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HealthInfo Canterbury

Essential tremor

Essential tremor (also called benign tremor) is an uncontrollable shaking of part of the body. For most people with essential tremor, it is their hands that shake. This can make it difficult to perform tasks like writing.

Essential tremor affects around four in 100 adults and tends to get worse with age. It can also run in families. There is no cure for essential tremor. But avoiding stimulants like cigarettes, caffeine and stress can help. Medication can help some people.

The uncontrollable shaking of essential tremor can cause you to lose weight without intending to. You should watch your weight and see your GP if you think you are losing weight.

If you have a new tremor, you should see your GP for an assessment.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Updated April 2016.

See also:

Disability aids

Page reference: 52927

Review key: HIEST-19705