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Essential Tremors and other side effects that literally change nothing…

  • By faeriefate

    So… I have a weird shaky thing in my hands. I’ve never noticed it, but apparently I’ve had it for like… ever. Which reminds me of another weird thing that I experienced in the past that I didn’t think twice about until I noticed it again recently (the other weird this was a side effect of my medication, so that’s unrelated).

    So I looked it up. It’s called an essential tremor and it’s not bad. Actually, it changes literally nothing. It makes it harder for me to keep my hands steady, sometimes makes me screw up in tying my shoes, makes my handwriting messy, but it’s just a slight inconvenience when you notice it, but otherwise harmless and easy to forget about.

    But I did more research because I found out about this symptom in a migraine thread. Apparently people with migraines get essential tremors 17% of the time where the rest of the population gets them 1% of the time. Correlation, any may be coincidence, but since migraines affect the brain a lot I doubt that.

    We talk about the bad things that migraines cause a lot here, let’s talk about the symptoms that affect literally nothing but still exist. Anyone else have weird symptoms like that?

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  • By LindaCSmith

    Hi faeriefate,
    Tremors in my arms have always been a part of my hemiplegic migraine journey. When I would have bad episodes the tremors would be extremely painful, almost like “arm seizures.” Not scientific but that’s how I describe them. I’ve been taking Depakote as a preventative for some years now which has stopped the paralyzing episodes, but I still live with a host of other symptoms including occasional arm and hand tremors. I agree, it seems harmless and is a nuisance.

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  • By C.Zelaya

    I am a 40+ year Migraineur – starting at age four! Over the past five years I’ve gone from episodic Migraine with Aura to Chronic Intractable Migraine with Status Migrainosis. During my early teens I experienced a LOT of Alice in Wonderland episodes, but never connected to two until about three years ago when I read about it here. Now I’ve developed essential tremors and what my doctor originally thought was RLS but in my arms – we now recognize that it’s actually an extension of the ET. Seems like the hits keep on coming… but maybe with menopause I’ll get some relief. Here’s to hoping!

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi C.Zelaya,

    Welcome and thank you for sharing your journey with us. I am sorry it’s been such a rough one, but we’re here for you!!

    I’m sorry to hear about your new diagnosis, i know it’s not easy when they continually roll in. I have RLS and find taking tizanadine,a muscle relaxer, at bedtime helpful. Medical cannibis is very helpful for this as well.

    Keep us posted on how you are doing,
    Nancy Harris Bonk, Moderator/Patient Advocate

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    • By C.Zelaya

      I have been on tizanidine for my low back for quite some time now. The RLS started after I’d been on the medication for some time. I have found that drinking a ‘sports drink’ like Propel Water helps. I have an appointment with my PCP to discuss the newly developed ET. I hope she can r/o any other possible causes!

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  • By mphoto

    This is only my second time posting, but I have had migraines for 7 years, starting in my early 40s. In February I developed some involuntary muscle movements and then a tremor. I was able to finally see a Movement Disorder Neurologist on Monday who confirmed that I have tremor all over, not just my hands as I had thought, and myoclonus. It’s either essential tremor, or possibly a side effect of some of my migraine medicines. I was so relieved he ruled out lots of “bad” stuff that I now feel like I didn’t ask all the questions I should have to understand what I do have and which is more likely the cause. It’s complicated because I started with migraines once a month with my period, quickly developed 6-day long migraines, then status migrainosus for 2 months. That was 2011. After the 2 months, I slowly returned to episodic migraines, but then over the years, it’s morphed in to chronic daily migraine. It’s been particularly bad the past 6 months, with 2 more Status migrainosus episodes. So, I am working with a new neurologist to try and get me more functional, part of which involves changing my medications. I would like to know if the tremor is a long-term issue or not, but it’s not like I can suddenly stop all my medications to find out if they’re the problem! Thanks for listening….

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  • By C.Zelaya

    The arm thing my doc says is basically RLS but just in my arms more than my legs. That symptom developed before the ET did. I know it’s not serious – not like I’m having seizures – but it sure is inconvenient! Lol

    Anyway – good luck to you!

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  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi mphoto,

    Great to hear from you again. I am sorry to hear about your new diagnosis.

    As much as I wish I could tell you how long this will last, only a qualified doctor can do that. Before your next appointment with the doctor write down all the things you want to discuss with him and bring it with you. That way you won’t forget anything!

    Keep us posted,
    Nancy Harris Bonk, Moderator/Patient Advocate

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  • By rocketjs34

    Migraine sufferer since grade school, turned 40 in May.

    I have the tremors as well. Have been seen by numerous neurologists locally as well as at Mayo in MN. The doctors at Mayo told me the tremors were benign. They are more embarrassing than anything else. I have spilled coffee in meetings or need two hands to hold a cup up to drink.

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