Shaking Hands (Hand Tremors): Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

A tremor is an unintentional rhythmic movement of any part of the body. When hands are shaking or trembling, this is typically a tremor of the hands. Tremors are usually caused by problems with areas of the brain that control movements. Neurological problems can cause tremors, but they can also be caused by metabolic problems and toxins (such as alcohol) that affect the brain and nervous system. Shaking hands and tremor can also be a side effect of different medications.

Shaking hands can occur as a solitary manifestation or can be accompanied by tremor or neurological disturbances in other parts of the body. Depending upon the underlying cause, shaking hands can be mild or severe, temporary or chronic. Shaking hands can occur at rest or during directed movements.

Related Symptoms & Signs

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/26/2018
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