German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared unsteady and was visibly shaking Tuesday as she greeted the new Ukrainian leader in the hot sun in Berlin, saying later that she clearly hadn’t drunk enough water.
Merkel’s whole body visibly shook and she pursed her lips as she tried to contain the situation as she stood with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in the 82-degree Fahrenheit heat while a military band played their national anthems outside the chancellery.
But following the anthems, Merkel seemed better, walking quickly along the red carpet with Zelenskiy into the building, pausing to greet the military band and take a salute. Which throws doubt in the theory that she was dehydrated.
This isn’t the first time Merkle has been seen shaking uncontrollably under similar circumstances in the hot sun, according to the DPA news agency. It did not give a date for that incident, but said it was also ascribed to Merkel not drinking enough water.
In 2014, Merkel postponed a television interview at the last minute after reported weakness, but her spokesman said at the time she was able to carry it out later after eating and drinking something.
It is not publicly known if Merkel, who has led Germany since 2005, has any health problems. German privacy laws are very strict on that type of information, according to the AP.
The Australian pointed out that dehydration isn’t a common cause for tremors and offered several possibilities:
There are myriad reasons for the shakes (writes Dr Mark Porter). Short episodes are a normal result of triggers such as stress, excitement and hunger but not usually thirst. Persistent tremors that interfere with everyday tasks are different.
Most people think of Parkinson’s disease but essential tremor (ET) is much more common. ET often starts in the arms and may be intermittent at first but typically spreads. Shaking of the head is a common complaint in established cases, followed by problems with the hands and voice. It is generally aggravated by stress, fatigue and hunger.