Although it is common to see tremors developing in older adults over time, not everyone experiences the issue of shaking as they advance in years. Tremors can be described as the uncontrollable or unintentional shaking of one or several parts of the body especially in the hands and legs. There are several causes for tremors in older adults. Tremors can occur when you are resting or moving. There is no specific study or research that can accurately pinpoint the main reason why you have tremors so it is best to consult with your professional healthcare provider and get a proper diagnosis for your situation. If tremors are starting to disrupt your daily activities such as walking, writing and eating, you should try to seek medical help and advice as soon as possible. Here is a brief summary of some of the possible causes and reasons for tremors.
Tremors oftentimes happen when people who are advanced in age are under stress. Such tremors are considered mild and can eventually be resolved with rest and relaxation exercises. However, tremors can also be due to medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, brain or spinal injuries that resulted in trauma to the nerves and to the brain, and hyperthyroidism. For people with overactive thyroid glands, some of their bodily functions will go into overdrive and thus, they experience exhaustion, intolerance to heat and irregular or rapid heartbeat. Their hands will also shake due to the overstimulation of their nerves.
Older adults who suffer from low blood sugar or hypoglycemia can sometimes have tremors too. Your doctor will need to run multiple tests to identify the medical reason for your tremors if he or she suspects that they are caused by an underlying or existing medical condition.
Genetics or Hereditary Prevalence
If your family has a history of tremors, then your neurological disorder is likely inherited. If you notice the early signs of tremors, you should see a medical specialist. The earlier you detect your condition, the better you will be at managing the tremors in the long run. Your doctor will likely order a test called an EMG or an electromyogram to measure your level of involuntary muscle activity.
Side Effects of Prescription Drugs
Many people who take prescription drugs for a period of time are prone to get tremors. Below is a list of some drugs that may cause tremors:
- Asthma Medicine
- Mood Stabilizers
- Hypertension Drugs
- Norepinephrine and epinephrine
- Seizere Medicine
- Drugs for Cancer Treatment
Drinking coffee is usually a part of the morning routine for many of us. However, caffeine toxicity has been identified as the cause of tremors for many older adults. Simply put, ingesting too much coffee will trigger the release of our “fight or flight” hormone called adrenaline. Unbeknownst to many, the long-term effects of taking several cups of coffee every day for decades include tremors, anxiety, stomach problems and insomnia.
If you find yourself fretting about the onset of tremors, we’ve got an advice for you – in many cases, tremors are not the end-all of a meaningful life. The wonders of science and technology have given us solutions that enable older patients and family members who have tremors to lead productive and happy lives. Tremors can be managed with the right treatment and by making lifestyle changes.