I know how it feels to watch your hands shake. Getting down to the causes of hand tremors is a good study in thinking about the ways our body can be affected by both genetics and lifestyle.
While tremors certainly can be due to MS or Parkinson’s brain changes, there are many reasons why we might manifest shaking, quivering or repetitive motions. As with any health concern, self-observation can go a long way to finding causes and solutions that fit.
I am not a Doctor or a Scientist, but I am a dedicated patient (since the 1970’s) and a dedicated natural health practitioner (since the 1980’s). Finding the cause of your particular type of tremor is a classic example of thinking outside the diagnostic box. It’s a process you can use to look for the cause of many health concerns.
After all, just treating symptoms is not what Holistic Health is all about! Finding the cause of your issues is key, not just adding supplements or meds.
Causes of Hand Tremors
Causes could be emotional, chemical, dietary, genetic or environmental. That’s a big list which I can narrow down some for you here. If you have persistent tremors, consult your Physician.
1). Gluten intolerance: The first advice I give clients is to go gluten free immediately and permanently. Modern hybridized wheat is entirely foreign to our ancient bodies, even if we do take time to sprout and ferment it properly as per Weston A. Price.
Gluten antibodies can attack GAD-65 enzymes in the brain and disrupt the processing of the neurotransmitter GABA. There are multiple ways gluten can affect us, so a 6 month trial of gluten free foods may be a great place to start. Tests from Cyrex Labs often show a variety of wheat antibodies even when Celiac Disease is ruled out. Gluten intolerance can affect neurology in many ways (ataxia, autistic disorders, migraines, epilepsy, depression and many more). It’s definitely a possible cause of tremors.
2). Poor Dental Fillings: While debate still rages in the US over the safety of silver fillings, Norway, Denmark and Sweden banned them long ago, and the European EU has called for their banishment as well.
The neurological effects of mercury vapor on dentists and patients has been widely reported. If you want these fillings removed, it is essential to find specialized dentists fully trained and equipped to do correct and safe removal. Handling the world’s second deadliest substance should be taken seriously. (Radioactive material is the deadliest).
Selenium supplements are mandatory if you still have silver in your mouth by the way. Take three to seven 200 mg. capsules weekly. Continue them for a year after changing to non-metallic fillings.
3). GABA Deficiency: While much is made of a Dopamine deficiency in Parkinson’s tremors (and rightly so), a deficiency of the neurotransmitter GABA is also associated with tremors. I was tested with some very sophisticated brain scans about 10 years ago and determined to have only 15% of normal levels of GABA. As I have worked to fix this issue (not merely to replace the GABA but get to the cause of the problem), my occasional tremors disappeared.
When I get overly tired, anxious or hyper, my GABA levels run low and tremors may return. They’re a warning sign that I’m “over the edge” and need to stop doing whatever I’m doing that’s hyping me up.
There are many herbs and nutrients that provide GABA support, including our clinic favorite Passion Flower. (Here it is in alcohol or glycerite tincture form), and Systemic Formula’s N3/Relaxa.
Read this blog post for more on GABA deficiency symptoms.
4). Low Dopamine: Dopamine is an important Neurotransmitter that has significant control over much of the body and brain. Motor control is just one key area where Dopamine governs.
I highly recommend reading The Edge Effect for easy to understand info on Dopamine, GABA, Serotonin and Acetylcholine. While I don’t necessarily endorse the diet or supplements suggested, the author’s lists of symptoms, tests and explanations are enlightening and actually fun to read and self-diagnose…
5). Pesticides: Pesticides kill bugs by disrupting signals in the nervous system. If you’ve ever watched a roach die after being sprayed, you’ve seen how it shakes and twitches. While the first advice I give clients with neurological disorders is to go gluten free, the second is to stop spraying homes, offices, animals and yards for pests.
No flea bombs. No “just-in-case” chemical sprays. No topical dog pesticides that get on your hands (and the baby’s!). There are safe treatments available if you are having problem infestations. Otherwise, prevention is the key. Here’s a short blog post on Flea management.
Of course, food and body care products need to be organic as well.
6). Caffeine, Amphetamines and Adrenaline: If tremors come and go, see if you can relate them to caffeine. If not to caffeine, take a look at your stress and adrenaline levels. When we are anxious or on high-alert, our muscles are primed to fight or run. They can spasm, twitch or shake. Remember how you tremble after a near-miss on the freeway or other fearful event?
I once had a whole-body shaking attack for over an hour after riding a horse down an extremely long steep hill. Slipping and sliding and having my bridle fall off, while other riders went ahead without a backward glance. Frightening, and my body had to shake off that adrenaline.
7). Hyperthyroid: Here’s another area of personal experience – Graves Disease, or high thyroid levels. While it was recommended I have my thyroid irradiated (destroyed) in 2004, my levels weren’t severely high and I knew I was under extreme stress at the time. I chose to handle it by getting my overall health and emotional well-being regulated with acupuncture, counseling, herbs, and time off work. And GABA support!
My thyroid levels stabilized and continue to be fine. You should request a full thyroid panel if you are having tremors, as many doctors immediately jump to more expensive neurological tests rather than check for simpler issues of thyroid, stress, caffeine, etc.
8). Low adrenals, low blood sugar, low blood pressure: Yes, once again, I can claim to have worked on these. (Still do). Get a gluten free, low starch Paleo Diet going, with plenty of fats and lots more rest. (Have some Consult time with me or view my Diet For Human Beings DVD). Take my saliva hormone test to check Cortisol levels. Get your life under control and rethink your priorities. I use this Systemic Formula’s product for Adrenal support and energy, especially if you combine it with the Passion Flower and/or this Adaptogen.
GABA – The Forgotten Neurotransmitter
5 Clues You Have Chronic Anxiety
Are Your Adrenals Affecting Your Thyroid?