The First Step In Treating Restless Legs Syndrome
The first line of defense against restless legs syndrome is to avoid substances or foods that may aggrivate or worsen the problem. Stay away from alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine. This may help relieve your symptoms. In addition, review all medications you are taking with your doctor to determine if any of these drugs could be causing the problem.
Any underlying medical conditions, such as anemia, diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, kidney disease, thyroid disease, varicose veins, or Parkinson’s disease, should be treated. Dietary supplements to correct vitamin or mineral deficiency may be recommended. For some people, these treatments are all that is needed to relieve RLS symptoms.
You may also benefit from physical therapy and self-care treatments, such as stretching, taking hot or cold baths, whirlpool baths, applying hot or cold packs to the affected area, limb massage, or vibratory or electrical stimulation of the feet and toes before bedtime. Exercise and relaxation techniques also may be helpful.
What Are The Symptoms Of Rls
Symptoms usually start in the evening just as you sit down to relax, and may progressively worsen throughout the night. Both legs are usually affected although one may be worse than the other. In more severe cases, the arms and lower trunk may also be affected. RLS affects more than twice as many women as men.
Four out of five people with RLS have PLMS as well. These twitchy movements can be so violent that they often jerk the person awake, making for an exhausting night and very little sleep!
Is It Normal To Have Restless Legs During Pregnancy
Despite the fact that RLS is not a symptom that is exclusive to pregnancy, roughly 1034 percent of pregnant women report having had it at some point throughout their pregnancies.The restless legs syndrome is characterized by an uncomfortable sensation in the legs that has a tendency to develop worse in the evening and causes an intense need to move the legs.
Also Check: Gear S2 Sleep Tracking
What Is Restless Leg Syndrome
You have a strong urge to move your legs which you may not be able to resist. The need to move is often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations. Some words used to describe these sensations include: creeping, itching, pulling, creepy-crawly, tugging, or gnawing. Your restless leg syndrome symptoms start or become worse when you are resting. The longer you are resting, the greater the chance the symptoms will occur and the more severe they are likely to be.
Your RLS symptoms get better when you move your legs. The relief can be complete or only partial but generally starts very soon after starting an activity. Relief persists as long as the motor activity continues.
Your RLS symptoms are worse in the evening especially when you are lying down. Activities that bother you at night do not bother you during the day or didnt when symptoms first started occurring.
Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
A noninvasive procedure thats typically used to treat depression could be helpful in relieving RLS symptoms. So far, studies have been limited and more research is needed, but the results are promising (4, 41,
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation sends magnetic impulses to certain areas of the brain.
Its not entirely clear why rTMS could help relieve RLS symptoms. One theory is that the impulses increase the release of dopamine in the brain. Another suggests that rTMS could help calm the hyperarousal in parts of the brain that are associated with RLS .
In one 2015 study, 14 people with RLS were given 14 sessions of rTMS over 18 days. The sessions significantly improved their RLS symptoms and improved their sleep. The results lasted for at least two months after the treatment ended .
Recommended Reading: Veterans Sleep Apnea Secondary To Ptsd
Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder
Several studies have reported an association between attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder , RLS and PLMD in children. However, this appears to be a complex relationship. In some children, the sleep disturbance and/ or restless legs sensations can induce or aggravate inattention and/ or motor restlessness. Considerable evidence suggests that sleep deprivation in children can impair cognitive function, including attentiveness and memory. This is not to say that all children with ADD/ ADHD have RLS pr PLMD, but rather that an RLS subgroup may exist within the larger group of ADD/ ADHD, perhaps because of other modulating factors. A recent study indicates that adults with RLS are also at increased risk for ADD. Underactivity of dopamine has been suggested to be the common factor between ADD/ ADHD, RLS, and PLMD.
What Does It Feel Like
A person with RLS has a strange and unpleasant sensation in the legs, and sometimes the arms, and a strong urge to move them. People have described these feelings as:
The only way to relieve the discomfort is by moving the legs. The sensations tend to occur when the individual is resting or inactive, and not only during the night. Symptoms often worsen in the evening and at night, and may be relieved for a short while in the morning.
Read Also: Versa 2 Sleep Tracking
Can Too Much Sugar Cause Restless Legs
People who have diabetes and have high blood sugar levels that are not under control are at risk for developing diabetic peripheral neuropathy, which can cause nerve damage. One of the contributing factors of restless leg syndrome is damage to the nerves in the foot and lower leg that can be caused by peripheral neuropathy.
Stretching And Movement Tips
Keeping your body physically active is a great way to lessen RLS symptoms. When you are immobile for too long , this is when those creepy sensations can start up. Try these stretching and movement tips:
- Go walking for lunch. Take your sandwich and head to the park down the street.
