Tremors, which refer to involuntary shaking or trembling, could be caused due to genetic factors, neurological conditions, alcohol abuse, prolonged use of certain drugs, etc. The following article discusses the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for this condition.
Any involuntary movement of the muscles in the body is known as a tremor. Due to this, a person experiences uncontrollable shaking in the parts of the body such as hands, head, arms, face, trunk, vocal cords, and legs. It mostly affects the hands wherein it becomes difficult to perform simple tasks such as writing, holding things, picking up things, tying shoelaces, typing, etc.
- Neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, any brain injury, stroke and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease
- Usage of certain drugs and medicines such as corticosteroids or those given to patients suffering from psychiatric disorders.
- Alcoholism or withdrawal from alcohol consumption
- Problems in certain parts of the brain that control the muscles of the body
- Overactive thyroid glands, mercury poisoning, and impaired liver functioning
- Certain genetic defects
This disorder usually affects a person at the age of 40 and above. The symptoms may vary from mild to severe. Some of the commonly experienced symptoms are shaking of certain parts of the body such as hands, arms, legs and hands.
- The trembling begins slowly and may worsen with movement.
- Initially, one hand or both the hands start trembling.
- The head may start nodding in a vertical or horizontal manner.
These symptoms can get aggravated by conditions like stress, emotional disturbances, physical exhaustion, and extreme weather conditions like too hot or too cold weather. They may be experienced occasionally or intermittently by a person. Tremors are not gender specific, in the sense that they are seen equally in both men and women.
The first treatment for this disorder usually involves making certain lifestyle changes such as eliminating caffeine from the diet, refraining from alcohol and smoking, and reducing stress by following relaxation techniques such as yoga.
Physical therapy is recommended to patients who experience uncontrollable trembling. A physical therapist undertakes certain activities which help in improving the muscle strength, coordination and control, thereby minimizing the symptoms of tremor.
There are certain types of drugs which are prescribed to the patients to keep the symptoms in check. Some of the commonly prescribed medicines are beta blockers such as propranolol, and antiseizure drugs (gabapentin) and anticholinergics. These medications may produce certain side effects in a patient. Some commonly observed side effects are fatigue, drowsiness, nausea, difficulty in concentration, shortness in breath, and problems in balancing.
Surgery is considered to be the last option, if all other treatment methods fail and the condition becomes worse. Thalamotomy and Deep brain stimulation are the two surgical methods used to ease the tremors. Although surgery can produce certain side effects in an occasional patient such as problems in speech, cognitive impairment and balancing problems, it can fully treat a person and enable him to carry on with his daily activities just like a normal person.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for the advice of a mental health expert.