Essential tremors and alchohol

Posted , 9 users are following.

My friend suffers from severe shaking in both hands to the extent that he cannot carry a cup or glass of liquid as it would simply spill all over the place. Last night, him and his wife were at my place and we sat outside and had a few glasses of red wine. I was astonished to notice that after a few glasses, his shaking had stopped completely. I asked him to place his hands out in front of him, which he did and they were as rigid as stone. Not even a miniscule tremor. Does this indicate that the wine is relaxing him and that his condition is stress related ? Alternatively, he is taking anti- depressants so is it possible that they are causing the tremors and the alchohol kills their affect ? Or, not trying to be funny, does this simply mean that if you drink enough alchohol then the symptoms of a lot of neurological diseases will subside ?

2 likes, 12 replies

12 Replies

  • Posted

    It's not sress, although that makes E.T. worse, it's not the anti-depressants and alcohol doesn't work on all nuerological diseass. But alcohol is known to help E.T. , has been known for aages. It's unusual for the tremor to stop completely but it always helps. However too much can, obviously, make things worse. The issue is knowing the right balance.


  • Posted

    Hi Iain,

    I have epilepsy and they are now under control but once I was at airport and I felt

    shakey so I asked my sister to get me a wine, after 2 I had calmed down.

    I told my Doc about it and they said I was alchoholic.  Come on 2 wines in an

    emergency !!   But Never take pills and booze together though.  Only I can !! joke

    wish your friend well


  • Posted

    Hi Iain,

    The right balance of alcohol can counteract some E.T.s neurological disorders, but not recommended. The reason for this is the side-effects, making a person believe that it is the correct way to calm down a tremor is the incorrect, since this could cause the person to believe that by drinking alcohol is the answer - which is not correct, and could lead to other health issues in the future.

    There are far to many neurological disorders to even list - each one has numerous medications that can treat a disorder - take a look at just one neurological disorder, "Functional Episodes" - variations on just this disorder is 28. Medications to treat some of these if prescribed incorrect can have adverse effects, and make the condition worst and not better.

    In my experience with my current tremors which started as a Dystonic disorder caled Focal Segmental Dystonia, and gradually progressed to Generalized Dystonia, with Epilepsy and Functional Episodes - just half a glass of wine knocked me out for hours, so for me it is a bad way of trying to treat a neurological disorder.




    • Posted

      Hi, I totally agree with you about the use of alcohol.It is a bad method and can lead to other problems.
  • Posted

    Hi Iain,I can say that alcohol went a long way to relieving the symptoms of my dystonia tremors. It's definitely to do with relaxing oneself. Even better now though is the effect that a very small dose of tri- hexiphenidyl has on my tremors. Apart from when I need to sit or stand very still,my tremors do not trouble me. At the theatre or cinema, I still need to prop my head.

    The tri- hex is very powerful and I do suffer from some side effects but the benefits far out weigh these. Some people report taking far higher doses but I think I would either be comatose or floating in the air with these. It is a drug used for treating Parkinsons so there is logic in it easing tremors. I would recommend your friend asks his doctor about it.Tell him to go carefully and not to dismiss it due to side effects. He won't be able to drink wine with it.

  • Posted

    As an ET sufferer myself, I can verify the well-known effect of small quantities of alcohol. However, it is not a long-term solution. Your friend will, no doubt, learn the various tricks of living with this problem - always use two hands to hold the cup, and never try to carry more than one!

    Until the medics start to take this condition seriously and do some sensible research instead of advising us not to drink coffee, we just go on learning how to live with it!

    • Posted

      Hi Lesley,

      You stated in your message "Until the medics start to take this condition seriously and do some sensible research instead of advising us not to drink coffee, we just go on learning how to live with it!" - what does coffee do anyway, I cannot say I noticed any difference whatsoever?

      The details you said about carrying a cup - mine are different, mainly because of what happened to me on one occasion. I cannot hold any hot drinks, even with 2 hands. My left hand tremor is worse than my right hand, so I was told to lift a drink with my left hand and use my right hand to counteract the tremors. I tried this, because previously it was impossible to use any one hand on its own, this worked for me in a practical sense, or so I thought!

      What I was not told was this, a person with any dystonic disorder is more than likely to suffer from another nerve condition, in my case this actually turned out to be 2 conditions, not just one. Epilepsy on it's own is bad enough, but having Functional Episodes as well creates a "Time-bomb". It's a known fact that a person in an Epileptic Seizure is around ten times stronger than normal, which is why people should never crowd around a person in a full blown seizure.

