Essential tremor though luckily not fatal is a movement disorder that attacks people in their late adulthood. Said to be inherited, this disorder causes the patient to experience tremors in their arms especially when stretching them or carrying something. In some cases, the patient experiences tremors in speech, the head, and the legs. The tremors worsen if the patient experiences fatigue, if using stimulant medications, and when stressed. These tremors can make life uncomfortable and limit the number of activities that a person can do. For this reason, if you are already a patient, the knowledge of how to find relief from essential tremor will serve you well.
Most patients suffering from essential tremor do not require medication or treatment. But for the cases experiencing significant functional impairment, treatment may be necessary. There are several types of therapy that you can undergo. These treatments include:
Applying weight to the wrist can help in reducing tremor in some patients. Also, you can try biofeedback and some non-medical relaxation techniques. These techniques will assist in reducing stress and anxiety, which normally worsen the tremors. Also, you are advised to reduce the intake of medication that are known to increase tremors. Such medications include corticosteroids, some antipsychotics, some antidepressants, adrenergic agonists, and lithium-based drugs. Also, it is advisable that you avoid taking stimulants such as coffee. But before you start engaging in therapy, it is advisable that you be evaluated for hyperthyroidism, a condition that is known to mimic the signs and symptoms of essential tremor.
Whether to use medication in the treatment of essential tremor is a decision that will be made when the degree of tremor is high thus causing impairments. Medications that will be prescribed to you are anti-seizure medication such as primidone, and propranolol, which is a beta-adrenergic blocker.
Propranolol has a success rate of 40 to 50 percent. If you suffer from congestive heart failure, asthma, and emphysema, then you should not use this drug. Also, if you are a diabetic on insulin, be careful when using this medication. The negative side of propranolol is that it may cause impotence, cause depression, and reduce your tolerance to exercise. However, you can try other adrenergic blockers such metoprolol, timolol, atenolol, and nadolol, which have less adverse side effects.
Primidone has a success rate of 60 to 100 percent. With such an impressive rate, this is the most likely drug that will be prescribed to you. Some of the side effects experienced are dizziness, unsteadiness, and nausea. However, these three side effects are temporary and only occur when you start medication. You will also experience sedation, but it is manageable.
In the case where non-medical therapy and medical therapy fail, surgery may be suggested.