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Diabetics & Hand Tremors

author image Laura Niedziocha
Laura Niedziocha began her writing career in 2007. She has contributed material to the Stoneking Physical Therapy and Wellness Center in Lambertville, N.J., and her work has appeared in various online publications. Niedziocha graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science. She also has her Associate of Arts in communications from the Community College of Philadelphia.
Diabetics & Hand Tremors
A man pricks his finger to check blood sugar levels. Photo Credit: Mike Watson Images/moodboard/Getty Images

A tremor is the most common type of involuntary movement, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Your risk for hand tremors increases with age and can also be influenced by diseases you may have, including diabetes. A sudden onset of a hand tremor may be a sign that blood glucose is too low. However, chronically high blood glucose can also cause a condition known as diabetic neuropathy, which may lead to hand tremors as well.

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There are three basic types of hand tremors: resting, kinetic and postural. A resting tremor occurs when your hand is at rest. A kinetic tremor happens when you are moving your hand and a postural tremor occurs when your hand is in a static position, other than resting. Many things may cause a hand tremor, but if you experience tremors regularly, contact your doctor to rule out an underlying and potentially serious disease.


If you have diabetes and are on diabetic medications, you are at risk of becoming hypoglycemic. Experiencing shakiness, such as hand tremors, may indicate hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia occurs when your blood sugar falls below a safe and normal level. A blood glucose below 70 mg/dl is considered hypoglycemic and should be treated immediately. Other symptoms of hypoglycemia include fatigue, confusion, hunger, sweating and dizziness.

Hypoglycemia Treatment

Chronic bouts of hypoglycemia are a cause for a visit to the doctor. Your medication may not be reflective of your lifestyle, including eating and physical activity, which can cause an unsafe reduction in blood glucose. For acute treatment of hypoglycemia, eat a carbohydrate-rich snack, such as 4 oz. of fruit juice or soda, 1 tbsp. of honey or five or six pieces of hard candy. Wait 15 minutes and re-test your blood sugar. Continue with this cycle until your glucose levels increase above 70 mg/dl.

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic neuropathy may occur as a result of chronically high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia. Diabetic neuropathy is characterized as a degeneration of nerve fibers from a reduction in blood flow and high blood glucose. Hand tremors may be a symptom of diabetic neuropathy, indicating a problem with the nervous system. The trauma-affected nerves can cause the involuntary movements of a hand tremor. Keeping your blood glucose under control and in a safe range can reduce the risk of developing neuropathy.

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