Diagnosis Of Restless Legs Syndrome
To diagnose RLS, a pediatric neurologist or sleep medicine specialist can help evaluate your childs symptoms and recommend appropriate treatment. The four basic diagnostic criteria are:
- Symptoms are worse at night, can occur during the day and are absent or minor in the morning
- Overwhelming need or urge to move the legs
- Symptoms are triggered by rest, relaxation or sleep
- Symptoms are temporarily relieved with movement
Staying Active Throughout The Day
Long periods of sitting or lying down may trigger symptoms of RLS. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, doctors recommend that people with RLS perform moderate exercise throughout the day to keep RLS symptoms at bay.
However, the National Health Service in the United Kingdom note that people should avoid exercising close to bedtime, as this could make RLS symptoms worse.
Increase Your Dopamine Levels
One of the most commonly prescribed drugs for RLS are dopamine-related medications, like pramipexole and ropinirole, that increase levels of dopamine a neurotransmitter in the brain. But the side effects of these types of medications arent pretty, and may include vomiting, nausea, and hallucinations. The good news is, you can increase your dopamine levels naturally, with the help of certain supplements and foods. Get a daily dose of L-tyrosine, an amino acid that helps your body make dopamine. Supplement with 500-2000 mg a day, or eat foods rich in tyrosine such as avocados, pastured eggs, and grass-fed beef. You can also boost your dopamine with mucuna pruriens, an herbal supplement that contains large amounts of L-dopa, a precursor to dopamine.
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How Can I Manage Restless Legs Syndrome
Change the bedtime routine so that your child does not get into bed until they are ready to fall asleep. This means all bedtime routines should happen with your child out of the bed.
- avoid caffeine – caffeine is in tea, coffee, coke, chocolate, and some medications
- reduce the discomfort with massage, and cold and hot packs
- treat iron deficiency or low folic acid – your doctor can advise on how best to do this
- exercising several hours before bedtime can also be helpful – avoid exercise just before bed
Medical Devices For Restless Legs Syndrome
New attention is being given to the possibility of using medical devices to improve RLS symptoms. Similar to the way that moving the legs gives temporary relief, these medical devices aim to reduce discomfort of RLS symptoms by providing external stimulation.
So far, the Food and Drug Administration has approved two medical devices as RLS treatments: a compression foot wrap and a vibrating pad. Both are available by prescription and designed for people with moderate to severe RLS.
The foot wrap works by applying targeted pressure to the affected area, usually the lower leg or foot. By contrast, the vibrating pad uses counter-stimulation to mask RLS symptoms and improve sleep quality. Both devices are considered fairly safe, though they may not be suitable for people with certain underlying health conditions.
Some physicians also recommend using a pneumatic compression device to ease RLS symptoms. Its thought that compression of the veins helps boost circulation and reduce the uncomfortable sensations caused by RLS.
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Restless Legs Syndrome Triggers
Sitting or resting are common triggers for RLS symptoms. Additionally, some substances can make symptoms worse. These include:
- Medications, including certain drugs used to treat nausea, colds and allergies, and mental health conditions
Incidentally, most of these substances when taken in excess or too close to bedtime can also adversely affect our sleep architecture.
Tips On How To Stop Restless Legs Syndrome Naturally
Restless legs syndrome , thought to be a neurological disorder, is exactly what it sounds like. The condition gives sufferers an irresistible urge to move their legs. Sometimes RLS feels like there is something crawling on the legs. It may feel like pulling, throbbing or itching. The disorder can cause deep aches, too. And especially unlucky RLS sufferers may feel these symptoms all over their body.
Because RLS is relieved by moving the affected limbs, it often means sleepless nights, uncomfortable plane rides, and miserable days at the office.
Scientists arent sure what causes RLS. Its believed to be genetic, and is often found in families where the onset of symptoms is before age 40. Research suggests that RLS is related to a dysfunction in the brains basal ganglia that use the neurotransmitter dopamine. RLS is commonly found in patients with Parkinsons disease, which is another disorder of the basal ganglias dopamine pathways.
Some chronic diseases, such as diabetes, kidney failure, and peripheral neuropathy are associated with RLS. Some medications have also been found to aggravate restless legs syndrome antipsychotics, anti-nausea drugs, and cold and allergy medications are big offenders. Pregnancy also seems to trigger RLS, particularly in the last trimester.
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Irons Role In Rls Pathophysiology
Iron deficiency has been well documented from brain autopsy, magnetic resonance imaging and cerebrospinal fluid studies of adults with RLS . Evidence suggests that RLS could result from brain iron insufficiency through several mechanisms, such as systemic iron deficiency, diurnal variation in iron availability or metabolic insufficiency in the substantia nigra, even when there is adequate peripheral iron. Hepcidin levels may also play a role . RLS can occur despite systemic iron overload from hemochromatosis. Evidence supports the hypothesis that RLS is caused by dopaminergic dysfunction resulting from brain iron insufficiency dopaminergic agents, the first-line adult therapy, lead to augmentation with lower ferritin levels.
