November 30, 2015

Healthy for the Holidays: Strategies for Handling Essential Tremor

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

For more information and appointments, call 828-213-9530 or visit