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Why Are My Hands Shaking? --Top
10 Causes and Remedies
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last updated January 26, 2015 (originally published May 31, 2010)
By Louise Carr, Contributing Columnist

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of Doctors,
Registered Nurses, Certified fitness trainers and other members of our
Editorial Board.]


Shaky hands can be awkward and embarrassing and in
extreme cases can interfere with everyday life. Our hands
shake all the time as the muscle fibers contract and relax but
the movement is usually tiny. The natural condition becomes
a problem when your shaking hands become noticeable or
affect the way you write or hold a cup. Many people panic
when they notice involuntary shaking or trembling, fearing
Parkinson’s disease or something equally serious. What are
the common causes of shaking hands? Why do your hands
shake and are there any natural remedies for shaking hands?

Shaky hands or tremor are common and usually have an
everyday cause. A 2005 Austrian study of movement
disorders found 28 percent of the adults studied (who were
aged between 50 and 89) had a movement disorder. The
study found tremor was the main form of movement
disorder, affecting 14.5 percent of the study. Only 7 percent
of those with a movement disorder suffered from
Parkinson's.  

Here are the Top 10 causes of shaking hands and the
remedies recommended, based on medical studies:































1.
Essential Tremor is the Most Common Cause of Shaky
Hands

Essential tremor (the word "essential" in this case means a
condition that exists on its own) is one of the most common
reasons for shakiness. The muscle fibers, instead of
contracting randomly, synchronize themselves resulting in a
more pronounced movement. Essential tremor (ET) affects
the hands but sometimes also the head, voice and other parts
of the body. The condition worsens when you do something
with your hands or try to hold them still in one position.

In 95% of cases, essential tremor affects your upper body
limbs, and far more rarely affects your head, face and lower
body, according to a 2014 study from Southern Illinois
University School of Medicine.

Estimates of the number of people in the US suffering from
essential tremor vary although the International Essential
Tremor Foundation claims nearly 10 million Americans suffer
from the condition. It is unusual in young people and tends
to run in families.

Essential tremor does not usually lead to more serious
complications. However, a 2007 study entitled ‘Risk of
incident dementia in essential tremor’ found that essential
tremor that develops after the age of 65 may be associated
with an increased risk of developing
dementia. A 2003 study
from Turkey of 2,253 people over the age of 40 found that
essential tremor affected 4 percent of those studied and was
a higher risk in those aged above 60.


2.
Shaking Hands Can Be Caused by Parkinson's Disease

Though essential tremor is the most frequently observed
form of movement disorder, many people shake because of  
Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson's is diagnosed in around two percent of people
over the age of 65. However, as in the case of the actor
Michael J. Fox, it can also affect the very young.

There are differences between the kind of shaking
experienced by those with essential tremor and those with
Parkinson's.  Patients with essential tremor shake when they
move their hand, while Parkinson’s sufferers shake when
they stay still. Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the
nervous system characterized by tremor and shaking,
weakness and facial paralysis. It occurs when the nerve cells
in the brain that make dopamine are destroyed. Without
dopamine, the nerve cells cannot send messages leading to
the loss of muscle function. (Read more about
Parkinson's
disease.)


3.
Shakiness Could Be Triggered By Your Genes

Research from the Mayo Clinic discovered a single gene that
increases the risk of developing essential tremor shakiness in
some patients, and Parkinson’s disease in others. Mutations
in this gene are responsible for five percent of patients with
essential tremor and also five percent of patients with
Parkinson’s. “Although essential tremor and Parkinson's
disease are considered to be different diseases, researchers
have been arguing for a long time about whether essential
tremor is a milder, preliminary form of Parkinson's disease,
and they have been looking for the genetic connection
between these disorders," study authors said.

The result does not mean that people who have essential
tremor have an increased risk of developing Parkinson's
disease, however.


4.
Too Much Caffeine Can Make Your Hands Shake

A little coffee can perk you up but consume too much and
you risk shaky hands. Caffeine in coffee, tea and soft drinks
stimulates the brain and releases adrenaline.

The Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Research Foundation says
around 75 to 150mg of caffeine enhances activity in the brain
and makes you feel more awake. But this amount of caffeine
can also cause shaking and interfere with your coordination.
As a point of reference, an 8 ounce up of coffee has about 95
mg of caffeine.

The effects of caffeine on shaking hands can be particularly
pronounced when combined with
low blood sugar.

Now, for some good news. Drinking coffee may make you
shake but it also can cut your risk for developing Parkinson's
by 50%.

A 2001 study from the Harvard School of Public Health
(HSPH) found moderate consumption of caffeine reduces the
risk of Parkinson’s disease. The study looked at more than
47,000 men and 88,000 women who completed lifestyle and
dietary questionnaires. Men drinking four to five cups of
coffee a day cut their risk of Parkinson’s disease nearly in
half. Women who drank between one and three cups of
coffee each day also cut their risk nearly in half but the
benefit was apparently lost at higher levels. (Read more
about the
health benefits of coffee).

5.
Alcohol Can Cause Shaky Hands

Consuming too much alcohol can affect the steadiness of
your hands due to its negative effect on the central nervous
system. Shaky hands and feelings of nervousness in the
mornings can also be a sign of alcoholism.

Drinking three units of alcohol a day can double the risk of
developing essential tremor, research published in the
Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry found.
The study assessed alcohol consumption and tremor
symptoms in around 3,300 people over age 65. The
participants were part of a population survey of major age-
related conditions in central Spain (Neurological Disorders in
Central Spain study, or NEDICES). Those who suffered from
essential tremor (ET) were significantly more likely to have
been drinking regularly and for longer. Each additional year
of consuming three units a day increased the risk of essential
tremor (ET) by 23 percent.


6.
Hypoglycemia Can Cause Shaking Hands

Continue reading   page 1        page 2

































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