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Conditions

Benign Essential Tremor

Benign Essential Tremor

Benign essential tremor sends your hands to jelly. Tremor quite simply causes your hands to shake – considerably and constantly, thus shattering any aspirations of a career in brain surgery. Whilst it might not sound that serious if the condition deteriorates those afflicted may find it increasingly problematic to carry out the simplest of tasks such as writing, using cutlery, and – let’s not shy away from it – wiping their bum. Benign Essential Tremor has a habit of flaring up and becoming worse when a person is stressed, tired, angry, anxious, hot or cold. A high level of adrenaline in the body can also heighten the shaking as can caffeine and some prescribed medicines. It isn’t just the hands that can be affected; infrequently the voice, face and upper body have known to suffer too though there is some release as tremor usually fades when resting or moving. If the tremor is so bad that it’s affecting your day-to-day life then there are a few things that can ease the symptoms. Beta blockers, anti-convulsants or even a deep brain simulator have all proven affective in a high percentage of cases and (whilst it should in no way be relied upon) one or two units of alcohol have been shown to temporarily relieve the tremor completely, which can be particularly helpful before you give that important speech, or go out on that big date.

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Hi I'm Daniel 40 yrs old. Last September I was working abroad I was under a considerable amount of stress. After a month I developed a slight tremor in the left hand which then moved fairly quickly to the right and in the legs. I went to neurologist and he told me that I have ET .none in my family has it. I decided to quite my job and come back to UK. I was not happy with this diagnosis so I sought two more neurologist. Both of them they found a fine postural tremor or enhanced physiological tremor exaggerated by stress. today I still have the tremor in both hands. It's not a rest tremor but action tremor and Can you please advice me if someone else has the same condition? Many thanks I have been to





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Hi I am Val and I have had ET most of my life I have been lucky as it has not changed much until now and Iam looking for treatments I have found clinics that do treatments with ultra sounds and I am wondering if anyone has tried this treatment and what were there results

For the last four months I have been getting tremors in both arms and has now spread to my whole body today was the worst I have ever experience went on for half hour was embarrsing as this happend at a restraunt was wondering what is causing this as I have also lost weight at the same time and lost of appetite .





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you are not alone. my husband has ET, a genetic illness from his family. he now usese LIFTWARE for eating. we use big heavy cups instead of glasses. its terrible for him and embarassing so we do not eat out anymore. there are many self help aids available. as for medicine, there is only one but a beta blocker so over the years his heart has weakend and he has a pacemaker sonce 4 yrs ago. do not despair. live with it.

Will my voice go funny while having ET





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I'm 36 I've had ET for about 3 years now and been from tablet to tablet and now I'm with gabapentin and I'm getting pain in both wrist and doctors are saying its due to my hands shaking so much and I'm on pregablin for that and the new tablets is not working on the pain plus my hands are getting worst in starting to drop items now





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Plus I'm in pain all the time now

Hi I am 24 year old boy from Greece . My name is George. I was five years old when my hand started to shake .In the last 2 years it get worse my whole body is shaking,my voice my head . In Greece I vizit the doctor the didi brain scan ,blood test but they do not know what is the cause they even didn't give me advice to take some medication, any advice? I live in london now so do you know which is the best clinic to vizit?thanks





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I'm 25. No tests showed result for me either. They realized it was an essential/benign tremor. They didn't think of it at first because its usually in people over the age of 60. Ask your doctor about it.

I just got diagnosed with this. I am 17 and kind of upset now that I've learned how bad this can get. Will this get worse for me? What are the chances that it will become bad enough that I can't have a job in a lab where I need a steady hand? Should I be worried about how this is going to affect my life.





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Start with b12 now and vitamin D . my guy is 50 and had mild tremors in 2009 millitary said tremors come back when worse. I did research in 2015 and low b12 is found in people with parkinsons. So get checked for b12 and low D can trigger Ms and other nerve problems. My guy is now on b12 shot bcomplex b6 100mg daily. Fish oil asprin a day helps thin blood. Vitamin D . he just went to ER he thought he had a seizure. Just resesrch you can prevent and prolong symptoms. Magnesium helps nerves. L-arginine he takes. Co q 10 is good also.

