Diagnosis of essential tremor is based on the observation of symptoms, a thorough medical history, physical examination, and neurological examination. Performance tests, such as asking the patient to write, draw, hold an object, or drink from a glass, help the physician evaluate the tremor.
Results from blood and urine tests can help the physician rule out other causes such as the following:
- Heavy metal poisoning (usually caused by exposure to lead or mercury)
- Parkinson's disease
- Side effect of medication (e.g., asthma drugs, antidepressants)
- Thyroid disease
Essential tremor is not related to Parkinson's disease. Tremor caused by Parkinson's is more pronounced during rest and usually does not affect the head or voice.