Hot And Cold Treatments
While theres not a lot of research backing up using heat and cold to relieve RLS symptoms, many healthcare organizations recommend it. They include the Restless Legs Syndrome Foundation .
These organizations suggest taking a hot or cold bath before going to bed, or applying hot or cold packs to your legs .
Some peoples RLS symptoms are aggravated by cold, while others have problems with heat. This could explain the benefits of these hot or cold treatments.
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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.
Providing Iron Treatment For Paediatric Rls
For iron deficiency, even without anemia, treatment is straightforward , regardless of RLS presence. For RLS without systemic iron deficiency, the appropriate dose is currently unknown. One might try the dose and duration reported to benefit PLMS and then recheck ferritin some specialists might prescribe 5 mg to 6 mg elemental iron/kg/day. To enhance absorption, iron should ideally be taken in the morning on an empty stomach with a source of vitamin C such as orange juice. Food may decrease iron absorption for 2 h. Gastrointestinal discomfort may result when the stomach is empty, and might be alleviated by three times daily dosing, administration with food or dosage reduction. It is not known when to discontinue treatment if there is no response, nor how long to treat if there is symptom response. In the case of apparent treatment success, one might try discontinuing iron after three months while monitoring for relapse. Children need monitoring over time for symptom recurrence.
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What Are The Symptoms
The most prominent symptom of RLS is the overwhelming urge to move your legs, especially when youre sitting still or lying in bed. You might also feel unusual sensations like a tingling, crawling, or pulling sensation in your legs. Movement may relieve these sensations.
If you have mild RLS, symptoms may not occur every night. And you might attribute these movements to restlessness, nervousness, or stress.
A more severe case of RLS is challenging to ignore. It can complicate the simplest activities, like going to the movies. A long plane ride can also be difficult.
People with RLS are likely to have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep because symptoms are worse at night. Daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and sleep deprivation can harm your physical and emotional health.
Symptoms usually affect both sides of the body, but some people have them on only one side. In mild cases, symptoms may come and go. RLS can also affect other parts of the body, including your arms and head. For most people with RLS, symptoms worsen with age.
People with RLS often use movement as a way to relieve symptoms. That might mean pacing the floor or tossing and turning in bed. If you sleep with a partner, it may well be disturbing their sleep as well.
Restless Legs Syndrome Medication
Medication is currently considered the gold standard for people with moderate to severe RLS. To reduce the risk of unpleasant side effects, always work with a doctor to find the medication thats right for you.
People with RLS resulting from another condition, or those with another consideration such as pregnant women, children, people with anxiety or depression, or individuals with kidney disease, may need to exercise extra caution when taking medication.
RLS can be treated with several different families of medications, the most common being dopamine agonists and anti-seizure drugs.
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Restless Leg Syndrome Causes
genetic factorsNational Health Servicerestless legs syndrome causes
- Chronic health issues: Certain chronic health issues like diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, and kidney failure, Parkinson’s disease, iron or other nutritional deficiency may contribute to RLS. Addressing these underlying conditions can reverse some symptoms and provide some relief from restless leg syndrome.
- Medications: the side effects of some types of medications like depression treatments, antipsychotic, antihistamines, anti-nausea and cold or anti-allergy medicines may make the RLS-related symptom lots more complicated and unmanageable.
- Pregnancy: During the last trimester of their pregnancy, some women may feel leg pain or other neurological symptoms associated with restless leg syndrome. However, these symptoms are temporary and fade away after delivery.
- Other factors: sleepless nights, smoking or drinking habits and other lifestyle-related factors can trigger restless legs syndrome or worsen the symptoms. Changes in lifestyle relive the symptoms.
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Natural Remedies For Restless Leg Syndrome
Mother nature gives you the safest and most effective Natural Remedies for Restless Leg Syndrome. There are specific minerals and herbs that balance your hormones and dopamine levels safely, and also restore your body to their normal healthy state. Here are the best natural remedies for Restless Leg Syndrome :
- Best Type of Magnesium is a full spectrum natural magnesium. It naturally calms your nerves and prevents muscle cramping.
- Iron Fuzion
- Organic CBD Oil
Balancing your natural mineral level will stop the muscle cramps and nervous twitches from imbalanced calcium/magnesium and low levels of iron. Choosing organic iron will make sure it gets absorbed by your body and relieves one of the main causes of restless leg syndrome, mineral deficiency. Prevent your next bout of restless legs naturally.
