DEAR DR. GOTT: Can you tell me if there is a safe and effective home remedy for hand tremors? My father is 69 years old and has stopped going to his doctor for his monthly B12 shots, which were given to reduce his hand tremors. I advised him to try drinking 6 to 8 ounces of warm sage tea up to three times a day, but can you recommend something else that will work for him?
DEAR READER: While there is a genetic tendency, no one knows why tremors exist; however, they represent an abnormal communication between specific areas of the brain.
Causes can include Parkinson’s disease; stroke; low blood-sugar levels; thyroid abnormalities; some medications, such as those for cardiac issues; tricyclic antidepressants; decongestants; and breathing issues. Drinks that contain caffeine are also known to cause tremor, as is stress, anxiety and fatigue. Essential and familiar tremors can be suppressed by consuming alcoholic beverages, but this is not a desirable remedy.
Symptoms of essential tremor begin gradually, can be aggravated by emotional stress and temperature extremes, and differ from Parkinson’s because they happen when a person’s hands, head and voice are being used. Parkinson’s tremor, in contrast, tends to occur when the hands are at rest, without involvement of the head or voice.
If treatment is required – and it isn’t in all cases – tranquilizers, antiseizure medications, beta blockers ordinarily prescribed for hypertension and Botox injections might be prescribed. Alternative treatment includes massage, hypnosis, acupuncture and relaxation techniques, such as tai chi or yoga. One consideration is 100 milligrams of grape-seed extract and 50 micrograms of vitamin B50.
B12 fights anemia and nerve damage, and is said to reverse the symptoms of Bell’s palsy. If it helped your father’s tremor, he might consider the monthly injection once again. In any event, I would suggest that you speak with his physician to determine whether his tremor is benign or has an underlying cause. In that way, you will know whether to lean toward something as complex as Parkinson’s or whether he might consider alternative remedies.
To provide related information, I am sending you copies of my Health Reports “Parkinson’s Disease” and “Compelling Home Remedies.” Other readers who would like copies should send a self-addressed stamped No. 10 envelope and a $2 check or money order for each report payable to Newsletter. Mail it to Newsletter, P.O. Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092-0167. Be sure to mention the title(s) or print an order form off my website at www.AskDrGottMD.com.