Essential Tremor Alcohol
Tremor is a movement of various body parts that occurs independently of a person’s will. In the overwhelming majority of cases, individuals experience tremors of the upper limbs, as well as the legs, neck, head, face, vocal cords, or the whole body. Tremor is detected both as an independent disease and as a manifestation of another disease.
Tremor also exists as an independent disease. This condition is called essential tremor. This is a neurological disease that is characterized by the trembling of hands, tongue, chin, head, voice, rarely other parts of the body. Damage to the nervous system can be a reason behind other symptoms that accompany tremors. This type of tremor manifests itself mainly in the form of intentional and postural tremors.
- The tremor appears when one makes a movement with a specific purpose – take a cup, brush teeth, sign. An increase in tremor is characteristic as one moves towards the task and especially after the end of the movement.
- Appears when trying to maintain a certain pose. Most often it is manifested by the trembling of outstretched arms in a standing position.
Essential tremor has an identified genetic development predisposition and is not associated with any external factors. The prevalence of the disease, according to various researchers, increases significantly with age and more often appears after 30-40 years of age. Disease development risk factors are age, heredity, and ethnicity. Men and women are affected equally frequently.
So, essential tremor manifests itself in the form of vibrations of the fingers and hands, especially when they perform purposeful movements. In the later stages of the disease, along with tremors of the upper extremities, one can observe characteristic head movements – nodding or turning the head to the side (“yes-yes” and “no-no”). Issues with memory, thinking, and orientation in space and time are rarely observed.
Essential Tremors and Alcohol
By itself, this disease does not pose an immediate danger, but it can significantly impede social and professional activities. The main drugs for treatment are β-blockers and anticonvulsants. For some individuals diagnosed with essential tremor, alcohol is their go-to treatment.
A relationship between essential tremors and alcohol has been confirmed by research. There has been noted a decrease and even disappearance of symptoms of essential tremor after alcohol intake for several hours, but the next day, they return and sometimes even have a greater degree of severity than before drinking.
This positive effect on essential tremor of alcohol intake can lead to the emergence of addiction to alcohol and the development of alcoholism in patients with essential tremor. Luckily, research conducted by Louis & Michalec (2014) showed that alcohol intake by a group with essential tremor patients was not significantly higher than that of the control group. Another study, though, found that alcohol consumption by relatives of individuals with essential tremors is higher than that of the general population.
Just like any other individual, people with this diagnosis should approach alcohol use with responsibility and search for other treatment options for essential tremor besides alcohol. For example, emotional stress, fatigue, lack of sleep, attempts to forcefully suppress tremors, drinking coffee, strong tea and energy drinks, being in the cold only aggravate the symptoms. A neurologist, who examines and treats patients with tremors, can help one find the best treatment if it is necessary.