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what causes shaky/tremory hands
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what causes shaky/tremory hands

they only shake when I am concentrating on something. For example, when I'm doing neurologist exams or trying to paint fine lines they shake, or when I'm tired they REALLY shake and I can barely bring a spoon to my mouth without dumping the food right off of it. Annoying to me, especially, when I was trying to eat cereal the yesterday, so I grabbed the spoon with both hands to steady it and it only helped a tiny bit, I was still spilling most of it!

First, why makes your hands shake? Secondly, how do you guys eat when your hands shake like that?
~Sunnytoday~
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20 Comments Post a Comment
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405614_tn?1329147714
Well, tremors are what started me on this whole trip through limboland.  I'm not an expert, but I've learned a thing or two.  There are several basic kinds of tremors.

Most people have a basic physiological tremor, that's usually barely noticeable, but can worsen under fatigue, stress, anxiety, some medications, etc.

There are different causes for tremor, and it would be impossible for me to tell you what is causing yours.  There is the essential tremor, which is sometimes hereditary, that can cause a worse tremor when you are reaching for something or concentrating on doing something in an uncomfortable position, etc.  I remember reading that consuming a small amount of alcohol can calm these tremors.  I don't drink, so I never tried that test!

There is also an intention tremor, which is usually not as fine of a tremor, that is most obvious when you are reaching for something or trying to push a button or do a neuro exam.  I think this is caused be disfunction in the cerebellum, either by damage, or overuse of medications such as sedatives or anticonvulsants.

Most tremors are benign, just annoying.  If they continue to annoy you, mention them to your doctor, and you can try to figure out what is causing them.  Caffeine can make them worse; I gave it up.

One website I found when I was first researching tremors gave the advice:  "don't eat soup when dining out".  Not much help.  I'd say just give it your best try, don't stress about it when you're eating with others, and have a Sunny kind of comment if anyone notices if you drop or spill things.

Oh, and wear clothes that match the food you're eating!  :o)  Red for spaghetti, etc.  Just kidding!

Hugs,

Kathy
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486038_tn?1300066967
Hmmmm... thanks Kathy! I don't think it's hereditary, and it does appear when I'm doing the touch your nose part of the neuro exam, or when I'm tired it's more obvious, or when I'm trying to concentrate and reach for something or do something that require fine detail ( like threading a needle or painting my French manicure this morning). I think it's there it just shows up more at those times, and does appear to be worse than, say, 4 months ago... grr!!

Thanks for the info, and I'll remember the matching shirt next time I eat out in front of friends!
~Sunnytoday~
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293157_tn?1285877039
Good information on this post... about trembling...my head trembles abit mostly after I have had some Vertigo spells.. I get off balance and my shaking starts up...

thanks alot

wobbly
undx
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233622_tn?1279338505
Well I can tell you what is happening to me.  When I do the exersices the PT wants me to do I start to get tremors. She said this is normal with MS when the muscle becomes fatigued.  And my muscles fatigue quickly. That is in my legs.

I have the same problem you have in my hands.  The fine motor stuff is difficult on some days. My handwriting is not very good today but I am sleepy and had a very busy weekend.  

My PT suggested an OT evaluation.  I used to decorate cakes but am not steady enough any more.  I don't know if there is a specific explination but I do know from what my therapatist has told me that tremors are common with MS.  

When I get fatigued with PT my vision starts to go.  I do not like PT days because it wears me out messes up my whole day!!  The amount of energy it takes to isolate and make one specific muscle work is increadible when your nervous system is not working properly. My PT does not work me hard, just until I start to tremor but that is enough.

OH, eat a sandwich!! ;-)  

LA
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233622_tn?1279338505
so sorry about the spelling.  I was going to do a spell check but didn't.  I have a wiggly 6 year old sitting beside me bumping my arm!  
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338416_tn?1260996698
Yup - tremors can get really old!  I paint, and I have to time my detail painting in the morning, when I'm fresh and my hands don't shake.  I guess it's an intention tremor, caused by the lesion in my cerebellum.  It's actually gotten better - for a while, I had it all the time, but now it just shows up when I'm tired.

When it comes to eating stuff like soup, I use my left hand, which is better about not shaking than the right.  Or use both hands!  Or rest my elbow on the table, or rest my hand on the other hand, so I have some support.  Yeah, it's a pain, but it gets the job done.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have an intention tremor in my left hand and it is one of my "perminent" symptoms. I have had since my neurologist pointed it out to me on my very first exam when I had to touch his finer and then his nose. I gets pretty bad sometimes, expecially the longer I try to fight it. I used to knit and do fine beadwork and have had to adjust.  I find that there are some days I can't do those activities at all, but on others I can do them for very short periods of time. Also, assembling and stapling paper packets at work gets pretty frustrating, since I usually get to a point that my hand is shaking so bad I can't pick up the papers.It happens when I try to carry grocery bags with that hand or pointedly move it in the same direction over and over.  I have learned in those situations that I really just need to stop and rest that hand. It is only my left hand, so I always have the option to use the right one.  My neurologist did say that if it gets to the point that it really prevents me from doing things the we could try some medications, but I haven't been interested so far. Maybe some others could suggest options?
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Avatar_m_tn
I get the intention tremors in my right arm all of the time. But have also notice them in both legs and the left arm at times when I get very tired, but they are not as bad as the right arm. I get very frustrated at times because I can't even take a drink or get a fork full of food into my mouth. This has been going on for several years.

