Can I Be Cured Of Benign Essential Tremor?
There is currently no cure or any specific laboratory test for Essential Tremor but the severity of the shaking, in many cases, can be reduced with the use of prescribed drugs. The treatment of Benign Essential Tremor depends on the severity of the tremors and the impact they have on the quality of life of the patient.
Prescribed drugs to reduce the shaking include Beta Blockers, tranquilisers or anticonvulsant drugs used to control epilepsy but these do not work for all patients.
The medications most commonly prescribed to control Essential Tremor are Primidone, an anti convulsant and Propranolol, a beta blocker more commonly associated with heart conditions and high blood pressure. Propranolol has been extremely effective in my case and so far has had no adverse side effects, however, it is known that patients with certain illnesses such as asthma, diabetes or heart problems may not be able to take drugs prescribed for tremor.
Botulism toxin injections (Botox) are sometimes administered into the affected muscles in more severe cases. In a patient with a hand tremor the botulism would be injected into the forearm while botox would be injected into the muscles of the neck for a head tremor.
In extreme examples of tremor, surgical implantation of a deep brain stimulator is used to control the brain waves - a brain pacemaker. This treatment involves placing an electrode into a part of the brain called the Thalamus. The electrode is attached to a lead which passes through the brain, under the skin behind the ear and connected to a stimulator which is under the skin near to the collar bone. The stimulator can then be turned on or off by a magnet.
Change of Lifestyle
In cases of mild tremor it is thought that simple changes to lifestyle may help to reduce the shaking. Reducing caffeine intake is said to help as is reducing stress levels, avoiding extreme temperatures and even using wrist weights to strengthen the muscles. My own personal viewpoint is that the former advice would make very little difference.
Alcohol does improve the symptoms of Essential Tremor but in my own experience, while the tremors are non existent while drinking, my tremors are more severe than usual the following day. It goes without saying that you should never use alcohol as a form of treatment for any ailment because you might end up becoming an alcoholic, in which case you will have to seek alcohol addiction treatment.