Preparing for your appointment

You'll likely start by seeing your primary care provider. Or you might be referred immediately to a doctor trained in brain and nervous system conditions (neurologist).

Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.

What you can do

When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as fasting before having a specific test. Make a list of:

  • Your symptoms, including any that seem unrelated to the reason for your appointment
  • Key personal information, including major stresses, recent life changes and family medical history
  • All medications, vitamins or other supplements you take, including the doses
  • Questions to ask your doctor

Take a family member or friend along, if possible, to help you remember the information you're given.

For essential tremor, some questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes?
  • What tests do I need?
  • How does essential tremor usually progress?
  • What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage these conditions together?
  • Are there restrictions I need to follow?
  • Should I see a specialist? If so, whom do you recommend?
  • Are there brochures or other printed materials I can have? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:

  • When did your symptoms begin?
  • Do you have a family history of tremor?
  • Have you ever had a head injury?
  • What parts of your body are affected?
  • Does anything make your tremors better or worse?
Jan. 20, 2016
References
  1. NINDS essential tremor information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/essential_tremor/essential_tremor.htm. Accessed Nov. 22, 2015.
  2. Facts about essential tremor. International Essential Tremor Foundation. http://www.essentialtremor.org/free-downloads/. Accessed Nov. 22, 2015.
  3. Tarsy D. Surgical treatment of essential tremor. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 22, 2015.
  4. Tarsy D. Overview of tremor. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 12, 2015.
  5. What is essential tremor? Genetics Home Reference. http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/essential-tremor/. Accessed Nov. 12, 2015.
  6. Tarsy D. Pharmacologic treatment of essential tremor. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 12, 2015.
  7. Essential tremor (ET) patient handbook. International Essential Tremor Foundation. http://www.essentialtremor.org/free-downloads/. Accessed Nov. 22, 2015.
  8. Essential tremor (ET) coping tips for everyday living. International Essential Tremor Foundation. http://www.essentialtremor.org/free-downloads/. Accessed Nov. 22, 2015.