Pregnancy And Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome affects between 20% and 30% of pregnant women. A primary cause of this is, not surprisingly, iron deficiency. Iron is an essential part of nutrition while pregnant because of the higher risks of developing iron-deficiency anemia.
Between this and the previously mentioned connection between RLS and iron deficiency, its not hard to figure out that connection. Working with your doctor to make sure youre keeping your iron levels up, as well as other essential vitamins, can help alleviate these symptoms.
Also, as long as your health permits and your doctor gives you the green light, light exercise helps, too, whether its walks, aerobics or other types of lower body exercises that help keep those muscles stimulated.
The good news, says Dr. Berkowski, is that if RLS wasnt an issue for you before pregnancy, chances are itll eventually fade within a few months after your pregnancy is over.
Are Your Twitchy Legs Keeping You Up At Night Get Them To Settle Down With These 10 Natural Home Remedies
Cant keep your legs still? Do you suffer from the non-stop urge to jiggle, twitch, and move your legs, so much so that it wakes you out of a sound sleep? You most likely have Restless Legs Syndrome , the most common sleep-related movement disorder, affecting one in ten adults in the U.S.
Also referred to as Willis-Ekbom Disease, RLS is a neurological sensorimotor disorder. The main symptom involves a sudden urge to move the legs when at rest. RLS occurs mostly at night, when sleeping. The sensations vary from tingling, twitching, prickly feeling, or a jerking feeling in one or both legs, which prompts you to move the legs for relief.
Although RLS does not cause major health problems, it may be an indication of an existing or developing health condition. RLS is uncomfortable, and disruptive. So how can you make it stop? These natural remedies can help.
Can Diabetes Cause Restless Leg Syndrom
What is the cause of restless leg syndrome? Frequently, there is no identified cause of RLS. The illness, researchers believe, is caused by an imbalance of the brain chemical dopamine, which transmits impulses controlling muscular activity.
Is hypoglycemia a cause of restless leg syndrome? RLS is triggered by low blood sugar, which protein helps to normalize, according to Dr. Teitlebaum. Avoid carbohydrates and sweets before night, as they induce a surge in blood sugar followed by a drop.
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Find A Comfortable Bedroom Temperature
Sweating can cause water loss at night, and if your bedroom is too warm or you tend to sleep hot, heavy sweating can make it more likely that youll wake up dehydrated.
To avoid this, try to make sure that you can easily maintain a comfortable temperature through the night. Most experts recommend keeping your bedroom thermostat on the cooler side. You can also wear light, loose clothing and use breathable bedding that keeps you from overheating.
Primary Or Idiopathic Rls
Idiopathic means that the cause is unknown.
It is the most common type and has the following characteristics:
- It usually begins before the age of 40.
- It can start as early as childhood.
- It may have a genetic cause.
- Once primary RLS starts, it tends to be lifelong.
Symptoms may be sporadic, or gradually worsen and become more prevalent over time.
In mild cases, the person may have no symptoms for a long time.
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How To Alleviate Restless Leg Syndrome
This article was medically reviewed by Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS. Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. Luba has certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support , Emergency Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Life Support , Team Building, and Critical Care Nursing. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee in 2006.There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 23,616 times.
Diagnosis Of Restless Legs Syndrome
These are the diagnostic criteria for RLS, published by the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group . All five criteria are required for the diagnosis:
An urge to move the legs, usually caused by uncomfortable and unpleasant sensations in the legs. Sometimes the urge to move is present without the sensations, and sometimes the arms or other body parts are involved as well as the legs.
The urge to move or sensations in the limbs begin, or become worse while resting.
The urge to move or sensations in the limbs are partially or totally eased by moving. Relief lasts as long as the movement continues.
The urge to move or sensations in the limbs are worse in the evening or night, or only happen in the evening or night.
Symptoms are not explained by another medical or behavioral condition.
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A doctor will diagnose based on a description of symptoms and triggers. A physical and/or neurological exam may be done, a family history taken and possibly blood tests to look for underlying factors or other treatable conditions.
A sleep study may be helpful to check for sleep disruption and periodic limb movement in sleep.
The Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation produces an RLS Symptom Diary which can be printed off and used to track symptoms, activities and sleep patterns. RLS-UK also has a tool to help affected people monitor symptoms and medication.
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Is Restless Leg Syndrome Common In Pregnancy
The main symptom of restless legs syndrome is an overwhelming urge to move your legs. It can also cause an unpleasant crawling or creeping sensation in the feet, calves and thighs. The sensation is often worse in the evening or at night. Occasionally, the arms are affected, too.
Have An Urge To Move It May Be Restless Legs Syndrome
If youve ever had an uncontrollable urge to move, you may experience restless legs syndrome, or RLS for short.
Restless legs syndrome manifests as an overwhelming urge to move the body to relieve the uncomfortable sensations, primarily when resting, sitting, or sleeping. Moving relieves the urge temporarily, but you may experience it on a more regular basis.
RLS is an invisible condition in the sense that there are no visual effects or signs of the foot condition. Rather, its internal, making it difficult to diagnose, and to recognize as anything beyond twitchy or general restlessness.
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What Foods Trigger Restless Leg Syndrome
These include coffee, tea, energy drinks, and chocolate. Fattening or excessively sugary foods and beverages such as soda and processed foods should also be avoided. There is some evidence that suggests people who are overweight have an increased risk of RLS, as well as various other health conditions.
What Causes Tired Legs
Do you often feel tired and achy in your legs? If so, you’re not alone. Tired legs are a common problem, and there are many possible causes. This blog post will discuss the ten most common reasons for tired legs. We’ll also provide advice on how to address each issue. So if you’re struggling with tired legs, read on for help!
Here are the most common reasons for tired legs:
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Who Suffers From Restless Leg Syndrome
RLS is a common neurological disorder that can occur in adults and children. Both men and women get RLS, but incidence of the syndrome is about twice as high in women. Symptoms of RLS become more frequent and last longer with age. RLS causes unpleasant sensations and an uncontrollable urge to move your legs.
What Treatment Is Available
RLS is a condition that is treatable and generally susceptible to pharmacologic therapy. A wide range of different treatment options is available, including drugs that modulate certain calcium-channels, dopaminergic agents, opioids, and benzodiazepines. However, the medical condition most commonly associated with RLS is iron deficiency so your doctor should first check your ferritin levels . If levels are low you will be given an iron supplement. For some people increasing the ferritin levels will eliminate or reduce the RLS symptoms.
Some Parkinson’s medications can make RLS worse and should be avoided. For example, some people who take levodopa complain that RLS symptoms occur during the day, as well as evenings, and may also involve the arms and the face. These symptoms typically worsen late in the night as the medication wears off. It is therefore often preferable to use dopamine agonists such as pramipexole or ropinirole tablets, or rotigotine skin patches instead of levodopa when treating Parkinsons and RLS.
If you are already taking dopamine agonists to manage Parkinson’s symptoms and you still experience RLS symptoms, then your doctor may suggest you try other medications, such as gabapentin, pregabalin, opioids or clonazepam, although these may or may not be licenced to treat RLS in your country.
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Can Restless Leg Syndrome Be Cured With The Proper Diet
Weve all heard the saying, you are what you eat. While this is not literally true, what we eat definitely affects us in a variety of ways. This is especially true for individuals with certain medical conditions. Many people are familiar with the relationship between diet and medical conditions such as diabetes, celiacs disease, and high blood pressure, but not as many people are aware of the relationship between diet and restless leg syndrome.
Willis-Ekbom Disease, more commonly referred to as restless leg syndrome , causes discomfort in the lower legs that creates an overwhelming need to move or stretch. The condition generally causes symptoms to begin in the evening and become more severe as the night goes on. Unfortunately, this means that people with RLS often have a hard time sleeping due to the constant movement and discomfort.
Although the exact cause of RLS is unknown, researchers have determined that people with an iron deficiency are more likely to be affected by the disorder. Specifically, it is believed that low iron levels in the brain may be responsible. However, iron levels in the blood are not the same as iron levels in the brain. Unfortunately, a blood test only tests iron levels in the blood and the only way to test iron levels in the brain is by using specialized brain imaging.
Get More Iron In Your Diet
Using your diet to safely correct any iron deficiency can help alleviate RLS symptoms. The catch, Dr. Berkowski says, is knowing what your iron levels are. Iron supplements are certainly one way to get those levels up but youll need to be sure to consult with your doctor about that. If your iron levels are already normal or even too high, more iron wont help you give you those benefits, he adds.
If you are iron deficient, though, there are plenty of healthy ways to get iron through your diet. Eating red meat can really boost iron levels, Dr. Berkowski says, and if youre vegetarian, eating tofu, legumes, lentils and spinach is a way to get that iron.
Other foods that are rich in iron include eggs, fish and nuts, like cashews and almonds.
