Lithium shakes

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Dollit

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Hi guys - any idea of how to minimize the shakes you get from Lithium. It's my medication of choice and it's wonderful for me but most days I get a really bad shake that lasts maybe 15 minutes. It's quite violent (I've always been a bit of a tremor person, could paint even at 5 because I can't keep in the lines!) for that short period of time but stops me in my tracks. It happened yesterday whilst replying to Daffy and I hit the wrong smiley (didn't notice until today when the next reply came in) and sometimes when I'm out in public people really stare. The important people in my life just let me stop and recover but I get so anxious and I'm sure that makes it worse. Any ideas? :tea:
 
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Windblows

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Tremour

Hi Dollit
I have just noticed this post and see you have no replies. Hope you have not been quaking all this time.
I take Lithium and have done for 30 years so it has little apparent effect on me anymore. So keep waiting and the shaking should subside eventually!!

Seriously it can't be nice shaking for even 15 minutes a day. Slight tremours are more common and thats all I even had but I was not made aware of the cause.
How to deal with it? Well I expect you know when to expect this tremour to happen. Anticipation or expectation can be precursory to the event. Therefore maybe it would help if you find yourself some occupation with which to preoccupy yourself at the point of time these tremours occur. It has to be something that isn't going to be a problem while you are shaking becauase the shakes may or may not continue whilst you focus on this other activity.

I have an early morning routine of massaging my feet with lotion and aromatic oils every morning before I put on my socks. Tghis has a total health benefit since the feet are the reflexology centres of the body and you do not need to bre a reflexologist to massage your own feet.

Another idea is to find a quite space to be alone by yourself at that time and do a relaxation tape or the Mindfullness Cd mentioned on another thread - anything like that. Such personal spacetime is valuable and need not be spoilt by tremours and may help you deal with or even overcome them.

Then there is EFT - this is tapping on certain points of the body which can solve all sorts of emotional and physical problems.

Thats enough to be going on with so I hope you find one that works for you.
 
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Dollit

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Thanks for your reply Windblows - I'm an old hand with lithium as I've been with it on and off (more on than off I must say) for a long time and I still get side effects. I'm one of those people with whom the side effects reoccur from time to time. I have no "expectation" of it happening, it just does and it follows the same pattern through whatever. I've done the avenues of sitting and being calm (the shake is internal as well as external which sounds strange and feels even stranger), I do the mindfulness as part of my routine (I posted the original thread here!), I've tried eating and not eating. I wouldn't actually even attempt EFT as I think that goes into quackery and I don't have the ability to take it seriously - I'm a bit too hard headed. What I was really wondering was that if anybody got this too how did they deal with it. No matter - it's not that big a deal.
 
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chicken

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try this....

You can ask your physician if lowering the dose slightly would help. There is evidence that safflower oil can reverse or improve tremors related to lithium. Ask your doctor if you can take 2 teaspoons of expeller-expressed safflower oil each day. Take it uncooked, like mixed in salad dressing.
chicken
 
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chicken

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or this....

Call your Dr. - shakiness on lithium is a sign of toxixity - especially "large" shakes. Too much in the system.....so take more water.....

Here's my info on Lithium:

Lithium is a very potent, usually effective, drug. .
There are two main things to consider:

1) Water intake - Lithium is a metal ion salt, so your water intake is important. Too much water, and you lose some of the effectiveness of the medicine. Too little water, and you can start to get toxic. When you first start taking Lithium, you should drink 2-3 liters of water a day, and for maintainance, 1-2 liters. and when it's hot, make sure you make up the difference.

2)Toxicity - Lithium has a very narrow toxicity range, which means, it doesn't take a lot of extra dosage to start to make you sick. This includes getting dehydrated, which will effectively, increase the level of the drug in your body. If you miss a dose, do not double up on it. Just take the next scheduled dose.
Signs of mild toxicity: (call your Dr.) vomiting, diarrhea, poor coordination, fine tremors (small shaking), weakness, lastitude (fatigue),
Signs of major toxicity: (go to ER, or call your dr. if available) course tremors (large shaking) severe thirst (be sure it's not from heat & dehydration) tinnitus (ringing, tinkling buzzing, etc. in the ear) dilute urine (very light colored when you haven't been drinking lots of water, etc. to make it that way.)
 
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Dollit

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Chicken, thank you for your posts but lowering the dose would make me just as shaky and with less stability and out of the therapeutic range - my levels are in the lower range of the therapeutic range as it is. As I said earlier I have a tendency to shake anyway and occasionally the lithium exacerbates this. I'm not stopping lithium, that's not an option, I'm not in the toxic range, I'm not suffering from lithium poisoning and the shaking is worth putting up with because I get so much benefit from it - all I wanted was a little advice on how to cope with the shaking. Windblows offered some suggestions that I'd mostly tried and one which I wouldn't as I don't have that sort of belief. But thank you both anyway.
 
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chicken

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I am not a user of this drug - so I had a search to see what I could find. Infact I am not on any drugs at all.....which annoyed mental health....No I am not saying stop it - if you need to take it you have to

chicken
 
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chicken

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what about this...

Lithium can cause hypothyroid and make existing and hidden hypothyroidism worse. Low thyroid might be causing your shakes
I read that someone suggested taking the medication with food and or milk seemed to help....
 
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chicken

Guest
or this....

A low dose of propranolol (Inderal) can help. The dose should be individualized for you by your doctor, but a typical dose is 10mg - three times daily. Inderal is a ß-blocker (antihypertensive at higher doses). It is also used for stage fright. Be careful of postural hypotension, especially when first starting the drug. Postural hypotension is the dizziness, and sometimes fainting, that occurs when you rise to quickly from a sitting or prone (lying down) position. Make sure you get out of bed slowly for the first while (eg sit up slowly on the sit of the bed for a minute or two then get up). Postural hypotension is caused by Inderal relaxing your blood vessels (the antihypertensive effect) and when you get up fast your blood shunts (stays behind) in your lower extremities and you temporarily decrease the blood in your brain (the veins do not contract as quickly, pooling your blood in your legs).
ho hum....
 
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Dollit

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I get my thyroid checked regularly, just this month actually and it's fine. Really it's not about the shaking happening every day just now and then I find it difficult to cope with. It goes quickly but it's quite embarrassing as it's not predictable when it happens. If I could say that it happened within a certain time frame it would be okay. My psych & GP are stumped and they are both very experienced in their jobs.
 
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chicken

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maybe that is it - they are stumped because there is no way to stop it first thing....Anyway I had a look at Lithium and I learnt a lot from a quick look on the net. Have you done that yourself apart from asking here. Then finding not much - to look elsewhere?
 
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Dollit

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Asking here was out of curiosity just in case someone had a similar experience and had some tips to offer. Windblows kindly gave me some tips. I have been taking lithium for many years. I know of it's side effects, the tests that have to be done regularly. I know the length of it's half-life. I know so much about lithium I could scream. I think that, for me at least, it's time to let this thread go.
 
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Windblows

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Dollit I have found all of Chickens research very interesting and helpful.

I have been on Lithium over 30 years but might have to stop taking it because I have a 'lumpy thyroid'. The options are yet to be explored as far as I'm concerned...

The point is my thyroid problem was not picked up in the blood sample test.

The slight swelling in my lower neck was the first indication despite a clear test. My GP sent me for a scan and thats when the abnormal cells were found and they are extensive. This problem is predicted to get worse and only surgery is being offered once my breathing, voice and ability to eat become affected.

Perhaps, Dollit, you could have a thyroid problem that has simply not been detected because you are going on the blood test results. These will not show positive until the thyroid disfuction is severely advanced. best not to wait that long so why not ask for a scan?

If you find that your thyroid is faulty it might indicate how best to proceed in your case. The doctors at ENT did not have a clue how my problem developed or how to prevent it worsening - nor would they admit that lithium could have anything to do with it.
 
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Dollit

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Thanks for your input and I'm glad Chicken helped you. I don't have a thyroid problem. My medics are very good and we have explored a lot of avenues thoroughly. We attribute the excessive shaking to lithium because a small amount of people will experience this regularly and I shake anyway and I always have done. I really don't know how to say this without sounding churlish, but I have had a lot of input on this and I think for me, this thread has gone past the sell by date! Thank you and I thank Chicken but I have all the information I need.
 
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