A tremor is a rhythmic shaking movement in one or more parts of the body. This is an involuntary movement, meaning that you are not in control.
Most people will experience the affects of a tremor in their hands, however, it can also affect the arms, head, legs, or torso. The severity of the tremor will be different for everyone; for some, this may be constant, whereas others may have it come and go.
Here are some of the most common types:
- Essential tremor – this can also sometimes be known as a benign essential tremor. This is the most common type of tremor, usually affecting the hands, however, it can also affect other parts of the body.
- Parkinson’s tremor – a tremor is one of the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. This will most commonly affect the hands.
- Dystonia tremor – this affects people that suffer from dystonia; a movement disorder that causes the muscles to contract involuntarily. This can cause repetitive movements to occur anywhere in the body.
The examples listed above are all linked to problems deep within the brain that affect movement, these are called neurological disorders. It is important to note that tremor can also be brought on by other things such as:
- Medication – For example asthma medicines, amphetamines, caffeine, and corticosteroids
- Alcohol – this can affect people that have alcohol problems (alcoholism) or are withdrawing from alcohol
- Mercury poisoning
- Overactive thyroid
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Liver or kidney problems
This condition can affect people of any age; however, it is more common in middle-aged or older adults. If you have a family history of tremors then this may also put you at a higher risk of developing a tremor.
For a definitive diagnosis, your doctor with go over your family history, what medication you are on, and also conduct a physical examination to help determine possible causes. They may also send you for some blood work and scans to help with the diagnosis.
There is no cure for tremors, however, there are treatments that can be used to reduce the symptoms that are associated with the condition. Once your doctor has a clear diagnosis, they will talk you through the different treatment options.
This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.