Essential tremors

Posted by jmb73 @jmb73, Fri, Aug 23 6:06am

I saw my neurologist yesterday and he said that I have essential tremors. He said they will get worse and progress to my other hand. Do any of you have this and if so is there any way I can slow the progress. He said it will probably take 3 years to get really bad. I am on Gababentin for fibromyalgia and restless leg and that is one of the drugs that is for these tremors. I am dropping things from my left hand and he said that will get worse too. I am buying plastic glasses as I dropped a real glass in the dishwasher- what a pain that was to get all the glass slivers out of the dishwasher. I would appreciate any ideas on coping with this and how I can manage it. Thank you

Hi, @jmb73 – glad to hear your neurologist had a diagnosis for you — essential tremor — so you can learn more about it and address the condition.

I'd like to tag @hopeful33250 @deliasanderson @techi @kathystl @thankful @bettyusa to join this conversation to share what they know/have experienced with essential tremor. I trust they will provide some support and useful information on managing this following your recent diagnosis.

Will you be going on any other medications in addition to the gabapentin? The incident with the broken glass in the dishwasher sounds like a pain to clean up and not fun to avoid getting cut. Have you had the chance to buy some plastic drinking glasses?

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Hello @jmb73,

I found a couple of links from Mayo's website which might give you a better understanding of Essential Tremors. Here are the links,

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/essential-tremor/symptoms-causes/syc-20350534
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/essential-tremor/multimedia/essential-tremor-test/img-20177820

How long have you been experiencing the tremors? Often with people with Parkinson's have tremors, a med call Amantadine is prescribed. I'm not sure if it used for Essential Tremors, but you might check with your doctor to see if you could try it.

I hope that others on Connect will respond to your question as to how they cope with Essential Tremors.

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@jmb73– Greetings and welcome to Mayo Connect! I was diagnosed with ET over 20 years ago and for me I was told that it could get worse or perhaps not.
I would say that it has progressed at a very, very slow rate and I have not chosen to take anything for it. The main thing it has effected has been my handwriting. I am a left hander and the ET has only effected that limb so it's difficult to write very legible, but I tend to hold my writing standards high ever since going through parochial schooling with nuns. I am retired just over a year, but continue my skills as a carpenter at home without any real effect from ET.
I tend to only realize it's effects on me when I write (even a small note) and the next day ask myself what did I write?
jmb73, I hope you can learn to cope with this and give yourself some peace of mind that things could be much worse. I try to be thankful for every day I am on this planet around family and friends. Be well! Jim@thankful

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I have had Essential Tremor for 7 years, and didn’t require meds until 3 years ago. My Neurologist prescribed Propranolol twice daily. For me the dosage was too much and I had to decrease to one per day to alleviate dizziness from blood pressure going too low. I am surprised that your doctor said it would get much worse in three years, I haven’t experienced that fast progression. Research I have done talks about 1.5% yearly increase, but also says everyone is different. My Dr. also recommended not relying on just any medical websites, and said the only one he recommends is Mayo Clinic (he is not a Mayo Doctor). You may have already noticed that stress, fatigue and extreme temperatures makes the tremors noticeably worse. Like others have mentioned I mostly notice the tremors in fine-motor activities like writing, threading a needle, holding a small things like a paint brush, fork, pills, earrings. I try to avoid really stressful situations – but don’t we all. I hope you find what works best for you.

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@thankful and @kathystl
You have both provided some great information for @jimb. Most physical problems are made worse by stress. If you would be comfortable sharing more, could you provide some stress relievers that you use to keep stress at-bay?

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Teresa, With my TBI I was told to tap on my legs and I know this sounds a little childish but it works great. I was told to sit down and try to relax and start taping on your legs and counting out loud to hear it and hard enough to feel it for 30 taps and stop. Rest for 30 seconds and think of your best memory and repeat it two more times and stop after three times because then your mind will start getting frustrated after three times. I have been using this for eight years now with my TBI and it has helped with my stress unbelievably. Teresa I hope this will help you it sure helped me. Robin

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@hopeful33250

@thankful and @kathystl
You have both provided some great information for @jimb. Most physical problems are made worse by stress. If you would be comfortable sharing more, could you provide some stress relievers that you use to keep stress at-bay?

