Essential tremor is a somewhat common condition that results in a rhythmic trembling in the hands, arms, head, legs, trunk or voice. The tremors cannot be cured but can be treated with different natural, lifestyle and medical treatments. Symptoms of essential tremor are generally very obvious because of the magnitude and rhythm of the trembling. To be diagnosed with the condition, usually a blood test will be used to check your thyroid function. Overactive thyroid can cause an exaggerated tremor of the hands. Your doctor will also have to look over your current prescribed medications as types of medication can cause tremors which will go away when the medicine is taken away.
Essential tremor is progressive and will usually start in both hands, and then spreads upwards and outward. Generally it is onset in people over the age of 40, but genetic types of essential tremor will usually start in children of a very young age. The younger the onset of essential tremor begins, the faster it usually progresses.
Essential tremor is a kinetic tremor unlike most other conditions involving tremors. This means that the tremor is caused by movement, stress, anxiety, and can be influenced by caffeine and other types of stimulants. Other tremors are usually resting tremors, which happen when the muscle is relaxed.
The cause of essential tremor is unknown, although we have a general idea of where it may begin. Essential tremor is a nervous system disorder. It’s not dangerous, but as mentioned before it can become detrimental to daily life as it progresses. About half of essential tremor cases seem to be linked by genetic mutation. Although the gene entirely responsible hasn’t been identified, it is referred to as a familial tremor for its ability to be passed through the generations. A parent with the genetic mutation has 50 percent chance of passing the condition to their child. The age of onset for children can be as young as 3 or 4 years old.
Another cause of essential tremor seems to be age, and it is more common in people over 40 years of age. Because age can also bring on a whole other set of conditions and health concerns, these may also influence the onset of essential tremor. Some conditions seem to occur hand in hand with essential tremor, and cause it to start.
One theory of essential tremor is that the cerebellum, a part of the brain, is responsible. The cerebellum is the main part of movement centers in the brain, and it may be that the cerebellum is not properly communicating or connecting with the nervous system. This would mean that signals get mixed, and movement cannot be executed properly. This would explain why tremors tend to worsen with caffeine, as caffeine is a type of stimulant to the nervous system.
Essential tremor cannot be prevented, and though the causes are unknown, treatment can be provided to help comfort and provide normal function to the individual affected. Please consult your medical provider if you have any questions about treating your essential tremor effectively.