Is a scratchy voice with fatigue symptomatic of Parkinson's disease?

Posted on Mon, 27 Nov 2017 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: Yes, I have had a scratchy sound to my voice the last two years and it takes extra abdominal muscle to phonate. Also I get fatigued very easily.
Is this possibly a case of Parkinson"s disease?
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:

It's possible to be Parkinson's, but fatigue, including fatigue to speak, and scratchy voice, can be from many things so in and of themselves it would not make for a diagnosis.

If you fatigue easily, I recommend you have a physical and work up for this. This should include a TSH and Thyroxine level to check for thyroid health. Abnormal thyroid issues can cause all of these symptoms.

Sinus drainage down the back of the throat from allergies of chronic sinus infection can cause the scratchy voice.

Also get a CBC with differential done to look for anemia or abnormal white blood cell counts. If there are any abnormalities then a peripheral blood smear, which is like a CBC can give further information because a person will look at the blood test.

A comprehensive chemistry panel blood test would also be a good idea to look at liver and kidney function and electrolytes.

Fatigue itself from poor sleeping, such as from sleep apnea can cause some of these symptoms.

If you have multiple signs that are typical for Parkinson's disease then I would suggest talking with your doctor about a referral to a neurologist. Low speaking voice is one, but as I wrote above, there are other possible reasons for it. Here are other possible signs of Parkinson's disease:

Small handwriting - letters are smaller and words are crowded together.
Loss of smell of foods like bananas, dill pickles.
Sudden jerking movements or thrashing around when sleeping (this would be something someone else would notice).
Difficulty moving your arms or legs not due to arthritis; a shuffling gate.
Frequent or chronic constipation.
Decreased fluidity in facial expression (Masked face).
Low blood pressure and light headedness when standing up (but this can truly be caused by many things).
Stooping or hunching over (not due to musculoskeletal problems or changes).

So, I do think you should go in to be seen and evaluated, but other medical problems should be explored and ruled out. If you have many of the signs and symptoms of Parkinson's disease though, then do see a neurologist.

I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 11 hours later
Thank you for a very thorough explanation.
I will make an appointment to seek further evaluation.
Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 14 hours later
Brief Answer:
Best regards

Detailed Answer:
Good luck to you and I hope you are able to get this resolved soon. Please make sure to be assertive about having the fatigue and voice symptoms evaluated with tests.

Best regards,
Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Answered by
Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3133 Questions


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