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9 Reasons why your hands won’t stop shaking

Dr. Lala .A.

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Shaky hands are called ”tremors” medically.
Tremors are very common and they are caused by a variety of conditions which may or may not be well known to us.
Below is a list of some conditions that may cause tremors.

ESSENTIAL TREMOR (ET)
It is the commonest cause of shaky hands. It affects all the parts of the body but it usually starts in the hands and occurs even while you’re moving.
ET runs in families. It may also be caused by toxins in the environment, stress, too much caffeine. The risk of having ET increases as one ages.
ET worsens over time such that normal daily activities like eating, drinking becomes difficult to do.
ET is difficult to treat but medications, surgery have been found to be helpful.

PARKINSON’S DISEASE (PD)
Shaky hands is an early sign of PD. It affects millions of people worldwide. The tremor usually affects one side of the body and occurs when one is still, such that when you move the shaking stops.
PD also results in problems with memory, sleep, sex, posture. The cause of PD is unknown but exposure to pesticides and herbicides, consumption of well water, proximity to industrial plants or quaries and living in rural environment are risk factors.
PD cannot be cured, however the signs and symptoms can be controlled with drugs, surgery, diet and therapy.

MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS (MS)
This is a lifelong disease that affects the immune system, brain, spinal cord and eyes. MS causes several shaky movements in the hands and feet.
Just like PD, the cause of MS is unknown, however, if your parent has MS, you’re likely to have it. Infections, exposure to chemicals and lack of sun exposure can result in MS.
MS is more common in females and several drugs including those that modulate the immune system are used in its management.

THYROID DISORDER
Over-activity of the thyroid gland often results in shaky hands, excessive sweating, bulging eyes, palpitations, weight loss, diarrhoea among other symptoms.
If you experience this and notice a swelling at the front of your neck, see your doctor immediately.
Drugs or Surgery can be used to treat hyperthyroidism.

ALCOHOL WITHDRAWAL
Quitting alcohol is not easy especially if you drank a lot for a long time. These temors may last for up to a year. If this happens, don’t be discouraged. Drugs can be used to manage the tremors.

DRUGS
Drugs that are used to treat depression like dopamine antagonists can cause shaky hands. If this happens, tell your doctor so that such drug will be discontinued. The tremors will go away when you stop taking the drug.

VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY
Deficiency of Vit B12 prevents your nerves from working as they should. You may also have beefy, red smooth and sore tongue. If this occurs, report to your doctor and ensure you take foods high in Vit B12 like meat, eggs, milk, youghurt, cheese.

LOW BLOOD SUGAR
Can occur from hunger, over dose of drugs used to treat diabetes. Usually, when you have low blood sugar, your hands begin to shake which is natural. Ensure you do not go too hungry and that you take your anti diabetes medications as prescribed by the doctor and as at when due.

STRESS
Be it family, academic, financial, emotional problems, take a time to relax. Breathe, take a walk, ‘cos all will be well.

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Dr. Lala .A. is a graduate of University of Ilorin who also holds a Diploma in Computer Engineering. She is an MDCN (Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria) certified doctor who aspires to be a plastic surgeon involved in creating awareness about women's rights and responsibilities and also training would be surgeons. She is a proud member of various reputable bodies including the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and Young Africa Leaders Initiative (YALI). She loves to read, write, sleep and play the drums in her spare time.