Tremors affect everyone. Usually the trembling is barely noticeable, with a person only able to see a slight shake if they deliberately try to hold their hand steady. The trembling can become more obvious if the person is feeling anxious, extremely tired or if they are very stressed. However, it generally does not interfere with a person’s normal activities.
A tremor only becomes a medical concern if it becomes more pronounced, potentially affecting a person’s motor skills. Around 4 percent of the population over the age of 40 fall into this category. But how can you be sure that the issue is severe enough to warrant a medical label?
How Are Tremors Diagnosed?
Frequent, noticeable tremors should always be checked out by a doctor in case there is a serious underlying reason. This might include:
* Parkinson’s disease
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* Thyroid problems
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* Multiple Sclerosis
Diagnosing an essential tremor is really a matter of ruling out other potential causes, as there is no specific test for the condition. It can be slightly easier to diagnose if a close relative also had the condition, as it is believed that essential tremors are triggered by a faulty gene. However, this gene mutation can also occur spontaneously and trigger symptoms in individuals with no prior family history of the problem.
How To Treat An Essential Tremor
Most people are not prescribed treatment when they first receive their diagnosis. This is because most tremors are initially mild and it is easier to ignore or manage the symptoms. Simple measures such as reducing caffeine and alcohol, and monitoring stress and sleep should be sufficient. Another way to improve your body’s chemistry is with homeopathic and herbal options.
Unfortunately, the trembling does tend to become more noticeable and debilitating as a person ages. At this point, a doctor is more likely to recommend the use of medication to reduce the tremors. They will assess how much the patient’s daily activities are being affected by their condition, then weigh this up against any potential side effects from the drugs.
Medication will not actually cure the condition as it simply masks the symptoms, rather than tackling the underlying cause. The patient must also be careful to take the medication exactly as prescribed, and not forget to take their drugs. Missing a single dose can cause the symptoms to come back within a matter of hours.
People with the most serious form of the condition may be advised to undergo surgery. The aim of this is to modify the brain waves and give the patient greater control over their movements. Usually this involves a battery powered device which is attached to electrodes, but a more permanent solution is to make a tiny hole in the thalamus. Both forms of surgery are considered risky because there is a chance of side effects, so the patient must be sure that the benefits outweigh the risks.
An essential tremor should always be diagnosed by a qualified medical professional. This is because trembling in the limbs is also common in more serious conditions.