Understanding and Treating Shaking Hands

You’re meeting with a friend for lunch and reach across the table to grab the salt. To your dismay, your hands begin to shake.  You’ve noticed this happening on and off, but now it’s becoming more frequent. What is happening? Is this a sign of Parkinson’s?  It’s not that you’re feeling nervous.  What could this mean when you have shake hands?

Do you have shake hands?  Shaking hands are a common symptom that can occur even in the healthiest of people.  Also referred to as a hand tremor, shaking hands can be embarrassing or make day-to-day tasks difficult.  Hand tremor is an involuntary muscle movement, trembling or shaking hands.

Shaking Hands—Causes

Most people automatically jump to Parkinson’s disease as being the cause of shaking hands.  However, the most common cause is essential tremor.   If you suffer from essential tremor, the shaking cannot be controlled and is most obvious when you try to use a muscle.  Other causes of shaking hands may be:

  • Hypoglycemia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Seizure
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Feelings of anger or fear
  • Smoking
  • Resting the hand
  • Holding the hand in a certain position for prolonged periods of time
  • Medication side effects
  • Too much caffeine
  • Alcohol abuse or addiction
  • Low blood sugar
  • Neurological disorders or conditions like traumatic brain injury, chronic kidney disease or stroke

Treatment Options for Shaking Hands

Although there isn’t a cure for most tremors, treatment options are determined by what exactly is causing your shaking hands.  For example, if your tremor is caused by an existing condition, it may be that treating that condition may help to reduce or even get rid of the tremor altogether.  If there is a stimulant like alcohol or too much caffeine that causes your hands to shake, remove these from your diet.  Your doctor may also decide that you’re a good candidate for medications that treat shaking hands.

There are some lifestyle changes that may help to ease the symptoms of shaking hands which may include wearing wrist weights, using heavier objects to make the item being held easier to handle or using specifically designed tools and utensils.

If you or a loved one suffers from shaking hands, we want to help you discover the cause of your hand tremors and find the best treatment options to help your hands stop shaking.

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