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Tremors of our hands can be caused by a number of different factors and some may be more benign than others. Here, I will present 4 of the most common causes of hand tremors and what you should do to manage them effectively. 

Physiological tremor

The first category of hand tremor that I will cover is called a physiological tremor. Believe it or not, we naturally shake our hands multiple times a day without even realizing it in most cases. These can be caused by muscle twitches in your arms or hands, due to imbalances in electrolyte levels or could just be due to physical exhaustion. These physiological tremors will appear and disappear at will and only become more obvious when we are fatigued. If you notice this type of shaking, make sure you go to your neurologist to rule out other more worrisome causes of hand tremors but you will be able to live with them without any further intervention. 

Essential tremors

Another category of tremors that you need to be more familiar with would be called essential tremors. This is another benign disorder that patients can live with without too much difficulty. They are a type of tremor that becomes more common as a patient ages and it is believed to be due to the degeneration of the brain as we age naturally. This will be a tremor that is apparent at rest but when patients move their arms, the tremor will disappear. 

A subgroup of patients that tend to develop essential tremors would be those who are abusing alcohol. Patients will start to gradually develop tremors as the neurons in the brain become damaged and what is interesting is that these tremors become more obvious when alcohol is withheld from the patients. Traditionally, small amounts of alcohol were given to these patients to improve their tremors but more modern therapy consists of simple B-blocking medications. [1]

Underlying cerebral disorder

More worrisome tremors that patients need to be aware of will suggest a more underlying cerebral disorder. One of the most common types of tremors would be those seen in Parkinson disease. This is a condition marked by the internal destruction of the basal ganglia of the brain and as the tissue is lost, patients will begin to have more and more movement disorders. Some of the earliest signs of Parkinson disease would be tremors in their hands, followed by stiff joints, changes in how a patient will walk and eventually a face without obvious emotions. It is a disease that is hard to diagnose but patients in their 40s or 50s who begin to notice tremors should meet immediately with a neurologist to try to diagnose the disease as quickly as possible. There is no cure for Parkinson disease yet, but the sooner you being therapy, patients will be able to enjoy more quality of life years with their families. 

Action tremor or "intentional tremor

The last type of tremor is referred to as an action tremor or "intentional tremor." This tremor also indicates that patients have some underlying cerebral disorder and the tremor will worsen when patients attempt to make movements. This type of tremors will make it very hard for patients to carry out simple everyday tasks and care with a neurologist will be essential to their treatment. 

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