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shaky hands

ironlung

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May 29, 2002
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so. cal.
    i am a first year dental student and i have noticed that my hands shake sometimes. seeing as how i am going to start treating patients fairly soon, i was wondering if anyone had any advice about things i can do to control it, or, what could possibly be the cause of it. this is pretty embarrassing, and i really hope that i can curb this problem before its too late. any comments or advice would be great...especially from those already practicing dentistry in the 'real world'.
     

    CraigWVU

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      Have you noticed this all your life? I personally just started seeing my hands shake and to be quite frank, it scared the hades out of me. But, if your worried, its probably just stress, Anxiety, low blood sugar. I found that if you are worried about your preps, there is many ways to "get around it" One that I personally use is to use your mirror as an additional rest. Try it on the mand's and you will see what I mean. Another thing is just keep moving, don't try and cut preps etc, without a constant moving motion!!! I hope that helps!!!
       

      Gilbert

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        Several years ago the presence of hand tremors (present in both hands, but more severe in my right) prompted me to go to the physician. I was diagnosed via a simple TSH blood test with hyperthyroidism?just a suggestion.
         
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        ironlung

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        so. cal.
          gilbert,
          i actually read about that being a possibility and i was thinking of going to get tested for it. is there a solution to the symptoms of hyperthyroidism with medication, or do you just have to make do with your hands shaking? also, what medication or treatment did they give you and has it been working? thanks, your help is REALLY appreciated.
           

          Gilbert

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            To the best of my knowledge there are several treatments for an overactive thyroid gland and the treatment method used depends on the severity of the symptoms as well as the cause. Hyperthyroidism can arise from an autoimmune disorder (Graves Disease), thyroid cancer, or a nodular goiter just to name a few. Various treatments are available and can include: medication to mask the symptoms associated with the disorder, surgery to remove part of the overactive/cancerous gland, as well as radio iodine treatment to partially ablate the thyroid gland (this is the treatment I received and seems to be the most commonly used by physicians).

            After my diagnosis with hyperthyroidism I took a radio iodine pill orally. I waited several months for the pill to partially ?kill? off some of my overactive thyroid tissue. My thyroid hormones were then re-checked. The pill ablated too much of my thyroid tissue (hypothyroidism?..a very common result associated with this treatment) and now I take synthetic thyroid hormone (ie. Synthroid).

            Since I have been on my synthetic thyroid hormone I feel great and rarely experience any symptoms associated with hypo or hyperthyroidism (hand tremors). Since there are undoubtedly many disorders that can trigger your symptoms, I would recommend that you see an endocrinologist (a physician that specializes in glandular disorders as well as blood sugar disorders such as diabetes) to see if there is an underlying medical problem causing your tremors. Best of Luck!
             

            bostondmd

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              Ironlung,
              This may seem like an oversimplified suggestion but do you drink alot of coffee or soda? It could just be a little too much caffeine (plus stress/nerves). Also, sometimes in btwn classes if you go to the gym and lift weights, that can give you a little shakiness, so you might want to do that after your class instead. Maybe this is a silly suggestion but I hope it helps.
              bostondmd
               

              bostondmd

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                Actually I am not too sure about the cigarettes. I have noticed some people who have smoked for a really long time have shaky hands. But then again my dad has smoked a pack a day for 40 years and his hands are steady as a rock.
                Do you notice it in both hands or just your predominant hand? I guess maybe if you have it in both hands I would be more prone to think that it was something like too much caffeine, the thyroid issue, or something along those lines . If it is only in your predominant hand maybe it is the way you are sitting or the placement of your finger rests.
                 

                md_student10021

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                  cigarettes:

                  presumably, the cigarettes may be to blame. Nicotine is of course an agonist at the N:thumbdown:-type nicotinic cholinergic receptor. This would tend to activate postsynaptic sympathetics and cause the shaking.

                  other than that, caffeine, transient hypoglycemia, thyrotoxicosis, Parkinson's are in the differential. Obviously, each manifest differently, and are associated with various other symptoms.

                  I recommend a complete physical with a physician (not an NP), to rule out any serious problem.
                   

                  ironlung

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                  so. cal.
                    i see it in both hands but its weird because i dont see it all the time. sometimes i am doing my work and i see nothing, othertimes, im holding a piece of paper and i can see the paper shaking a bit. so far, it hasnt affected me too greatly, but i am worried that it will get worse, or impair my ability to preform quality dental work. who wants to have a dentist whose hands shake? i am wondering if anyone knows a practicing dentist or dental student that has gone through something similar and what did they do about it? also, how did it affect their ability to preform quality work?
                     

                    eight143

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                      Sometimes I have the same problem, but almost all the time, I find it happening when my hands are doing nothing and are just relaxed. All of a sudden I can see it shaking. However, I can make is stop right away when I flex or get a tight grip on something.

                      I hope this is the case with you. If it is, I don't think it will give you much of a problem. I think having a firm grip in your dental instruments will help eliminate this problem.

                      Otherwise, seek a physicians professional diagnosis.
                       
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