I've had this since I was a kid. I'm 24 now and it hasn't progressed (at least not noticeably). It's much worse when I've had caffeine. Also, the more I think about it, the worse it gets. If I'm really tired, they can get bad. But generally it's not that bad. I don't work in a lab or anything, but I can still do crafts, pour liquids, etc. I wouldn't trust myself to be a surgeon, but I would trust myself to be in a lab handling serious stuff. The biggest way it affects my life is people always say "Are you nervous? You're shaking!" Usually I don't even realize I'm shaking. You learn to deal with it. Taking a deep breath and literally like shaking out your hands helps. Also, strengthening your wrists a bit helps me. I had wrist surgery so I ended up with weak wrists which made it worse. Over time they got stronger and I think that helped. Anyways, just wanted to let you know that it doesn't ALWAYS progress.

I hAve Tremors most of my life. as I got older it got worse at 14 years of age I was diagnosed with chronic depression PTSD and panic attacks. at that time They thought my tremors were attributed to anxiety and Depression. 4 years ago my psychiatrist thought that My tremors had nothing to do with my anxiety and depression. so he referred me to a neurologist. to my surprise my neurologist diagnosed me with benign essential tremors. my tremors have gotten so bad that I cannot even Feed myself because the food would fall from my spoon or fork. as I got older my tremors have spread to my head. because of this it caused me to have agoraphobia. I'll isolate myself from people in fear of ridicule because my Tremors are so visible I have people staring at me and asking me why am I so nervous and What is wrong with me. I tried medication and nothing has worked. I cannot use public transportation due to the fact I'm surrounded by so many people so to get to my appointments I have personal transport paid by my insurance to take me to and from my appointments. if it wasn't for my children and my faith in God I would not be here. does anyone have any suggestions of how to cope with this.





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Oh I forgot to tell you my name is michele, and I'm 46 yrs old

Hi Michele, I have had my tremor pretty much my whole life. It has gotten progressively worse the older I have gotten and I know it will get worse. I am turning 40 in April. I have also suffered from anxiety and depression. If you are not already taking medication, for your depression, I would highly suggest you look into it, and if you are taking medication you should see about changing what your or on. I am on several medications and it has really helped me. My tremor hasn't gotten to the point where I can no longer use utensils, but when I write it is really bad. Also, I work with people and they notice. They will ask me if I am nervous or cold. It is embarrassing, but I use it as a teaching opportunity. I tell them I have an essential tremor and explain it to them. I also do the same thing when the issue of depression an/or anxiety come up. It is a disease just like any other and it is nothing to be embarrassed about. I know it doesn't feel that way, but the more people talk about it the less reason people have to fear it. Also, remember, we are adults. When you were young people may have ridiculed you, but no adult (who has any manners)is going to do that now. I don't know if you have ever visited this website for the International Essential Tremor Foundation: http://www.essentialtremor.org/ It has a lot of information about resources that can help you. You can get weighted utensils that might make it easier for you to feed yourself. Did your neurologist have you try any medications in attempt to help reduce your tremor? I have not had any success with that, but I understand it has helped other people. I also suffer from chronic pain and can't sit for long periods of time. I got a terrible anal abscess that went misdiagnosed for a long time and by the time they figured it out, the infection had tunneled out of my body. (Luckily it didn't go into an organ or I would be dead.) I was in a horrible amount of pain and the doctors would not prescribe me pain medication because they couldn't see the injury. (I don't know if you are in the US or not, but it has gotten very difficult to get pain medication here.) I had 6 surgeries over the course of 5 years (which included me having a temporary poop bag for a year) and now I have tailbone pain which I am sure is a result of all the surgeries in that area. You can imagine how depressed I was during that time. I was suicidal. The only reason I'm still here is because I could not do that to the people who love me. I am seeing a pain specialist and probably the only way to fix the problem will be to remove my tailbone. I REALLY don't want to go through another surgery. For now I'm managing the pain with medication, although the pain is never completely gone. To top that off, I got fired 2.5 months ago from a job that I loved that I had been at for 11 years due to no fault of my own. I had to have a medication adjustment because my anxiety level was off the chart. I couldn't sleep and of course I'm depressed. I'm feeling better as time goes on, but I'm having a hard time finding a job and my ego is shattered. My suggestion to you is to do what you just did. Reach out to others and talk about it. Find a support group or even online. It helps tremendously to know you are not alone. Don't give up on people. I know it is scary, but things can and will be a lot better if you let people help you and use the resources that are out there.

