Because the causes of Essential Tremor are somewhat mysterious, figuring out the best diet for Essential Tremor can be quite the task. Though ET is not controllable, it is different from Parkinson’s and other diseases because it isn’t progressive like those Tremor problems. According to the NIH, deep brain stimulation can be used to help eliminate tremor triggers. Aside from DBS, there are dietary restrictions and rules that can help control tremors.
The best diet for essential tremor does not include caffeine and other stimulants. These elements can cause tremors to become worse for a period of time, and can overstimulate the muscles so tremors are overactive. Consuming very little alcohol will also help control ET. All of these things could cause the brain and muscles to be stimulated in ways that cause tremors.
The best diet for Essential Tremor could be considered a “Mediterranean diet”which is a way of eating that emphasizes fresh, unprocessed whole foods, olive oil, fish and nuts and a glass of wine with dinner. In a study done by the National Institutes of Health, the Mediterranean diet was actually found to help people with tremor. The top key points of the Mediterranean diet are (1) high intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits, cereals, fish, monounsaturated fatty acids, (2) low intake of saturated fatty acids, dairy products, meat and poultry, and (3) mild to moderate ethanol use. Because diets are not easy for most people, sticking to a strict diet is not necessary for ET, but can improve outlook of the condition. Making sure that you are eating a balanced diet is good for everyone, but can significantly reduce tremors and ET symptoms.
In a diet study performed by Nikolaos Scarmeas and Elan D. Louis they compared ET sufferers who ate closer to a Mediterranean based diet and those who did not. After taking away gender, race and other factors, they found that higher adherence to the diet was in correlation with significantly lower odds of Essential Tremor.
As stated before, the cause of ET is not really understood. A better understanding of disease etiology and mechanisms has the potential to change and prevent a disorder that affects as much as 4% of the adult population across the globe. With genetic factors, nongenetic factors (e.g., toxins, dietary factors) likely play a role in the formation of this disease as well. A variety of toxic and dietary factors have been examined in Essential Tremor. It has recently been suggested that one of the possible mechanisms for cause of ET is neurodegeneration.So, it is reasonable to assume that environmental or dietary factors that play a role in other neurodegenerative diseases could be important for ET as well because of the nature of Essential Tremor and it’s symptoms.