What You Need To Know
- Restless legs syndrome tends to run in families.
- People with RLS often also have Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, a condition in which their legs uncontrollably twitch or jerk every 10 to 60 seconds, usually during sleep.
- It is not known what causes RLS, but restless legs syndrome can be secondary to iron deficiency anemia and some other medical conditions. It can also be a side effect of taking antidepressants, anti-nausea medicine, anti-seizure medicine, and some allergy and cold medicine. RLS can also sometimes be triggered by alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco.
- Restless legs syndrome can be treated with lifestyle changes and medications.
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Monitoring For Iron Overload
When prescribing iron for paediatric RLS, its safety in the absence of systemic iron deficiency necessitates caution. Hereditary hemochromatosis is a disorder of iron metabolism in which excessive intestinal iron absorption leads to damaging iron deposition in multiple organs. Other genetic disorders of iron homeostasis, although rare, exist. Iron intake should not usually constitute a risk for iron overload in otherwise healthy people who are iron-replete, because at higher ferritin concentrations, iron absorption usually decreases, preventing accumulation in the body above upper physiological limits . Screening for iron overload includes a personal and family history of hemochromatosis or unexplained liver disease, and measuring transferrin saturation and ferritin levels at baseline and at least twice yearly while on iron. Transferrin saturation > 50% and/or ferritin levels > 90th percentile are highly indicative of hemochromatosis in children . The upper ferritin cut-off quoted by the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital is: six months to 14 years of age: > 140 g/L 15 years of age: male > 250 g/L, female > 120 g/L .
Restless Legs Syndrome And Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
Most people who have RLS also have a condition called periodic limb movement disorder . PLMD involves repetitive flexing or twitching of the limbs while asleep at night. It is different from RLS in that these movements are not accompanied by uncomfortable sensations and because they occur during sleep, patients are often not aware of them. However, PLMD-associated movements can cause a person to wake up and therefore can compound sleep issues in patients who also have RLS.
Although most people with RLS have PLMD, many with PLMD do not have RLS.
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Using Cbd Oil To Treat Restless Leg Syndrome
In addition to THC, using CBD for restless legs is also effective. CBD, or cannabidiol, is another compound found in marijuana. It does not produce as much intoxication as THC and it has several positive benefits for the body.
CBD interacts with pain receptors in the brain to reduce the amount of pain felt within the body. This makes it ideal for relieving headaches, back pain, and pain caused by injury and trauma.
Users can obtain CBD through smoking or vaping cannabis, but it can also be extracted and isolated in the form of CBD oil. Medical marijuana users are turning to CBD oil for restless leg syndrome, mainly because they want to stay away from the intoxicating effects of cannabis. For this reason, cannabis growers are breeding strains of cannabis that have a higher CBD content and limited psychoactive effects.
How To Ease Restless Legs Syndrome And Get Some Sleep
If you go to bed sleepy, only to have your legs twitch and itch and tingle keeping you awake, you might have restless legs syndrome. This frustrating condition makes it difficult to fall asleep because it gets worse at night and after sitting or lying down for a long period of time.
Not only does having this syndrome make it more challenging for you to fall asleep, but it can also disrupt your partnermoving around is what provides relief. If youre struggling with restless legs syndrome we have some ideas to help you improve your sleep, naturally and without medication.
1. Apply heat before bed.
A soak in a warm tub before trying to sleep can help relieve the tingling, aching, or itching sensations this condition causes. Using warm compresses or heating pads to warm the legs can also help provide relief. Conversely, some people find ice packs are better for alleviating the uncomfortable sensations. Use what works for you.
2. Try massage.
Like heat or cold therapy, many people find that a massage of the leg brings relief to the sensations of restless legs syndrome. If you have a partner willing to help you out, make a massage a nightly ritual. If youre on your own, there are plenty of handheld massage tools available that can help you get to sleep.
3. Get plenty of exercise, but not too late in the day.
4. Practice good sleep hygiene.
5. Treat any digestive issues.
6. Check your iron levels.
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Irons Role In Adult Rls Treatment
To date, guidelines for paediatric RLS iron treatment have been based on limited adult data and clinical experience, which suggest that iron treatment may improve RLS when baseline serum ferritin is < 100 g/L, especially at < 45 g/L to 50 g/L, levels associated with greater disease severity . These data led to the current paediatric recommendations of increasing ferritin to 50 g/L . Newer data might extend the ferritin level, under which adult iron therapy could be considered, to 75 g/L . Recent, small, randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trials involving adults showed improved RLS from oral iron , but mixed results from intravenous iron, keeping in question the efficacy of iron treatment for all people with RLS.