- Jog in place to give your circulation a boost.
- If you sit down a lot for work, get up and walk around for five minutes every hour.
- Right when you get out of bed in the morning and right before you hit the sack at night, take some time to stretch your legs.
- If on a road trip, stop every hour or so for a stretch.
- If flying in a plane, request an aisle seat. When it is safe to do so, walk up and down the aisles a couple times every so often.
Read Also: Does The Garmin Vivofit 4 Track Sleep
Surgery For Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are enlarged blood vessels, often in the legs, that overfill with blood. This increased amount of blood can lead to superficial venous insufficiency , which means your body cant properly circulate blood. As a result, the blood pools in your legs.
In a 2008 study, 35 people with SVI and RLS had a procedure called endovenous laser ablation to treat their varicose veins. Of the 35 people, 84 percent of them had their RLS symptoms significantly improved or completely eliminated by the surgery .
Again, more research is needed on this surgery as a treatment for RLS.
If youre interested in any of these less-researched treatments, ask your doctor about them. Of course, you can try hot and cold treatments on your own, but your doctor can tell you more about the other treatments and whether they might be able to help you.
Can Taking Acetaminophen Cause Restlessness In The Lower Extremities Like Temporary Restless Leg
Question posted by Bakel421 on 23 June 2012
Last updated on 24 June 2012 by Delila
… syndrome )and lack of sleep?
Hi, yes it can cause loss of sleep, also nervousness which i guess could be linked to the RLS? Check out the full list of side effects…
No, tylenol would not cause that, I agree with kaismama.
I certainly don’t think so. I have never heard anyone say they had that effect.
Recommended Reading: Fitbit Alta Track Sleep
Does Walking Help Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome is a condition that affects many people, and many of those people find that frequent exercise of a moderate intensity helps ease their symptoms.Consider activities such as walking, cycling, and swimming.But although some physical activity is beneficial, doing more of it is not necessarily better.
Its possible that an exercise thats too intense can make your RLS symptoms worse.
Introduction To Rls And Plmd In Children
Symptoms of both RLS and PLMD can range from mild to severe and can negatively impact a childs quality of life. Accurate diagnosis of RLS and PLMD in pediatric patients offers substantial benefits. First, understanding why a child is uncomfortable and irritable can be very important in engendering a supportive parental response. Second, there is a reason to hope that early, specific treatment may reduce or eliminate RLS symptoms in children. Third, as larger numbers of children with RLS are identified, researchers can draw on this growing patient population and explore treatment options. Fourth, and most importantly, children who experience poor intellectual or emotional function due to these sleep disorders can have their problems addressed more directly.
Don’t Miss: Does Sleep Affect Digestion
What Does Restless Leg Syndrome Feel Like In Early Pregnancy
Indications that a pregnant woman may be suffering from restless legs syndrome The unpleasant symptoms of restless leg syndrome manifest themselves in the lower limbs and can be described as throbbing, itching, tugging, tingling, or just a painful feeling.Some individuals describe it as a creepy-crawly sensation that they cant help but attempt to shake off.Others say that they cant help but try to shake it off.
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.
Read Also: Do Betta Sleep
Intravenous Iron Infusion Therapy
As previously noted, Wang et al. demonstrated an improvement in RLS with oral iron in patients with low-normal serum ferritin levels . However, oral iron does not get absorbed very well,, and many patients do not tolerate iron due to gastrointestinal side effects. Several studies have demonstrated a benefit from different intravenous iron formulations, including iron dextran 1000 mg , iron gluconate 150 mg , and iron ferric carboxymaltose 500 mg , but not for iron sucrose 1000 mg . For iron dextran, the low molecular weight preparation should be used as it does not cause anaphylactic reactions and thus also avoids the need for premedication with diphenhydramine, which may exacerbate RLS. The intravenous iron infusion effect can be very dramatic in approximately 60 % of patients, but patients tend to relapse after 3 to 36 months , but these patients will respond to subsequent iron infusion therapy. Earley et al. has calculated that RLS patients who respond to intravenous iron therapy have a decline in weekly ferritin levels of 7.7±3.2 mcg/l/week compared to control normal subjects who decrease by < 1 mcg/l/week. Iron therapy should be considered for RLS patients with low serum ferritin levels who are failing traditional therapy, especially if they also have anemia. However, the long-term effects of repeated iron infusion therapy in this population have not been studied, so this treatment should be instituted with caution.
The 11 Best Treatments For Restless Legs Syndrome
What is restless legs syndrome?
Restless legs syndrome , also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a condition that causes uncomfortable sensations, most often in the legs. These sensations have been described as tingly, crawling, creeping feelings, and cause the overwhelming urge to move the affected limb.
