GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared unsteady and was shaking uncontrollably today for the second time in just over a week.
She gripped her trembling arms and pursed her lips at a ceremony in Berlin – nine days after footage of her shaking for a whole minute sparked health fears.
Mrs Merkel was shaking again this morning as she stood alongside President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at an indoor event where Germany's new justice minister was formally appointed.
She seemed to grimace as she clutched her arms, apparently in an effort to hide the shakes.
Mrs Merkel, 64, was handed a glass of water but rejected it, and appeared fine when she arrived in parliament half an hour later.
Her spokesman later said she was fine and would attend the G20 summit in Japan.
He said: "Everything is taking place as planned. The chancellor is well."
Aides blamed dehydration for her last bout of shakes and dismissed health worries – but the fresh video today is likely to renew speculation over her future as leader.
Mrs Merkel – the most powerful woman in the world – is Europe's most influential politician and is expected to play a pivotal role in Brexit negotiations with Britain's next PM.
On Tuesday last week, Mrs Merkel's whole body shook as she stood outside in 28C weather alongside Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky.
The chancellor said at a news conference 90 minutes later: "Since then I've drunk at least three glasses of water, which I apparently needed, and now I'm doing very well."
Mr Zelensky, 41, said he would have come to her rescue if necessary, insisting her health is not a matter of concern.
Reports in Germany say she has been seen shaking before, especially in the sun.
In 2014, she postponed a TV interview at the last minute because she felt weak.
How dehydration can cause muscle shaking
Muscle shaking or tremors are when you're not able to control a part of your body from trembling.
It's normal to have a slight tremor if your hands or arms are stretched out in front of you.
Sometimes it can become more noticeable as you get older, feel stressed, tired, anxious, angry, after drinking caffeine or if you're very hot or cold.
But muscle shaking could also be an early sign of dehydration.
Dehydration happens when you don't drink enough water or you lose too much water quickly from excessive urination, diarrhoea or blood loss.
That leads to loss of electrolytes such as potassium and sodium, which are salts of the body needed for normal muscle control and nerve function.
Dehydration can also cause muscle cramping, irregular heartbeat, fatigue and reduced brain function.
It can happen more easily if you have:
- vomiting or diarrhoea
- been in the sun too long
- drunk too much alcohol
- sweated too much after exercising
- a temperature of 38C or more
- been taking medicines that make you pee more
Involuntary shaking is also a sign of Parkinson's disease, in which parts of the brain become progressively damaged over many years.
If you have a tremor that has become severe or is affecting your life, see your GP.
You may be offered medicine to help reduce the shaking or trembling.
She has been chancellor since 2005, and presided over Germany's powerhouse economy that has propped up the Eurozone through a series of crises.
But in October she was forced to stand down as leader of her Christian Democrat party after disastrous local elections.
She has vowed to stay on as chancellor – the equivalent of prime minister – until 2021.
Germany has seen forest fires this week amid rocketing temperatures as the Sahara bubble heatwave brought a 45C blast from Africa.
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