      On one occasion 4 people were trying to hold me steady, so a doctor could inject Diazepam to calm me down. What no one expected was me to virtually throw 5 people off the bed, that were trying to restrain me. When I did come around from the seizure, I was still dazed but could not understand why people were complaining of being bruised, grazes and cuts. At this point, my own doctor said unless I was already restrained either in a wheelchair or something else I should not be approached, unless it was just to roll me over on to a side position and hold me there until the seizure subsides.

      I have to see my Neurologist Consultant regulary for BoTox injections, for Dystonia. And he noticed on my records about the aforementioned incident, he then pointed out has no one ever told you about adapting to the world around you, when you're Dystonic or have other disorders associated with it. I had no clue as to what he was referring to, until he told me. He then went on and explained what I cannot do anymore, I was surprised by what he told me.

      However, here is the main issue that is not only dangerous to yourself, but also anyone that is close to you should you ever be in this situation. A person with any Dystonic condition and also suffers from other neurologic conditions (in most cases this will happen) should never be offered a hot drink in a normal cup, always use an anti-spill or some form of disabled cup. I did say well I don't drink hot drinks I always wait until they have cooled down a bit. But then he shocked me, by what he stated next.

      It has nothing to do with the content, apart from any hot drinks, you need to know the same applies to cold drinks. Now, since he told me this next part I am very wary of where I go, even if it is just a cafe.

      A Dystonic person with other Functional Episodes does not know their own strength, if someone offered you to hold a baby, please do not say 'yes'. He said this is just one example, but the next one is what many people do not realize, or never been told. On a nice warm day you would probably be offered a cold glass of squash or any cold drink, never accept it. If you do, remember the first two problems with Dystonia, you will always use your good hand out of the two to pick it up, and then use the other hand to stabilise the tremor, but the more your brain is telling you to stabilise that drink the harder your grip becomes, until it will eventually shatter the glass.

      What actually happens is your brain is telling to grip hard with one hand and stabilise it with the other, at some point and you will be unaware that this is happening, that glass will shatter - and because your hand was trying as hard as it could to counteract, you will cut your hands, and then it will be a trip to A&E - and depending on the glass type you may need surgery or stitches.

      Since, being told this I use strong plastic cups or just drink out of a bottle (using only one hand!). I never use both together anymore. It may not affect all dystonic patients this way, but from what I seen myself I certainly would not trust myself. When I was younger, my wife was forever complaining I was holding her hand too hard - even now she gets bruises from my fingers, and I don't even know that I held her that hard.

      A person with Dystonia must adapt to the world around them, there is many things I cannot do, take for instance this message - this took me nearly 3 hours to type!! I have to use 2 hands to control the mouse!

      Alcohol for me is a real big 'NO' - I am on over 30 tablets a day! Every 10 weeks 6 BoTox injections.



    • Posted

      The doctor's opinions seem to be very extreme and rigid.
    • Posted

      I guess some people will abuse the drink but to get home safely it worked

      for me.  I am not a drinker as pills and drinks are a no no.  But as you say Jenny very extreme and rigid some Docs can be. 

      At least I got home safely and calm. ie no stress

  • Posted


    ''I also have essential tremors. So did my dad, before he passed 2 months ago. There is a genetic factor, per my neurologist. The neurologist has given the advice of having a drink or two in the evening. My propranolol that I take for high blood pressure he increased from 120 mg to 160 mg  to help the tremors, which improved the tremors in the right hand. But my left was still an issue, most particularly my left thumb. He gave me half a prescription of 50 mg of Primidone in the evening. Better, but I wanted to get it more under control. Then he upped the Primidone to a full tablet. It has improved immensely, almost imperceptible. So propranolol, Primidone and a glass or two of wine have been the magic potion for me, and no side effects. 

  • Posted

    Yes, I used to find that alcohol can lessen tremors. Of course, in the long run, too much alcohol can cause hand tremors.
  • Posted

    This is what they say the familial tremor symptoms are. I was diagnosed with essential tremors 2.5 years ago.  My tremors have gotten worse and I have now started falling over the last three months. I do also suffer from scoliosis, with spinal disk disease, and cervical and lumbar stenosis with neuropathy in my arms and legs, however, my neurosurgeon thinks I have familial tremor, and my neurologist tells me I have essential tremors and to drink a glass of red wine a day. I have not done that but I have had other alcohol beverages and my tremors don't stop they're just not as severe.  Does anyone else have gait (falling or balance issues) with their tremors? 

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