The thing I have found that helps the most with eating and drinking is to support my forearm againt something and then bend down to get the food or drink into my mouth.

I also have one other thing that goes on that I'm not sure if it is really a tremor or something else. As I tire during the day I find that I will start to double or triple type letters on my keyboard. It doesn't feel like a tremor, but more like the signal doesn't get back to my mind that I typed a letter so I type it again. Thank God for the delete key!

Dennis
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486038_tn?1300066967
Thanks to all who have commented! I've been very tired and busy lately, which hasn't made this any better. I have noticed if I lose a lot of sleep this tremor is a lot worse, and then I can't eat without shaking my food off my fork or spoon. I'm glad that it's not too terrible on normal days and only affects me when I try to do detailed things then... your stories and comments have made me appreciate that I do have those more "normal" days. :)
I'm sorry I didn't comment sooner, I was trying to either catch up with other folks that are here and not on the 'puter, or get more rest.
TTYL,
~Sunnytoday~
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338416_tn?1260996698
Sometimes doctors prescribe beta blockers, like propanolol, to help reduce tremor.  If it's a constant problem, it's worth a try!
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648910_tn?1290666683
I take Cogentin for my tremors. it is used more for Parkinson Disease,it is an older med and not that expensive. I paid 10.79 for 30 pills. It helps my hand tremors a lot  If I don't take it my hands shake making me drop things or slosh (sp) my food or drink.

terry
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486038_tn?1300066967
terry, I'm happy to hear that there is something on the market if in case this whole tremory thing gets worse. I personally hope it doesn't, and I'm glad that you have something that helps with yours. I don't want to live a life without soup or cereal just becuase I slosh it off my spoon! (smiles)

Jenn- I'm already on a calcium channel blocker, so I don't know if I would be able to go on a beta block too? Suppose I won't think about it until the dr.'s worry about that one. :)

hugs to all and a mery christmas and seasons greetings..
~Sunnytoday~
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338416_tn?1260996698
Probably not, Sunny - I seem to remember that your blood pressure is pretty low already, so another blocker would do more harm than good.  Wouldn't be able to stand up without fainting!
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486038_tn?1300066967
my BP is crazy... it's high and low... it can't make it's mind up.... I think it's about as fickle as everything else. :) It's running low now but then it likes to spike the bottom number to double digits now and then... when I was younger all the way through my teens it was always high top and bottom consistantly and so now that why I'm on meds for it.
~Sunnytoday~
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486038_tn?1300066967
ok, I'm very tired and still don't feel well, and that post didn't make much sense, what I was trying to say it that my BP is currently running low, but I'm on BP lowering meds so that would be why.

My BP runs high and has all through my teens (for about the last 10 years) and often the bottom number will be in the high 90's and will sometime go over 100, and I won't know it.
~Sunnytoday~
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338416_tn?1260996698
That makes sense.  You don't have a problem with getting dizzy when you stand up, do you?
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486038_tn?1300066967
Yup, but my PT last fall taught me to brace and stand up slowly so I wouldn't pass out. That helped, and now I never think about it since I'm never jumping up anymore and rushing off leaving my "head" behind. I used to do that and it would be all black and I'd have to wait until I could see again. :)
~Sunnytoday~
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338416_tn?1260996698
I have that too!  My blood pressure is low, and I'm always having head rushes when I get up.  I'm used to standing up slowly now, and if I feel dizzy, I lean over from the waist and hold on to something until my blood pressure equalizes.
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648910_tn?1290666683
My blood [ressure  is fine.  However, when I was at my lowest point with my anemia I experienced it all day every day.  I didn't know at the time I was anemic or had I had my first MRI.  Now it occurs only occasionally.  If it would go away totally I wouldn't miss it.

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Avatar_f_tn
This was what got me to the neuro in the first place!  Lately it hasn't been so bad, but when it's acting up, the docs put me on propanolol and that does help a lot.  

Fine motor skills--some days are so bad my writing is illegible (even to me!) but I just keep on keeping on.  The more I practice something, the better--like it reinforces alternate neural pathways.  In the past couple of years I've gotten back into sewing--and love it!  So far, the trembling hasn't caused too much of a problem and the constant work on fine motor skills does seem to help.  
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