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Trembling hands
Old 03-14-2016, 09:31 AM   #1
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Trembling hands

This isn't related to FIRE, but is related to health. I know some people have trembling hands ( it is noticeable when they need to steady their hands, like threading a needle or lighting a cigarette) and I knew those people drank a lot so I assumed it was some kind of alcoholic withdrawal thing. I have also noticed this in some old folks. My grandmother's handwriting was shaky when she was in her seventies. My mom is 87 and there's no shakiness to her at all.

How common is this shakiness/tremor? Do you have it? Do you know the cause?


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Old 03-14-2016, 09:36 AM   #2
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I don't have it yet, but a lot of old people do. I think it can be a symptom of Parkinson's maybe? At any rate, if my hands trembled I'd see my doctor for sure, to make sure it wasn't due to some condition like that.

Or maybe a side effect of medications? I have been amazed at how many side effects I get from medications. Probably half that have been tried for me, have caused side effects that were very distressing until my doctor changed them for me.

I don't drink at all so if my hands started shaking, I could eliminate the alcohol withdrawal hypothesis.
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:42 AM   #3
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Very common IME. My mom has had it for years and they have checked her high and low and don't know why. Not Parkinson's in her case. She's in her mid 80s but has had it for at least 10 years, and perhaps longer.

She had absolutely beautiful penmanship when she was younger but no longer.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:05 AM   #4
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My dad had it, mostly in his left hand. He was not a heavy drinker nor did he have Parkinson's.

It seemed partially caused by a lack of concentration. Sometimes he'd be holding a cup, shaking so it almost spilled, and Mom would say, "Stop shaking," and his hand would calm down to a slight tremble. Maybe he was just trying for some attention, I don't know for sure.
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Trembling hands
Old 03-14-2016, 10:16 AM   #5
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Trembling hands

I have essential tremors in mostly my left hand, and at times in both. I don't have Parkinson's, just tremors. I take clonazapam twice a day and it helps quite a bit. I'm 59 years old and have had them for a couple of years. My handwriting is atrocious, but it's not life threatening. As long as I take my clonazapam I don't spill my coffee or my scotch. It makes eating a lot easier too.

Edit: if you or someone you know has tremors they should be evaluated by a neurologist for a proper diagnosis. I'm told it will get worse as I age.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:47 AM   #6
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I am pretty familiar with this from DW's mom and other extended family. It probably is "essential tremor," which is not connected to Parkinson's. Here is Mayo on it:

Quote:
Essential tremor is a nervous system (neurological) disorder that causes involuntary and rhythmic shaking. It can affect almost any part of your body, but the trembling occurs most often in your hands — especially when you do simple tasks, such as drinking from a glass or tying shoelaces.

It's usually not a dangerous condition, but essential tremor typically worsens over time and can be severe in some people. Other conditions don't cause essential tremor, although it's sometimes confused with Parkinson's disease.

Essential tremor can occur at any age but is most common in people age 40 and older.
Overview - Essential tremor - Mayo Clinic
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:56 AM   #7
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My GF had them. He was told it was from working in coal mines (miner's asthma). Of course he was a smoker too so likely that the smokes were a bigger factor than the mines.

I have some too, started after a c-spine issue, never really had too many concerns other than a fear of what GF had. His was likely just tremors too as the diagnosis was probably given before cigarettes were harmful.

FYI I haven't had any alcohol in my system since last spring, don't think that's always the issue.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:27 PM   #8
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My GF had them. He was told it was from working in coal mines (miner's asthma). Of course he was a smoker too so likely that the smokes were a bigger factor than the mines.

I have some too, started after a c-spine issue, never really had too many concerns other than a fear of what GF had. His was likely just tremors too as the diagnosis was probably given before cigarettes were harmful.

FYI I haven't had any alcohol in my system since last spring, don't think that's always the issue.

My neurologist said light to moderate use of alcohol had nothing to do with the symptoms. It is often hereditary and my father did have tremors, though at the time they thought it was related to a stroke he had. I'm just glad I didn't choose a profession that required steady hands.


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Old 03-14-2016, 12:36 PM   #9
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My mother (94) has this - diagnosed as an essential tremor. She has had it for at least 40 years, and it has gotten worse in recent years.

She is not a drinker.
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Old 03-14-2016, 12:40 PM   #10
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One possible cause of tremors is a magnesium deficiency.
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Old 03-14-2016, 01:49 PM   #11
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When my thyroid is off, my hands shake a bit. It's one of my first signs.
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Old 03-14-2016, 03:32 PM   #12
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Nothing helpful to add, but the subject always makes me think of this scene:
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Old 03-14-2016, 03:39 PM   #13
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I was diagnosed with the "essential tremor" mentioned by 2017ish. It is an irritation and can affect cases like holding a spoon steady or trying to strike an arc with a stick welder. Sometimes are worse than others, you can learn to work around it in most cases.
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Old 03-14-2016, 03:42 PM   #14
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I was diagnosed with the "essential tremor" mentioned by 2017ish. It is an irritation and can affect cases like holding a spoon steady or trying to strike an arc with a stick welder. Sometimes are worse than others, you can learn to work around it in most cases.

You can see a neurologist and see if clonazapam helps. It makes a big difference for me.


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Not time to panic
Old 03-14-2016, 03:53 PM   #15
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Not time to panic

It is estimated that 10 million of our population suffers with "Essential Tremors".
Essential Tremor: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

In many cases, it might be said to be "idiopathic".. without known cause. A doctors neurological exam may reveal other causes, but not necessarily. Some drugs can be prescribed to reduce the effects.

Parkinsons is diagnosed in about 1% of Americans ages 59 to 65... so the comparative risk is much lower.

DW began about two years ago, with trembling hands, and of course we went into an immediate panic. Turns out it was essential tremors... a nuisance, as it can affect the use of the hands for things like holding a book or newspaper, or handwriting, but in her case, not an all-the-time affect. That said, we haven't been able to nail down specific causes such as anxiety, exercise or sitting too long. To some extent, a little worse when she is tired, but not always.

As with other infirmities, because we live in a CCRC, we're more apt to spot essential tremors. Quite common, and mostly just a nuisance that comes with getting older.
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Old 03-14-2016, 03:56 PM   #16
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Reminds me of PGA golfer Bert Yancey. He developed bipolar disorder and was put on lithium, which brought his manic episodes under control but caused a tremor in his right hand and ended his career.
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Old 03-14-2016, 04:01 PM   #17
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You can see a neurologist and see if clonazapam helps. It makes a big difference for me.


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That's good to know, thanks.
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Old 03-14-2016, 04:15 PM   #18
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Thank you very much for all your posts. I didn't know it was that prevalent, although I have noticed this in older people more. I didn't know it was called "Essential Tremors". My grandmother must have had this condition.
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Old 03-14-2016, 04:17 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by tmm99 View Post
Thank you very much for all your posts. I didn't know it was that prevalent, although I have noticed this in older people more. I didn't know it was called "Essential Tremors". My grandmother must have had this condition.

Older? Who are you calling older?


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Old 03-14-2016, 04:20 PM   #20
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Older? Who are you calling older?


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"Older" to me has always been "older than me", so right now, anybody over 57
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