RLS symptoms typically occur when the person is sitting, resting, or sleeping, and often happen at night. The movements caused by RLS are called periodic limb movements of sleep . Because of these movements, RLS can cause serious sleep problems.
For most people with RLS, symptoms are mild. But if your symptoms are moderate to severe, RLS can have a big impact on your life. It can prevent you from sleeping enough, and thus cause problems with daytime focus and thinking, your job, and your social activities.
As a result of these problems, RLS can lead to anxiety and depression. And the longer you have the condition, the worse it can get. It can even spread to other parts of your body, such as your arms .
Here we list the best treatments for RLS. Some of these you can try on your own. Others you can discuss with your doctor, who can help you create a treatment plan to help relieve your RLS symptoms.
Don’t Miss: Afib And Insomnia
Restless Legs Syndrome Medication
In more severe cases of RLS or when other treatments do not improve symptoms sufficiently, a medical professional may recommend medication for the condition.
A class of drugs called dopamine agonists work by mimicking dopamine in the brain to stimulate a response. They are also often used to treat Parkinsonâs disease.
Multiple types of dopamine agonists have been approved to treat restless legs syndrome, among them:
- Fainting when standing up
Levodopa is a drug that the body converts into dopamine. It is usually taken alongside a drug called carbidopa, which stops levodopa being converted into dopamine before reaching the brain.
Sudden drowsiness and falling asleep can be a side effect of taking levodopa. It is advisable not to drive, operate machinery or take part in potentially dangerous activities until itâs clear how levodopa affects the person taking it.
Levodopa is not recommended for long-term use as it can make restless legs syndrome symptoms worse. Itâs generally prescribed for occasional, short-term use, e.g. when people feel symptoms coming on.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved gabapentin enacarbil for treating restless legs syndrome. Two other anti-seizure medications, pregabalin and gabapentin, are being trialed, but not currently approved by the FDA for RLS treatment.
Possible side effects, which lessen over time, of gabapentin enacarbil include:
What Research Is Being Done
The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. The NINDS is a component of the National Institutes of Health , the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world.
While the direct cause of RLS is often unknown, changes in the brains signaling pathways are likely to contribute to the disease. In particular, researchers suspect that impaired transmission of dopamine signals in the brains basal ganglia may play a role. There is a relationship between genetics and RLS. However, currently there is no genetic testing. NINDS-supported research is ongoing to help discover genetic relationships and to better understand what causes the disease.
The NINDS also supports research on why the use of dopamine agents to treat RLS, Parkinsons disease, and other movement disorders can lead to impulse control disorders, with aims to develop new or improved treatments that avoid this adverse effect.
More information about research on RLS supported by NINDS or other components of the NIH is available through the NIH RePORTER , a searchable database of current and previously funded research, as well as research results such as publications.
Restless Legs Syndrome Triggers
You want to relax but your legs have other plans. Where does that creepy-crawly feeling come from? It could be iron deficiency, pregnancy or even weak veins. Here’s how to treat these common restless leg symptoms..
Millions of women cant sit or lie still long enough to take a flight, see a movie, watch their daughters dance recital, make love or fall asleep.Blame restless legs syndrome , a neurological sleep and movement disorder that causes painful, crawling sensations in the legs and an irresistible urge to move them.For some women, the only solution is to walk all night, says Mark Buchfuhrer, M.D., an internist and pulmonary specialist at SomnoMedix Sleep Disorders Center in Los Angeles and co-author of Restless Legs Syndrome: Coping with Your Sleepless Nights .
To isolate triggers, record your eating, exercise, medication and sleep habits in a diary and watch for patterns, Bainbridge says. If symptoms dont quit, see your doctor. You may need blood tests for iron deficiency, thyroid disease, kidney disease, liver disease and/or diabetes all of which are associated with RLS, says Dr. Buchfuhrer.Read on for 8 things that trigger restless legs syndrome symptoms and how to prevent them.Restless Legs Syndrome #1: MedicationThe most common RLS triggers are prescription and over-the-counter medications, Dr. Buchfuhrer says.Because they block dopamine, the worst culprits include:
To Avoid a Flare:
Restless Legs Syndrome #3: Boredom
To Avoid a Flare:
To Avoid a Flare:
Treatments For Underlying Health Conditions
Many health conditions may cause RLS. Treating these conditions may help to reduce the severity and frequency of RLS symptoms.
A person who experiences RLS should see a doctor to determine whether there is an underlying cause and to receive any necessary treatments.
RLS is a nervous system disorder that causes uncomfortable sensations in the legs. These sensations lead to an overwhelming urge to move the legs.
Some sensations that a person may feel in their legs include: