By Dr. Duff Rardin, MD
Between 7 and 10 million Americans suffer from essential tremor (ET). There’s such a wide gap in the number because many of those affected have never been seen and formally diagnosed.
The holiday season is filled with travel and excitement, plus a fair amount of stress. It’s important for those dealing with ET to recognize — and avoid — certain triggers that temporarily worsen your tremor, such as fatigue, sleep deprivation and anxiety.
Make sure you include some simple strategies to help lessen your tremor:
- Watch your intake of caffeine and stimulants like energy drinks
- Eat regularly and avoid low blood sugar
- Take time out to rest or nap
- Try to maintain regular sleep habits
- Take your tremor medication as prescribed
After the holidays, there is more to treating tremor than taking your prescriptions. Consider discussing the following with your provider:
- Access to therapists to help with anxiety and social embarrassment
- Physical therapy or occupational therapy referrals to assist with balance or activities of daily living
- Resources for assistive devices to help with eating, writing and dressing
- Resources for cognitive issues that can occur with medications
- Surgical procedures or clinical trials
- Speech therapy for voice tremors