By Janet Burgess, guest contributor and Person with Parkinson's Disease.
My daughter recommend I buy a light box, mainly to help me with depression and SAD in the winter months. It was a bit hit and miss using it at first, but then I read some articles on light being used on people with PD. I couldn't really find out how long to use it for, so I just went by instructions which came with the box which suggested 30 mins per day. As I get quite sleepy in the early evenings I decided to use it then normally around 7-8pm. I do seem to be sleeping better when I go to bed, still wake up in the night but get back to sleep. I have less tremor in my hand and legs when I get into bed, so settle down to sleep much quicker. Don't feel as depressed either. Again, not sure if I'm using the light box at the correct time of day. On the whole would say it is helping me with my PD symptoms.
As well as using the light box, about a year ago after reading the book "Grain Brain" by an American neurologist, I went gluten free. Not been easy as I am a vegetarian and most veggie I was eating contain gluten. I can buy meat sausages gluten free, but not veggie sausages! I have GF porridge with assortment of nuts, chopped up in a mixer, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries with coconut milk for breakfast. Before I eat, I drink a mug of boiled water with coconut oil added to it. This keeps me going until lunchtime when I usually have a salad with oily fish or quorn, fruit and natural yoghurt. I bought a soup maker and make my own vegetable soup. Much healthier than bought soup which has added sugar etc. Dinner is usually lots of vegetables, potatoes, fish, I eat some fish, or vege products which are GF. If I need a snack during the day I eat nuts, and raisins. I drink mainly herbal teas. I just try to eat healthily and make my own GF cakes with much less sugar.
I must admit I feel so much better. My digestion is improved, bowels better, did use to have bloating and IBS problems. My tremor much less in my right hand. I have reduced my madopar to 150mg morning and lunchtime but the last tablets I take at 6.00-6.30pm, I still take 200mg. I'm just waiting to see my neurologist to ask to reduce medication some more.
I have no problems in the morning getting up, showered, dressed etc, don't usually take tablets until after breakfast between 9.30-10.00am, so no medication for around 15 hrs. I still do housework, ironing etc and go for walks. I have an exercise bike I use too. I definitely think being a vegetarian has slowed down the progression of my parkinsons, and going GF and using light box is helping too.
I hope in sharing my experience, this might be helpful to others.