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If Im Pregnant Are My Dietary Needs The Same
According to a 2009 study, up to 26 percent of pregnant women have RLS. The exact cause isnt clear, but changing hormones, low dopamine levels, and nutrient deficiencies may be responsible.
If youre pregnant and have RLS symptoms, you should talk to your doctor about getting your iron levels checked. If theyre low, your doctor may recommend eating more iron-rich foods or taking iron supplements.
If diet and lifestyle changes dont help, your doctor may prescribe antiepileptic drugs, opioids, and certain benzodiazepines. According to a 2008 study, these drugs are safe to use during pregnancy. Because all drugs pass through the placenta to your unborn baby, you should use the least amount necessary for the shortest amount of time.
In many cases, pregnancy-related RLS goes away on its own after your baby is born.
What Should I Do To Treat Restless Legs Syndrome
The Mayo Clinic recommends the following at-home methods to help treat and prevent RLS:
- Try baths and massages. Soaking in a warm bath and massaging your legs can relax your muscles.
- Apply warm or cool packs. Use of heat or cold, or alternating use of the two, may lessen your limb sensations.
- Establish good sleep hygiene. Fatigue tends to worsen symptoms of RLS so its important that you practice good sleep hygiene.
- Exercise. Getting moderate, regular exercise may relieve symptoms of RLS but overdoing it or working out too late in the day may intensify symptoms.
- Avoid caffeine. Sometimes cutting back on caffeine may help restless legs
- Consider using a foot wrap. A foot wrap specially designed for people with RLS puts pressure under your foot and may help relieve your symptoms.
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Stay Hydrated Without Frequent Urination At Night
A common challenge is knowing how to stay hydrated during sleep without having to frequently wake up at night to go to the bathroom. Several tips can help you avoid both dehydration and excess trips to the bathroom:
- Reduce fluid consumption in the hour or two before bed. While its fine to sip water, try not to take in large quantities of any beverage in the lead-up to bedtime.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine at night. Both of these can have a diuretic effect, making you need to pee during the night. In addition, alcohol and caffeine can interfere with your normal sleep cycle and sleep quality.
- Elevate your legs in the evening. Some nighttime urination happens because your body reabsorbs water from your legs once youre lying down. If you put your legs up a few hours before bed, you can allow this process to take place without causing sleep interruptions.
- Pee before you go to bed. Try to empty your bladder as part of your routine before bed so youre less likely to feel a strong need to urinate during the night.
In some cases, it may be unavoidable that youll have to wake up at least once in the night to pee. This is normal for many people and becomes more common with aging and some medical conditions or medications.
In this situation, its important to make it as easy as possible to get back to sleep after you return to bed. Some simple tips that can help with falling back asleep include:
Periodic Limb Movement In Sleep
Periodic limb movement in sleep , also known as periodic limb movement disorder , is experienced by about 80 percent of people with restless legs syndrome.
Periodic limb movement in sleep causes limbs, commonly the legs but also sometimes the arms, to jerk or twitch involuntarily during sleep. It can be so severe as to wake the sleeper and disturb anyone sharing the bed. Involuntary limb movements may also occur during waking hours, when it is known as periodic limb movement during awakening .
Most people with restless legs syndrome have PLMS, but many people with PLMS do not also have restless legs syndrome.
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Symptoms Of Tired Legs
Do you often feel tired and achy in your legs? Are you having trouble getting through the day without feeling exhausted? You may be suffering from tired legs. This condition can be caused by several factors, including poor circulation and standing or sitting for long periods.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have tired legs:
- Heavy or aching legs
- Swelling in the legs or ankles
- Cramping in the legs or feet
- Restless leg syndrome
- Spider veins
- Varicose veins
It is essential to see a doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms so that they can determine the cause and provide you with the appropriate treatment. Some treatments are available for tired legs, including lifestyle changes, massages, and compression socks.
What Causes Severe Leg Cramps At Night
In general, night leg cramps are likely to be related to muscle fatigue and nerve problems. The risk of having night leg cramps increases with age. Pregnant women also have a higher likelihood of having night leg cramps
What causes severe leg cramps at night? A lack of activity and prolonged sitting can be the culprits. The same can be said for over-activity and excessive movement.
Here are some ways to prevent nocturnal leg cramps and alleviate them as soon as possible. Listed below are a few of the most common causes of nocturnal leg cramps. If youre suffering from this condition, you should avoid the following situations: