questions and may even consider newer, more effective treatments.

13. Advocate for Yourself: If you feel that your concerns are not being addressed, kindly but assertively express your needs. Remember, it's your health, and you have the right to advocate for the care you require.

14. Express Gratitude: Don't forget to express gratitude for the care and support you receive from your medical team. A simple "thank you" goes a long way in fostering a positive doctor-patient relationship.

In your journey with Parkinson's, your GP and neurologist are your allies. By approaching them with a gentle tone and proactive attitude, you can enhance the quality of care you receive and better manage your condition. Remember that you are not alone, and with the right approach, you can lead a fulfilling life despite the challenges of Parkinson's.

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