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Essential tremors – symptoms, causes and other complications

This is a nervous system disorder, neurological disorder, which is causing involuntary and rhythmic shaking. This condition can affect any part of your body but the trembling is most often happening in the hands, especially when someone is trying to do simple tasks such as tying shoelaces or drinking from a glass. In the most cases this is not a dangerous condition but it can worsen over time and it can be severe in some people. You should know that other conditions are not causing essential tremor but there are some cases when the essential tremor is confused with Parkinson’s disease. It can happen at any age but most often is happening in people who are 40 years and older. There are some studies in which are said that the essential tremors are linked to other illnesses [1]. There are other movement disorders such as the Parkinson’s disease that have been associated with the essential tremors. Also there are other studies in which are said that essential tremors are linked with migraine headaches [2]. People who suffer from essential tremors have a risk of developing dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease [3]. Those drugs which are used to treat the essential tremors can increase the risk of people becoming depressed [4]. There are some doctors who are saying that people who suffer from essential tremors are not having a risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. There are many people who suffer from essential tremors but their doctors often mistake it with the Parkinson’s disease which is worsening their condition because they are not taking the right medicines. The essential tremor is not a life – threatening condition unless it prevents the person from caring for her or himself. Most people who are affected with this condition are able to live with it but they can find their everyday activities like writing, dressing or eating difficult. This is happening when the tremors become severe which are causing them disability. [1]

Essential tremors symptoms

Here are some signs and symptoms of the essential tremors:

  • May be aggravated by emotional stress, fatigue, caffeine or temperature extremes
  • Tremors that worsen during periods of emotional stress
  • Can include a “yes – yes” or “no – no” motion of the head
  • Usually occur in the hands first, affecting one hand or both hands
  • Worsen with movement
  • Tremors that lessen with rest
  • Shaking voice
  • Begin gradually, usually on one side of the body
  • Uncontrollable shaking that occurs for brief periods of time
  • In rare cases there can be balance problems

When someone has uncontrollable shaking, then this may not be a sign of essential tremor. It can be associated with diseases or factors such as alcohol or drug withdrawal, metabolic abnormalities, some prescription drugs, brain tumors, extreme emotional distress, fatigue after exercise, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

essential tremors

Essential tremors causes

This is the most common movement disorder which is affecting up to ten million people in the United States of America [5]. It can happen at any age. It most often strikes for the first time during adolescence or in middle age, between ages 40 and 50. There are some studies in which are said that about half of essential tremors are caused by a genetic mutation but the specific gene is not identified [6]. This form of the essential tremor is referred as a familiar tremor. There are some cases when essential tremor have affected some people but the genetic mutation is not a cause for this so in this case is not known the cause for it.

Risk factors: There are some factors which can increase your risk of essential tremors such as

  • Age: The essential tremor is more common in people who are 40 years and older.
  • Genetic mutation: Familiar tremor, which is the inherited variety of essential tremor, is an autosomal dominant disorder. It is known fact that a defective gene from just one parent is needed to pass on the condition. [6]

Complications: This is not a life – threatening condition but the symptoms often worsen over time. If the tremors become severe, then you can find it difficult to: [7]

  • Write legibly
  • Talk, if your voice box or tongue is affected
  • Put on makeup or shave
  • Eat normally
  • Hold a cup or glass without spilling


[1] Tarakad A, Jankovic J. Essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease: Exploring the relationship. Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Movements. 2018;8:589.

[2] Lau C, Lin CC, Chen HJ, et al. Increased risk of essential tremor in migraine: A population-based retrospective cohort study. PLoS One. 2017;12(3):e0173586.

[3] Thawani SP, Schupf N, Louis ED. Essential tremor is associated with dementia: Prospective population-based study in New York. Neurology. 2009;73(8):621–5.

[4] Huang H, Yang X, Zhao Q, et al. Prevalence and risk factors of depression and anxiety in essential tremor patients: A cross-sectional study in Southwest China. Frontiers in Neurology. 2019.

[5] Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Overactive brain waves trigger essential tremor. 2020. Retrieved from

[6] National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. Essential tremor. Retrieved from

[7] Baylor College of Medicine. Researchers find brain cell that triggers tremor and how to control it. Science Daily. 2020. Retrieved from

Merlin Joy
Merlin Joy
Holding a doctorate degree, Dr. Merlin Joy AKA Sinatra developed passion for home remedies from her mother, grand father and grandmother. Sinatra loves to read books and hiking. You can contact her through [email protected]


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