Since there has been a worry about PWP and exposure to pesticides, some persons with PD have been reluctant to try to get out into their gardens. To date, the one study we have on gardeners comes from Denmark. They followed a registry of 3124 male members of the Danish Union of Gardeners from 1975-2008. In this study, there was a very weak association between gardening and the risk of getting PD. However, there is no data to support avoiding gardening after one is diagnosed with PD. Here are some safety tips to consider from Sherri Woodbridge and Parkinsonsnewstoday.
• Make sure your tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccinations are up to date.
• Have a good set of gardening gloves to lower the risk of skin irritations and cuts and to keep you safe from nasty stuff lurking in the soil.
• Apply sunscreen. People with Parkinson’s have a higher risk of skin cancer. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your head from strong rays.
• Steer clear of chemicals. Use organic methods to rid your garden of pests instead of using pesticides that have been linked to Parkinson’s disease (but also remember you already have Parkinson’s!).
• Stay hydrated. Overheating can lead to heat stroke and other health risks for PD. Take a break and enjoy a glass of iced tea while you admire your flowers. Appreciating the results of your efforts is an essential part of gardening.
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