Essential tremor (ET) is the most frequently reported movement disorder. Medically, it is described as a chronic and progressive neurological problem that affects mostly the upper extremities (hands) and head. Nevertheless, an essential tremor can affect other parts of the body as well. Involuntary shaking to some extent is commonly seen in nearly all people, but the symptom is so mild that it is hardly worth paying any heed to. To understand better in regards to the natural remedies for essential tremor, first let's take a look at the causes and symptoms of this neurological problem.
Causes and Symptoms
Involuntary or uncontrolled shaking of the body parts is resulted due to malfunctions in the nerves that are connected to the affected areas. There is no relevant data that describes the actual essential tremor causes. But, chances are high that it may run in families in the form of a condition known as familial tremor. People of all ages may be afflicted with essential tremor, but the ratio is higher among elderly citizens who are above 65 years. Also, women are at a higher risk of developing this movement disorder than men.
The symptoms of essential tremor are more distinct when the patient indulges in some voluntary activities like writing, holding objects, or eating. In some affected individuals, involuntary trembling in the arms is spread to other body parts like eyebrows, jaw, voice box, neck, and head. Noticeable signs of essential tremors are difficulty in hand activities, head nodding, and trembling of voice. Very rarely does the essential tremor affect the lower extremities or legs.
Treatment and Natural Remedies
There is no specific test for diagnosis of essential tremor. The only objective is to ensure that it is not associated with other neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. An essential tremor condition is diagnosed based on the manifested symptoms of the patient. It is a lifelong condition that does not have any cure. Regarding essential tremor treatment, prescribed medications are advocated for reducing the tremor symptoms and spreading of the condition to other parts. Natural remedies for essential tremor that aid in improving the tremor symptoms are discussed below.
Take Proper Rest
Muscle fatigue, especially in the affected parts exacerbate the trembling symptoms. Hence, in order to get relief from excess shaking, take adequate rest and sleep. Always try to indulge in sound sleep for at least seven hours a day. In case of any worsening of symptoms at night that disturb sleep, seek advice from a doctor.
Try to Relax
Proper relaxation is another effective natural remedy for combating the symptoms of essential tremor. In majority of the patients, stress and anxiety trigger an essential tremor condition. That's why, he/she tends to shake more when confused. Learning the various relaxation techniques is a good option to help cope up with stressful situations and treat essential tremor.
Say No to Caffeine
As per medical research, caffeine is a stimulant for excess secretion of adrenaline hormone, which in turn worsens essential tremor symptoms. Thus, patients of essential tremor should restrict from drinking caffeinated beverages. Instead of drinking coffee and other caffeine containing stimulants, one can select alternative, healthy drinks.
In some studies, consuming alcohol is shown to reduce the trembling symptom for a while, until the effects of alcohol remain in the body. But the worst part is the same symptoms return after some time. So, on a safer note, it is better to refrain from alcohol completely or use it sparingly, as there are chances of becoming addicted to alcohol, rather than treating essential tremor.
Herbal remedies that are believed to have positive results for treatment include skullcap, lady's slipper, arnica, German chamomile, and gotu kola. These herbs contain active ingredients that improve the functioning of the nervous system. Though there are no serious side effects, it is advisable to consult an expert before taking any of these herbal remedies at a higher dose or for a prolonged duration.
Essential tremor is not a life-threatening condition, but the statistics of disability resulted from this disorder is relatively high. In a survey conducted in afflicted individuals, more than 80 percent of the participants experience changes in their quality of life, while about 15 percent people report severe forms of disabilities. Following the above mentioned natural remedies can help manage the symptoms effectively and lead a quality life. And while using a computer, one can use wrist weights to gain control over the shakes.
If, at all, hand shaking persists, get it examined by a trusted physician. Most likely, the doctor will suggest medication therapy involving anticonvulsant drug and beta blockers. This along with physical therapy improves control over the muscles and helps them co-ordinate properly. In case of severe tremors with no sign of improvement, surgery options (deep brain stimulation and thalamotomy) may be considered as the last therapeutic approach. Responses to the surgical treatment are quite satisfactory, and most candidates are able to do their daily activities after the procedure.