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What causes trembling hands?

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Quick Answer

The cause of trembling hands may be essential tremor, certain medications, Parkinson’s disease, liver failure or alcoholism, according to WebMD. Arsenic and mercury poisoning also cause trembling.

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Full Answer

Someone who experiences trembling hands should take note of what worsens or improves the trembling before contacting a medical professional, explains WebMD. Treatment of the tremors varies depending on the underlying cause.

If either essential tremor or Parkinson’s disease is suspected to be the cause, the distinguishing features are the timing of the tremors, which body parts are affected and if there are any other correlating symptoms, according to Mayo Clinic. Essential tremor in the hands normally occurs when the hands are being used, while tremors from Parkinson’s disease usually occur when the hands are not being used. Essential tremor primarily involves the hands, voice and head, while Parkinson’s disease tremors normally begin in the hands and can affect the chin, legs and other body parts. Essential tremor is not associated with other health conditions, although the neurological system may be affected. Parkinson’s disease also causes slow movement, a stooped posture and a shuffling gait.

Essential tremor is sometimes passed along through families, explains WebMD. This trembling can be treated by medicine and, if necessary, brain surgery.

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