Tremors are rhythmic, involuntary muscular contractions characterized by oscillations (to-and-fro movements) of a part of the body. The most common of all involuntary movements, a tremor can affect various body parts such as the hands, head, facial structures, vocal cords, trunk and legs; most tremors, however, occur in the hands. Tremors often accompany neurological disorders associated with aging. Although the disorder is not life-threatening, it can be responsible for functional disability and social embarrassment.
There are many types of tremor and several ways in which tremors are classified. The most common classifications are by behavioral context and position. There are five such categories of tremor:
If shaking or trembling has been present for less than 2 years, it may be caused by temporary conditions such as:
Such shaking or trembling could also be caused by conditions such as:
Drugs can also cause tremor. The list includes caffeine, fluoxetine (Prozac), haloperidol (Haldol), lithium, methylphenidate (Ritalin), metoclopramide (Reglan), phenylpropanolamine, pseudoephedrine, theophylline and valproic acid.
Effective treatment of tremor requires distinguishing this type of movement disorder from other movement disorders. Without being seen and examined by a physician, the cause of your tremor may be difficult to determine.
If shaking or trembling has been present for two or more years and you do not have an endocrine or hormonal imbalance, you may have essential tremor or Parkinson disease.
Early symptoms of hypoglycemia, such as hand tremors, are similar to those which occur as the result of experiencing a sudden and violent fear.
Early symptoms of magnesium deficiency can include fatigue, anorexia, irritability, insomnia, and muscle tremors or twitching.
The main symptom of Parkinson's disease is a pronounced tremor affecting the extremities – notably the hands, chin or lips. The tremor is most evident at rest and disappears with movement and sleep.
Dehydration can cause a loss of electrolytes such as potassium and sodium, which are required for normal muscle control and nerve function. Without these electrolytes, muscle shaking or tremors can be experienced.
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