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Finger shaking
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Finger shaking

I am a 29 year old female who is very scared.  I have always been completely healthy when about 2 months ago I started having what I would call tremors in my right hand.  I would notice it when I was using my hand, such as feeding my baby with a spoon. My hand would shake all the way to his mouth and back to the jar.  When the hand was resting the tremors would stop.  No sooner did my right hand feel much better when the same thing started happening in my left hand.  I saw my PCP who did a brief exam and a blood workup.  She said that everything, including my thyroid, was perfectly normal.  She started me on 25mg of Atenolol which has helped the tremors dramatically.  However, I still occasionally notice twitching in my fingers, mostly in my middle and ring finger of my left hand.  They seem to shake back and forth.  These two fingers are also somewhat achy in the joint area.  And while sometimes I think these 2 fingers seem slightly weaker, when I am busy I barely notice it at all, for example I am typing this without trouble. The only other complaint I have is that I have a sore spot in my neck almost at the base of my skull, again not always constant and/or noticable.

Should I see a neurologist?  My PCP didn't feel it was necessary at this time but I am so scared, I have 2 very young children who need me!

Does this sound like it could be the beginnings of MS or ALS?  Would any weakness be more pronounced?  Does that one blood test rule out any thyroid trouble (my son is 11 months old)?

Thanks in advance for any insight.
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Dear Karen:

I am sorry to hear about your tremor.  It sounds like you have developed an essential tremor (the shaking occurs during a movement or action).  Your PCP is correctly treating you with a beta blocker.  

You do not have ALS, as you would have fasciculations (these are not tremors, but muscle contractions) and muscle weakness.  Tremor can be seen in MS but is usually not an initial sign.  Usually MS presents with muscle weakness and/or numbness that is unilateral that comes and goes over time.  It doesn't sound like MS.

I am not sure I understand the question concerning the thyroid test and your 11 month old son.  If your blood test was normal, then your thyroid is functioning normally, but it doesn't say anything about your son's thyroid functioning.

I hoped I answered your questions.

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
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