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I try to reduce stress by exercising daily, along with quiet time reading and slow deep breathing. I find that playing an instrument can be relaxing, for me it’s the piano. All of which I am able to do because I am retired. Finally, an evening glass of wine (1) also helps 🙂

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I have a friend who has purchased a reliable, GMP certified brand of CBD (70% of the brands are not effective or safe, and can actually be dangerous). I have heard that Full Spectrum CBD (contains roughly 100 cannabinoids) is commonly the most effective. I think she is taking an isolate CBD, meaning it only contains 1 cannabinoid. Most prefer a blend where the THC is extremely low and could NEVER get a person high. The tremors have stopped provided she is not under extreme stress. The CBD doesn't help her tremors under extreme stress. Not sure if full spectrum would work in that case. I believe CBD supports the Endocannabinoid system which affects the Central Nervous system (our nerves). You might want to research that. And of course, check with your doctor first. CBD does have some contraindications with certain meds.

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@2016dodge

Teresa, With my TBI I was told to tap on my legs and I know this sounds a little childish but it works great. I was told to sit down and try to relax and start taping on your legs and counting out loud to hear it and hard enough to feel it for 30 taps and stop. Rest for 30 seconds and think of your best memory and repeat it two more times and stop after three times because then your mind will start getting frustrated after three times. I have been using this for eight years now with my TBI and it has helped with my stress unbelievably. Teresa I hope this will help you it sure helped me. Robin

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That is not childish at all, @2016dodge. It sounds like a great system, and especially if it works for you!

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@kathystl

I try to reduce stress by exercising daily, along with quiet time reading and slow deep breathing. I find that playing an instrument can be relaxing, for me it’s the piano. All of which I am able to do because I am retired. Finally, an evening glass of wine (1) also helps 🙂

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Hi @kathystl, I'm so glad that you shared your methods of reducing stress. It all sounds great!

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@hopeful33250

@thankful and @kathystl
You have both provided some great information for @jimb. Most physical problems are made worse by stress. If you would be comfortable sharing more, could you provide some stress relievers that you use to keep stress at-bay?

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@hopeful33250, @jimb– I still have some triggers though I just checked another one off my long held list. Just got back from Victoria B.C. and went out on a small whalewatching tour boat quite a ways out into the ocean. Luckily is was very calm and there were lots of Humbacks & Orcas for distractions!
All in all walking for me is a great stress reliever. I generally go 4-5 times a week on a 3 1/2 mile trek that is mostly wooded and on some boardwalks through some ponds & creeks that always have lots of wildlife.
Also, since writing is the toughest for me I try noy to put myself in situations that when I need to do it I do it earlier in the day and if it's out in public I try to move down the counter out of the way or simply have my wife sign for me. Seek to be joyful! Jim @thankful

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@thankful

@hopeful33250, @jimb– I still have some triggers though I just checked another one off my long held list. Just got back from Victoria B.C. and went out on a small whalewatching tour boat quite a ways out into the ocean. Luckily is was very calm and there were lots of Humbacks & Orcas for distractions!
All in all walking for me is a great stress reliever. I generally go 4-5 times a week on a 3 1/2 mile trek that is mostly wooded and on some boardwalks through some ponds & creeks that always have lots of wildlife.
Also, since writing is the toughest for me I try noy to put myself in situations that when I need to do it I do it earlier in the day and if it's out in public I try to move down the counter out of the way or simply have my wife sign for me. Seek to be joyful! Jim @thankful

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Good thoughts, @thankful. I appreciate you sharing!

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I’ve had mine eight years and now have in whole body, none of my treatments have been effective.

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@jstewart2019

I’ve had mine eight years and now have in whole body, none of my treatments have been effective.

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Hello @jstewart2019 and welcome to Mayo Connect. I see this is your first post. You say that your tremors are in your whole body. If you don't mind sharing a bit more about yourself, what is your diagnosis? You mention also that none of the treatments have been effective. Are these treatments meds or have you tried other therapies as well?

I look forward to hearing from you again.

Liked by imsunny

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@hopeful33250

Hello @jstewart2019 and welcome to Mayo Connect. I see this is your first post. You say that your tremors are in your whole body. If you don't mind sharing a bit more about yourself, what is your diagnosis? You mention also that none of the treatments have been effective. Are these treatments meds or have you tried other therapies as well?

I look forward to hearing from you again.

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I started on essential tremor meds with no luck, I’m now are carbo/levodopa 3 times a day lowest dose with some luck, but now getting worse. I take a muscle relaxer and get trigger point injections as muscles seem to get rigid over time.

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