Do You Have a Question About Essential Tremor? Take a look below to learn the difference between some facts and myths and see some of our frequently asked questions. If your question or concern is not answered, please feel free to reach out to us!
A: ET is not confined to the elderly. Children and middle-aged people can also develop ET. Regardless, ET typically does get worse as a person ages, making fine motor skills more and more difficult to perform.
Approximately 50% of sufferers get Essential Tremor through a genetic mutation. It is still a very vague understanding, though, as to why this happens.
We do know that Essential Tremor is a nervous system disorder and it is more commonly found among those 40 years and over.
A: Uncontrollable shaking for brief periods of time, a shaking voice, a nodding head, tremors that worsen during periods of emotional stress, tremors that get worse with purposeful movement.
If you have symptoms of ET, seek the care of a neurologist. They can evaluate you by asking about your health, family history, medicines, and surgeries. The doctor performs an evaluation of the area of the body most affected by the tremor and may consider an MRI or CT scan (these are not helpful in diagnosing Essential Tremor, but they help to rule out other possibilities).
A: The tremor in Essential Tremor is known as an action tremor, which means that the tremor is most noticeable when the limb is in use or moving (e.g. writing, eating, drinking a glass of water) and improves when the limb is at rest. This is opposite of the tremor seen in Parkinson’s disease, which is most noticeable when the limbs are relaxed and at rest, and lessens when the affected limb is in use.
Diet - Avoid caffeine and other stimulants, consume very little alcohol. The vitamin B12 has been shown to help manage tremors; a Mediterranean diet high in B12 or a supplement is suggested.
Relax - Anytime anyone is angry, stressed out, or embarrassed, it can make the tremor worse, which increases stress levels. Try relaxation techniques to keep your stress levels low.
Medication - Several different medications are available for those with ET to try (propranolol, a blood pressure medication, or primidone, an anti-seizure drug). Unfortunately, none of them have a very high chance of working well to reduce tremors and they all come with side effects of their own.
Exercise - Exercises that increase blood flow and decrease stress can sometimes help reduce the effects of ET. Things like yoga, swimming, physical therapy, etc.
Tremor Miracle- If you’ve tried everything in the book to try and reduce the symptoms of Essential Tremor but nothing seems to work or work well enough, then it’s time to consider Tremor Miracle. Learn more about this all natural supplement here.
A: Generally speaking, Essential Tremor does not go away with time. The tremor may change, but it typically continues to be an issue. With time the tremors may come less often, but be more dramatic and pronounced when they do.
A: There is no cure for Essential Tremor. Surgery is a last resort option for those who have tried everything and still suffer with ET each and every day. The surgery, however, is very invasive to the brain and still does not have a 100% effective rate. There are two different surgery options: deep brain stimulation which uses electrodes in the brain, or stereotactic radiosurgery which are high powered X-Rays pinpointed on a small area of the brain.
A: In many cases, an Essential Tremor can and is considered a disability. When the tremor is severe enough to not allow a person to complete routine tasks or work for a living, it is considered a disability.
* Essential Tremor is an action tremor.
MYTH: All tremors are the same
FACT: There are actually 8 different types of tremors: essential tremor, dystonic tremor, cerebellar tremor, psychogenic tremor, physiologic tremor, enhanced physiologic tremor, parkinsonian tremor, and orthostatic tremor.
MYTH: Essential Tremors are just annoying movements, they are not debilitating.
FACT: These tremors can cause people to lose work and keep them from completing everyday tasks. Those with Essential Tremor can have a hard time standing, lifting, speaking, completing fine motor tasks such as typing, brushing teeth, writing, eating, and more! People who have ET become disabled at worst and feel frustrated or embarrassed at best.
MYTH: ET affects men more often than women
FACT: Essential Tremor is no respecter of gender; both men and women are affected by this tremor.
MYTH: Essential Tremor can later turn into Parkinson’s Disease
FACT: While someone with an Essential Tremor can later develop Parkinson’s Disease, that development is not caused by the Essential Tremor.
MYTH: Essential Tremor causes dementia.
FACT: Research and studies have shown that Essential Tremor is associated with dementia and it is suggested that Essential Tremor patients should be screened for dementia regularly. It has not been shown, however, that Essential Tremor causes dementia, but rather the underlying cause of Essential Tremor is also associated with dementia.