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Tremors are an abnormal condition in which a person experiences involuntary muscle movements that can occur in a specific body area, commonly the hands and arms, or affect the entire body. The term tremors most accurately refers to small, rhythmic shaking movements that occur in a to-and-fro pattern. However, the expression tremors is also commonly used to refer to sudden jerking or muscle spasms of the body or extremities, such as occurs with restless legs syndrome.
Tremors are a symptom of a variety of mild conditions to serious diseases and disorders. Tremors can result from extreme emotions, drug or alcohol use, medication side effects, and certain mental health disorders, metabolic conditions, neurological conditions, genetic disorders and other abnormal processes.
Depending on the cause, the sensation of tremors can be short-term and disappear quickly, such as when tremors occur due to an anxiety attack or stress. Tremors can also can be chronic and come and go over a longer period of time, such as when they are due to focal seizures.
Tremors can be the result of a variety of other conditions, diseases or disorders that damage or cause injury to the nervous system, such as Parkinson's disease. An essential tremor is a tremor in which there is no known cause. For more details about causes, see causes of tremors.
There are many symptoms that can accompany tremors, depending on the disease, disorder or condition that is at the root of them. For example, people with Parkinson's disease report feeling shaky and may exhibit depression and irritability. They also experience rigidity of the arms, legs and trunk and eventually develop bradykinesia, a slowness of movement that includes sudden freezing of muscle movement. They also have problems with impaired balance and coordination.
People who have tremors due to a severe form of alcohol withdrawal called delirium tremens have other types of symptoms, such as hallucinations, confusion, diarrhea, agitation, paranoia, fever and hypertension.
Diagnosing tremors and their root cause begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination, including a neurological examination. A neurological exam evaluates the nervous system and such functions as reflexes, sensation, movement, balance, coordination, vision and hearing.
Diagnostic testing varies, depending on the suspected underlying cause of tremors. Tests may include blood tests, such as a complete blood count (CBC), a chemistry panel, urinanalysis, and blood glucose testing, which can diagnose hypoglycemia, one potential cause of tremors. A blood alcohol test and liver function tests may be done if tremors are suspected to be due to alcoholism and alcohol withdrawal. Blood thyroid tests can reveal if a person has hyperthyroidism, another potential cause of tremors.
A diagnosis of tremors and their cause can easily be delayed or missed because they can be mild and not occur continuously. For information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of tremors.
Treatment of tremors generally involves diagnosing and treating the underlying disease, disorder or condition that is causing them. Some conditions can be easily and successfully treated and cured, while others may require more intensive treatment and may not have an optimal prognosis. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of tremors....more »
A diagnosis of tremors and its cause may be delayed or missed because the tremors may not be severe or bothersome enough for a person to seek medical care. In some conditions, such as Parkinson's disease, tremors progress gradually, potentially delaying a diagnosis. In some people with tremors, such as those with focal seizures or alcohol ...more misdiagnosis »
The following medical conditions are some of the possible
causes of Tremors.
There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor
about your symptoms.
» Review Causes of Tremors: Causes
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Treatment plans for tremors are individualized based on the underlying cause, the presence of coexisting diseases, the age and medical history of the patient, and other factors. Treatment generally involves a multifaceted plan that addresses the cause, minimizes the tremors or episodes of tremors, and increases the ability of a person to function effectively and lead an ...Tremors Treatments
Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Tremors may include:
Review further information on Tremors Treatments.
The following drugs, medications, substances or toxins are some of the possible
causes of Tremors as a symptom.
Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using,
including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.
When combined, certain drugs, medications, substances or toxins may react causing Tremors as a symptom. Always advise your doctor of any medications or treatments you are using, including prescription, over-the-counter, supplements, herbal or alternative treatments.
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Read more about causes and Tremors deaths.
Undiagnosed stroke leads to misdiagnosed aphasia: BBC News UK reported on a man who had been institutionalized and treated for mental illness because he suffered from sudden inability to speak. This was initially misdiagnosed as a "nervous breakdown" and...read more »
Alzheimer's disease over-diagnosed: The well-known disease of Alzheimer's disease is often over-diagnosed. Patients tend to assume that any memory loss or forgetulness symptom might be Alzheimer's, whereas there...read more »
Dementia may be a drug interaction: A common scenario in aged care is for a patient to show mental decline to dementia. Whereas this can, of course, occur due to various medical conditions, such as...read more »
Tremor need not be Parkinson's disease: There is the tendency to believe that any tremor symptom, or shakiness, means Parkinson's disease. The reality is that there are various possibilities, such as benign essential...read more »
Mild traumatic brain injury often remains undiagnosed: Although the symptoms of severe brain injury are hard to miss, it is less clear for milder injuries, or even those causing a mild ...read more »
MTBI misdiagnosed as balance problem: When a person has symptoms such as vertigo or dizziness, a diagnosis of brain injury may go overlooked. This is particularly true of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), for which the symptoms are...read more »
Rare diseases misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease: A rare genetic disorder is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease for men in their 50's. The disease Fragile X disorder can show only...read more »
Brain pressure condition often misdiagnosed as dementia: A condition that results from an excessive pressure of CSF within the brain is often misdiagnosed. It may be misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease or dementia...read more »
Post-concussive brain injury often misdiagnosed: A study found that soldiers who had suffered a concussive injury in battle often were misdiagnosed on their return. A variety of symptoms can occur in post-concussion syndrome and these were not...read more »
Children with migraine often misdiagnosed: A migraine often fails to be correctly diagnosed in pediatric patients. These patients are not the typical migraine sufferers, but...read more »
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Tremor is a rhythmic, involuntary muscular contraction characterized by oscillations (to-and-fro ... (Source: excerpt from NINDS Tremor Information Page: NINDS)
The list below shows some of the causes of Tremors mentioned in various sources:
This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Tremors. Of the 129 causes of Tremors that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:
The following list of conditions have 'Tremors' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
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This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Tremors based
on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:
Medical Conditions associated with Tremors:
Tremor symptoms (479 causes), Muscle symptoms (7251 causes), Nerve symptoms (9132 causes), Neurological symptoms (9575 causes), Movement symptoms (6001 causes), Brain symptoms (2787 causes), Musculoskeletal symptoms (6264 causes), Head symptoms (10192 causes)
Symptoms related to Tremors:
Shaking hands, Shakiness (16 causes), Trembling fingers, Parkinsons-like symptoms, Resting tremor (9 causes), Benign essential tremor, Alcoholic tremor, Parkinson's disease, Old age, Action tremor (6 causes), Flapping tremors, Respiratory failure (222 causes), Renal failure (115 causes), Hepatic failure (83 causes), Cardiac failure
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