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Essential Tremors & Diet

author image Barbara Sorensen
In 1995 Barbara Sorensen began writing and editing for the quarterly magazine, "Winds of Change." She freelances for "The Tribal College Journal" and "SACNAS News." Sorensen has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Iowa.
Essential Tremors & Diet
Remove caffeine and other stimulants from your diet. Photo Credit drinking coffee image by Maria Brzostowska from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Essential tremor is a non-life-threatening movement disorder that can affect specific areas of the body. Sometimes it will manifest in the hands; other times it will manifest in the trunk, head, vocal cords or legs. Though it is uncontrollable, it is differentiated from Parkinson's disease, or PD, because it is not a progressive, neurological illness. According to the NIH, deep brain stimulation can be used to help control this problem and eliminating tremor "triggers" such as caffeine and other stimulants from the diet is often recommended.


Essential Tremors & Diet
Essential tremor often begins in the hands. Photo Credit necktie and hands in close up image by Alexey Klementiev from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Essential tremor, though seen in younger people, is often more prevalent in older people. Sometimes it is confused with Parkinson's, but there are things that are very different about it. It starts off gradually, worsens with movement, often begins in your hands and they tremor when you are reaching out to do something. With PD, you have what is called a "resting tremor," meaning your hand has a tremor when it is just lying on your lap.


Essential Tremors & Diet
Sometimes Botox injections can help control essential tremor. Photo Credit injections image by JASON WINTER from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

To diagnose essential tremor, the doctor will have to distinguish it from PD or other problems that could bring on a tremor such as a tumor or thyroid disease. Some ways to control essential tremor will be by using drugs such as beta blockers, anti-seizure medications, tranquilizers or Botox injections. Though essential tremor is not life-threatening, it can be a source of embarrassment in a social setting or at work.

The Mediterranean Diet

Essential Tremors & Diet
The Mediterranean diet is full of vegetables and omega-3 oils. Photo Credit mediterranean lunch image by Igor Shootov from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Some of the most important things that you can do to help yourself with controlling your tremor is to avoid caffeine and other stimulants, consume very little alcohol, try different relaxation techniques and try to get enough rest. The Mediterranean diet, is a way of eating that emphasizes fresh, unprocessed whole foods, olive oil, fish and nuts and a glass of wine with dinner. In a study done through the National Institutes of Health, the Mediterranean diet was found to actually help people with essential tremor.


Essential Tremors & Diet
A variety of fruits is good to insert into a Mediterranean diet. Photo Credit fruit people image by dinostock from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

The Mediterranean diet is situated on the food pyramid in this way: meats and sweets at the top in the smallest triangle, then poultry, eggs and yogurt, then fish and seafood, then in the largest category is fruits, vegetables, grains, olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs and spices. This type of diet is not only good for a normal, healthy person, it is also noted by MayoClinic.com that it may lower the incidence of PD and Alzheimer's disease. If it really does this, then it would be very helpful for someone with benign essential tremor.

Consulting Your Family Physician

Essential Tremors & Diet
Consult with your doctor on a good diet plan if you have essential tremor. Photo Credit patient image by Andrey Kiselev from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

However you choose to treat your essential tremor, you should discuss it first with your primary care physician. Based on your body mass index, family history and lifestyle, you and your caregiver can come up with a personalized plan to cope with essential tremor.

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