Shaky hands, medically referred to as essential tremor, can be caused by a number of factors. Perhaps the tremor began recently, or probably deteriorating. It may have happened when you were stressed or angry. Or illness could have brought it on.
Essential tremor is the most common disease of the nervous system. It usually begins in your hands, and can move to your head, arms, head, voice, or other body parts. The condition is different because it affects your hands when they’re already moving. Most other forms of tremor take place when you’re motionless.
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It could result from a change in your genes, meaning if one of your parents has a tremor, you’re more likely to get it. In some cases, it can be caused by toxins in the environment.
Age is another risk factor. Although Essential Tremor can happen at any age, it’s more likely in people over 40.
Essential tremor isn’t deadly, but it can get more severe as times goes on. Stress, fatigue, and too much caffeine can worsen it. At some point, eating, drinking, writing, and all the other daily tasks you do with your hands can become a bigger challenge.
This condition can be difficult to treat. There are medications, but none works consistently. Surgery can be used for treatment in a procedure called deep brain stimulation, where doctors implant a device in your brain to help control the tremors.
Some Causes of Shaky Hands
- Parkinson ’s disease
Tremor is an early sign of Parkinson’s disease, though not everyone who has this disease gets shaky. Most people in the early stages will have slight movement in a hand, foot, or even a single finger.
The tremor affects only one side of your body most of the time. Most frequently, it occurs when you relax your muscles. When you move, the shaking stops. Even a little flex of your fingers can help. As with other types of tremors, stress or excitement can make it worse.
The tremor may spread from one side of your body to the other as you continue to live with the disease.
- Alcohol Withdrawal
Tremor is one of the first signs after you quit taking alcohol. The shakes may last just a few days. If you drank excessively for for a long time, they can go on for a year or even longer.
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Your immune system, nerves, brain, and spinal cord are the main target of this disease, which can also make your hands shake. You’re most likely to have a tremor in your hand or foot. MS can cause a variety of tremors. The most common, like essential tremor, happens when you’re already moving.
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Shaky hands don’t always mean you’re ill. It could be your body’s response to something like:
B12 deficiency: Your nervous system won’t work like it should without B12. Foods that contain this vitamin includes eggs, meat, poultry, fish, and milk products. If you’re getting so little that your hands shake, your doctor will give you a shot.
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Drugs: The most common culprits are medications that block a brain chemical called dopamine. It moves information from one part of your brain to another. These drugs are used to keep your mood straight. The tremors will stop when you halt the medication.
Stress: From financial and job worries to relationship problems and health concerns, stress aggravates tremors. Intense anger, extreme hunger, or sleep deprivation can cause your hands to shake.
Low blood sugar: Your doctor will call this hypoglycemia. It triggers your body’s natural stress response and makes you shaky.
An overactive thyroid: This gland is in your neck, just above your collarbone. When it’s in overdrive, your whole body speeds up. You may have trouble sleeping, your heart may beat faster, and your hands might shake.
Nerve damage: Tremors can occur if you have an injury, disease, or a problem with your central nervous system. Your doctor will call this peripheral neuropathy. It can affect your hands and feet.
Because the causes and treatments vary widely for different types of tremors, it’s important to see your doctor about your history and symptoms.