Q:

Why do hands shake?

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Quick Answer

The most frequent cause of shaky hands is essential tremor, which refers to an irreversible process that occurs due to improper functioning of the brain, as Healthline explains. Other causes of shaking hands include Parkinson’s disease, excessive intake of caffeine, seizure, side effects of certain medications and alcohol abuse.

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Essential tremor causes hands, arms, vocal cords and the head to shake regularly, explains Healthline, and the shaking is common when a hand muscle is in use. Unlike essential tremor, Parkinson's disease affects a person when the hand muscle is relaxed. Huntington’s disease, anxiety, low blood sugar and cerebellar disease can also trigger hand shaking. An overactive thyroid can lead to the problem as well.

Adult brain tumors, head or brain injury, fatigue, and peripheral neuropathy can result in shaking hands, according to MedicineNet.com. People who quit drinking alcohol and teenagers who abuse drugs, such as marijuana and tobacco, are likely to experience hand tremors. Other causes of shaky hands include Wilson's Disease, multiple sclerosis, liver failure and certain toxins.

Treatment depends on the underlying cause of the problem, notes Healthline. Long-acting propranolol, propranolol and primidone can aid in alleviating the symptoms of hand tremors. In extreme cases, surgical treatments, including thalamotomy and deep brain stimulation, can help in treating hands that shake. Patients can wear wrist weights or carry heavy items to alleviate the condition.

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