Should I ignore that tremor?
And what can we do about it?
A health professional asked:
"Please can you direct me to any information you may have about essential tremor, i.e. it is ongoing and mild versus an intentional tremor? Unfortunately, I can't find any support in this case and would love to know what your top product would be please and thanks in advance."
Here is what Inova Parkinson's and Movement Disorders Services has to say:
Essential tremor (ET) is the most common tremor-associated condition and involves a rhythmic shaking of the arms, hands and/or fingers during movement (handwriting, eating, etc).
Essential tremor has also been known as familial tremor, benign essential tremor or hereditary tremor. It affects an estimated 10 million Americans. The condition is usually present in multiple family members and classically starts anytime between age 40-90, sometimes earlier.
Essential tremor is the most common form of tremor, up to 8 times more common than the other tremor-associated condition, Parkinson's disease.
ET exhibits the following characteristics:
A rhythmic tremor that can be in the hands, arms, or trunk as well as the head and voice. It does not need to include all of these locations for diagnosis.
The arm and hand tremor is usually not present at rest, but appears with most activities that involve moving the arm and hand (eating/drinking, writing, dressing, etc).
The head and voice tremor is usually present at rest, and can create a 'bouncing' voice.
Stress, lack of sleep and caffeine can make the tremor worse.
Can be associated with dystonias (hyperlink), which are over-tightening of the muscles of the neck, arms and/or legs.
Other than reducing stress and caffeine and getting better sleep, it seems there is little we can do other than take medication for tremors, including Parkinson's. Unfortunately, as a remedy, medication alone is far from ideal because these come with long lists of unpleasant side effects that tend to worsen with time and may cause irreparable harm. However, I think there is a lot we can do because nutrients and toxins are factors in conditions such as Parkinson's and Essential Tremors, especially when combined with stress and exhaustion.
The first step is Interclinical Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) which gives us the best indication of nutrient deficiencies, excesses and imbalances. HTMA identifies toxic elements which seldom show in urine and blood tests. In addition, with HTMA, we may see patterns consistent with systemic inflammation. We must consider these factors. The good news is we can do something about them if they are present.
When reviewing HTMA for conditions that involve the "nerves" such as Parkinson's, tremors and peripheral neuropathy, high levels of toxins such as lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury and aluminium are usually present. These toxins affect nerve cells by causing demyelination, inhibition of neurotransmitters and even cell death. Every person on the planet has one or more of these toxins in them nowadays. High mercury is associated with fish consumption. However, people who work with their hands, such as builders, plumbers and farmers, tend to be particularly toxic. Diseases such as Parkinson's, appear to be unusually common among older farmers. There is a connection between the disease and the chemicals used in farming, significantly when one adds a lifetime of physical and mental stress.
The possibility of either copper toxicity or deficiency is a further possibility. Copper is used by the body for the myelination of nerve cells, for hormone and neurotransmitter production. Copper toxicity may be present in as many as 80% of young women. Hard physical labour and mental stress may deplete copper. Depleted copper is a common finding in endurance athletes who have hit the wall and never recovered. I find it interesting that I can think of several great endurance athletes of previous decades who now suffer from Parkinson's.
Manganese is an essential element for the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine. Therefore, a deficiency or excess of manganese may cause neurotransmitter disturbances. Manganese is a component of superoxide dismutase which protects the mitochondria from inflammation. Excessive physical and mental stress depletes manganese. Exhausted endurance athletes typically have low manganese. Manganese deficiency is prevalent in New Zealand.
Iron, when in excess, or deficient, may contribute to neurotransmitter disturbances.
Similar properties are found with minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc and selenium. Toxic elements such as lead and arsenic block the beneficial actions of all nutritional elements, so there may be symptoms of a deficiency even when there appears to be sufficient of the nutrient in the body.
All of the B vitamins, including B12, are essential for a healthy nervous system. Conditions such as beriberi and pellagra are driven by B vitamin deficiencies, usually the consequence of eating depleted foods.
The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, are essential for a healthy nervous system. Unfortunately, these vitamins are often lacking in the modern diet.
Nutrients such as N-Acetyl-Cysteine and Acetyl-L-Carnitine may assist with nerve remyelination and regeneration, as might fasting and being in a state of metabolic ketosis.
In conclusion, there is a lot we can do for all manner of tremors. While it may not be possible to "cure" the condition, there are many things to do so the situation does not worsen and the affected person can get on with having a great life. Sadly, most people leave these matters far too late, such that the symptoms are deeply embedded, and our jobs as health professionals are complicated by having to work around multiple medications. Therefore, my advice to everyone is this:
If you notice even the slightest hint of a tremor, see an experienced natural health practitioner versed in using the Interclinical Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis right away and do whatever is necessary to make things better.
Remedial measures may include:
Changing the way you work to reduce exposure to stress and toxins.
Reducing stress in your life.
Modifying your diet to be nutrient-dense.
I am preparing a webinar presentation about how to safely and effectively detoxify and another about adrenal fatigue. I will publish details about these soon.