I’m not sure if I ever mentioned it on here, but I was diagnosed a could of years ago with Benign Essential Tremor. At first, my family and even the neurologist thought I was developing Parkinson’s Disease, but thank God it wasn’t that!
When it started for me, my symptoms were mainly my index finger of my right hand would shake uncontrollably. It was rather weird and I didn’t think too much about it. Then the tremors went from my index finger to my thumb, then to my whole hand, then to both hands. I haven’t had the head tremors that some people with Essential Tremor have. Mine has been limited to my hands. It can be a very frustrating condition, especially if you are trying to write, apply makeup, hold silverware – anything tedious.
Benign Essential Tremor is believed to be caused by a dysfunction of the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that is involved in controlling and regulating muscle movements.
If Parkinson’s Disease runs in your family, here is a liklihood that you many develop Essential Tremor. My great-grandmother had Parkinson’s Disease and she developed that at a young age.
There is no cure for BET, but there are prescription drugs that help control the severity of the shaking. For many people, it is embarrassing and causes social interactions to be limited because of BET.
I was put on Primidone for my Essential Tremor symtpoms and it helped tremendously. Primidone is an anti-convulsant medication. Propranolol is another prescription med used for BET. It is a beta blocker more commonly associated with heart conditions and high blood pressure. Propranolol has been extremely effective in my case and so far has had no adverse side effects, however, it is known that patients with certain illnesses such as asthma, diabetes or heart problems may not be able to take drugs prescribed for tremor.
There is a great website and support group available for those who suffer with Benign Essential Tremor. You can find more information at www.essentialtremorinfo.com.