How to stop your hand from shaking

Written by kristie leong m.d.
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How to stop your hand from shaking
Withdrawal from drugs, such as Xanax and alcohol, can cause shaky hands. (hands in hands against sky, friendship concept image by JoLin from Fotolia.com)

Hands that shake are not only an embarrassment, but they're a career liability if you're employed as a surgeon or an occupation that requires steady hands. Shaky hands have a variety of causes. Some medical conditions, anxiety and certain medications can cause the hands to shake. Some people are genetically predisposed to shaky hands because they have a condition called essential tremor. Fortunately, there are ways to stop your hands from shaking.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Schedule a physical exam. Certain medical conditions, such as an overactive thyroid and diseases that affect the central nervous system, can cause your hands to shake. If you treat the underlying medical condition, it will usually correct the problem.

  2. 2

    Delve into your family history. Some families are predisposed to essential tremor, which causes shaky hands. If this is the case, ask your doctor about treatments.

  3. 3

    Eliminate caffeine. Caffeine is a common cause of shaky hands. Give up all sources of caffeine and see if the symptoms improve within a week.

  4. 4

    Reduce stress in your life. Anxiety is a common cause of hands that shake. Learn techniques for reducing stress, such as meditation, yoga and self-hypnosis, and do them daily.

  5. 5

    Review your medications. Some asthma medications, anti-seizure drugs and medications used to treat mood disorders cause the hands to shake. Ask your doctor if you're taking a drug that can cause shaky hands.

  6. 6

    Give up smoking. The nicotine in cigarettes causes shaky hands, especially if you smoke heavily.

  7. 7

    Talk to your doctor about prescription treatment options for stopping your hands from shaking. Medications such as beta blockers, primidone, gabapentin, benzodiazepines and botulism toxin are used to treat shaky hands that don't respond to other treatments.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't take medications to treat shaky hands without discussing it with your doctor first.

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