What Can Cause Uncontrollable Hand Tremors?



Hand tremors refer to the involuntary shaking or trembling of the hand. While slight hand tremors can be a normal
physiological response to certain situations, such as anxiety or fatigue, uncontrollable hand tremors can be a
symptom of an underlying health condition. In this article, we will explore the various potential causes of
uncontrollable hand tremors, as well as possible treatments and management strategies.

1. Essential Tremor

Essential tremor, also known as familial tremor, is the most common cause of uncontrollable hand tremors. It is a
neurological disorder characterized by rhythmic shaking movements, typically in the hands but can also affect
other parts of the body. Essential tremor is often hereditary and tends to worsen with age. The exact cause of
essential tremor is unknown, but it is believed to involve abnormal brain activity.

2. Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects movement. It is characterized by a variety
of symptoms, including hand tremors. Parkinson’s tremors typically occur at rest and may subside during voluntary
movements. These tremors are usually more prominent in one hand or arm and can also affect the legs, chin, or
other parts of the body. Parkinson’s disease is caused by the degeneration of dopamine-producing cells in the

3. Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. It can cause a wide range
of symptoms, including hand tremors. MS tremors are typically intention tremors, meaning they occur during purposeful
movements. These tremors can vary in severity and may be accompanied by other neurological symptoms, such as muscle
weakness or difficulty with coordination. The exact cause of MS is unknown, but it is thought to involve an immune
system malfunction that attacks the protective covering of nerve fibers.

4. Medications

Certain medications can cause hand tremors as a side effect. These medications include certain antidepressants,
antipsychotics, asthma drugs, and drugs used to treat epilepsy or high blood pressure. The tremors caused by
medication are often dose-dependent and may subside when the medication is adjusted or discontinued. It is important
to consult with a healthcare professional if you suspect your medication is causing hand tremors.

5. Alcohol Withdrawal

Hand tremors can be a symptom of alcohol withdrawal in individuals with alcohol use disorder. These tremors, known
as alcohol withdrawal tremors or delirium tremens, typically occur within 48 to 72 hours after the cessation of
heavy, prolonged alcohol consumption. Alcohol withdrawal tremors can be severe and may require medical intervention.
If you or someone you know is experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms, seek professional help immediately.

6. Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid gland, can cause hand tremors as a result of increased metabolic activity.
These tremors are often fine and rapid, occurring in the hands, fingers, and sometimes the tongue. Other symptoms
of hyperthyroidism may include weight loss, rapid heartbeat, and anxiety. Treatment for hyperthyroidism may involve
medication, radioactive iodine therapy, or surgery.

7. Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety and stress can trigger or exacerbate hand tremors. When the body is under stress, the sympathetic nervous
system releases adrenaline, which can lead to trembling or shaking. These tremors are often temporary and subside
once the anxiety or stress has passed. Managing anxiety and stress through relaxation techniques, therapy, or
lifestyle changes can help reduce hand tremors associated with these factors.

8. Caffeine Sensitivity

Some individuals may experience hand tremors as a result of caffeine sensitivity. Caffeine is a stimulant that can
increase heart rate and stimulate the nervous system, potentially leading to hand tremors. If you notice that your
hand tremors worsen after consuming caffeinated beverages or foods, reducing or eliminating caffeine from your
diet may help alleviate the symptoms.

9. Other Possible Causes

There are several other possible causes of uncontrollable hand tremors, including:

  • Wilson’s disease: a rare genetic disorder that causes copper to accumulate in the body, leading to neurological
    symptoms such as tremors.
  • Stroke: a disruption of blood supply to the brain can result in hand tremors among other neurological
  • Brain injury or trauma: damage to the brain can affect its ability to control movement, resulting in tremors.
  • Mercury poisoning: exposure to high levels of mercury can cause hand tremors and other neurological
  • Drug withdrawal: discontinuing certain drugs, such as benzodiazepines or opioids, can lead to tremors as part
    of withdrawal symptoms.


1. Can stress alone cause uncontrollable hand tremors?

While stress can contribute to hand tremors, it is usually not the sole cause. Stress-induced hand tremors are often
temporary and subside once the stressor is removed or managed effectively.

2. Are hand tremors always a sign of a serious health condition?

No, hand tremors can have various causes, some of which are not serious. However, it is essential to consult with a
healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

3. Can hand tremors be cured?

The treatment and management of hand tremors depend on the underlying cause. While some tremors can be managed or
reduced with medication or lifestyle changes, others may require ongoing treatment and support.

4. Are there any home remedies for hand tremors?

While there is no guaranteed home remedy for hand tremors, certain lifestyle changes may help alleviate symptoms. These
include reducing caffeine intake, managing stress, practicing relaxation techniques, and maintaining a healthy

5. Can hand tremors be a symptom of anxiety disorder?

Yes, hand tremors can be a symptom of anxiety disorder. Anxiety-induced tremors are typically temporary and linked to
the body’s stress response.

6. Can hand tremors affect daily activities?

Depending on the severity and underlying cause, hand tremors can affect daily activities. Tasks that require fine motor
skills, such as writing or using utensils, may become more challenging.

7. When should I seek medical help for hand tremors?

It is advisable to seek medical help if your hand tremors are persistent, worsen over time, or significantly impact
your quality of life. A healthcare professional can evaluate your symptoms, perform diagnostic tests, and recommend
appropriate treatment options.


Uncontrollable hand tremors can be caused by various factors, ranging from neurological disorders like essential
tremor and Parkinson’s disease to medication side effects and withdrawal symptoms. Identifying the underlying cause
is crucial for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Consultation with a healthcare professional is
recommended for individuals experiencing persistent or worsening hand tremors. With proper management and support,
individuals with hand tremors can lead fulfilling lives.

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