Can ET also cause pain in the joints? I got diagnosed last year with essential tremor, and i noticed I get pain in my joints before the shakes come, but as i am taking propranlol to stop the pain i am just getting the pain..is this normal? Also using a raised mouse on the computer is hurting my hand. could this be due to ET





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I've had ET for 30 years. Beta Blockers have been really helpful but now it's getting worse. I was wondering if anyone else gets jerks on falling asleep as for the past couple of nights this has been waking me up





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I have the same problem as you as well as other disorders. I too have had this problem for a long time it makes me feel like I am about to fall off something like a ledge or the bed it wakes me wide awake again so I have to start the sleep process all over again I find that if I do a check before I try to sleep that I am on the bed properly and I tell myself that I am safe and nothing is going to happen it sometimes help. sorry I cant be of anymore help but I hope it helps to know you are not alone, by the way I am a 47 yr old female and have been suffering for many years

I have had a tremor as far back as I can remember. Worked in the hospitality industry for 20 years, in management so managed to avoid carrying trays of glasses, which would have been out of the question anyway! I am not nervous in any other way and public speaking was never a problem. Much more exaggerated tremor after drinking to much! After a normal night out with pals look like someone detoxing from a 2 week binge! Tried all the meds, hate taking them, side effects, lack of sleep, bad nightmares, etc! Last time at docs, wanted to try me on diazepam, not interested in addictive meds? Any advice? Has anyone with similar been for a full M.O.T? Bit scared to tell the truth, nothing in my family history. Replies appreciated.





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Hello Kevin. First of all, might I direct you to the National Tremor Foundation website? There is plenty of information on available treatment options detailing the benefits and risks of all. Medical intervention rarely comes without some risk or potential risk, it is up to the individual to decide what benefits they require and how much they outweigh the risks. Secondly you need to be sure of the nature and underlying cause of your tremor. Is it neurological, physiological or psychological? If you do not feel your gp has addressed this ask for a second opinion or a referral. Of course, if this is essential tremor you have the option of no treatment at all. It all depends on how severe the tremor is most of the time and what added pressures and stresses it brings in social settings. I have a progressive essential tremor. It was first noticed when I was about 5 years old. Initially it affected my hands and arms. I work in the hotel trade and until my late twenties was actually a serviceable waitress. I now use a lidded desk mug for hot drinks, always keep a spare pair of jeans out incase of spillage disasters and rely increasingly on gadgets that help me cheat with tins, chopping and slicing. Sometimes I loose my balance as my legs are now affected. This is usually the point at which I stick a slug of gin in a glass and self medicate. Raising a toast to the neurologist who told me that alcohol often helps ET. Beta blockers are normally recommended, usually propranolol. General advice is to take them only as required on bad days or in preparation for public social engagements.Anxiety, stress, excess coffee, physical and emotional exhaustion and being rundown with a virus are all the sorts of things that can exacerbate Essential tremor. On bad days my arms now bounce up and down so violently it looks like I am performing a strange dance. I have been hearing a log about deep brain stimulation. Having seen some recorded video evidence of a patient with disabling tremor and how they were greatly improved after deep brain stimulation, I am beginning to warm to the idea despite the risks. Maybe, when my tremor has progressed for a few more years it might be worth the risks. If any of this sort of experience sounds like deja vu to you Kevin, then perhaps you have severe ET. A neurologist would be able to confirm. For the benefit of the Embarrassing bodies people, there is nothing benign about ET and it is not only improper to use the word benign in relation to such a disabling condition, it is also politically incorrect. How up to date is your research?


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