What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome
Currently, its not fully understood where restless leg syndrome comes from. However, it is suspected that genes play a key role in its emergence about 50% of people with the disorder also have a family member thats affected by it.
Other medical conditions have been known to sometimes trigger the emergence of the sleep disorder. These medical conditions make it more probable that a person develops restless leg syndrome:
- Parkinsons disease
- Sleep apnea
Additionally, medication such as antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants, and antihistamines have been known to worsen the condition.
RLS can also be developed as a result of pregnancy. Generally, this occurs during the last trimester of pregnancy. However, in pregnancy-induced RLS, the symptoms go away a few weeks after the pregnancy is over.
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.
Signs And Symptoms Of Restless Legs Syndrome
Not only do the signs and symptoms of restless legs syndrome differ from person to person, but they can be tricky to describe. Common descriptions include: a creepy-crawly feeling, tingling, itching, prickling, burning, pulling, tugging, and aching. Some people have said it feels like bugs are crawling up their legs, a fizzy soda is bubbling through their veins, or they have a deep bone itch. Sometimes the symptoms are painful, but usually they are simply uncomfortable and disturbing.
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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.
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, Parkinsons 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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Abnormalities Of Iron Metabolism
Iron deficiency, even at a level too mild to cause anemia, has been linked to RLS in some people. Some research suggests that RLS in some people may be due to a problem with getting iron into cells that regulate dopamine in the brain. Some studies have reported RLS in a quarter to a third of people with low iron levels.
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How Is Rls Treated
Treatment is aimed at reducing symptoms and enabling sound sleep. The health care provider may recommend self-help treatment and medicines. Often, a combination of self-help and medicines works well. Some drugs work better than others, so trying different ones to find the best treatment may be needed. Avoiding caffeine, cigarettes, and alcohol may be helpful.
If symptoms are severe and treatment does not work, a visit to a specialist in sleep disorders or a neurologist may be needed. A neurologist is a doctor who specializes in treating disorders of the nervous system.
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What Is The Prognosis For People With Restless Legs Syndrome
RLS is generally a lifelong condition for which there is no cure. However, current therapies can control the disorder, minimize symptoms, and increase periods of restful sleep. Symptoms may gradually worsen with age, although the decline may be somewhat faster for individuals who also suffer from an associated medical condition. A diagnosis of RLS does not indicate the onset of another neurological disease, such as Parkinsons disease. In addition, some individuals have remissionsperiods in which symptoms decrease or disappear for days, weeks, months, or yearsalthough symptoms often eventually reappear. If RLS symptoms are mild, do not produce significant daytime discomfort, or do not affect an individuals ability to fall asleep, the condition does not have to be treated.
Treatment Of Restless Legs Syndrome In Children
The US Food and Drug Administration has not approved any medication for treating restless legs syndrome in children. The long-term effects of treating children with medication approved for adults are unknown.
Benzodiazepines, such as clonazepam, are not recommended for children because they can increase the risk of collapse of the upper airway. Up to 20 percent of children taking levodopa and carbidopa develop a side effect of feeling nauseous.
Good sleep habits are recommended for treating restless legs syndrome in children, as is avoiding caffeine and antihistamines. Vitamin and mineral supplements may help, when taken in consultation with a doctor.
What Causes Restless Legs Syndrome
According to Dr. Berkowski, restless legs syndrome is mostly a sensation problem with your brain, not your legs. But those issues do affect the muscles and nerves in your legs. Its not 100% a brain issue, but it does cause these abnormal sensations in the leg area, he says.
While there are a few potential causes, Dr. Berkowski points out these two main causes:
- Genetics. While much about the genetic components that cause RLS arent fully understood, studies indicate that certain genes do elevate the risk of having RLS. Additionally, studies have shown that those with RLS have a high likelihood of having a first-degree family member who also has the condition.
- Iron deficiency. Low iron levels can affect how the brain processes the sensations that lead to those RLS symptoms, Dr. Berkowski says. And iron levels drop at nighttime which is one reason why RLS is worse at night.
Certain prescription medications can relieve RLS symptoms, including anti-seizure medications. But there are also several things you can do at home to help relieve these symptoms.
Symptoms For Restless Leg Syndrome
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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.
What Is The Treatment For Restless Leg Syndrome
Treatment of restless leg syndrome is first directed toward any underlying illness, if known. For example:
- Blood testing to reveal underlying iron deficiency anemia may reveal the underlying cause.
- If varicose veins are thought to be the cause, then surgery to repair the circulation may be considered.
- Reduction or elimination of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol from a person’s diet can be very helpful.
- Stopping smoking can significantly diminish or prevent symptoms.
- Getting better sleep and exercise can help some persons affected by restless legs.
- Pregnant women who do not sleep well at night and other people with sleep disorders may develop RLS.
There is no cure for restless leg syndrome however, the condition usually responds well to home remedies and medications. The outlook is excellent for people with restless leg syndrome as long as it does not weaken or damage the function of the legs.\
Medications used to treat restless leg syndrome include:
- natural supplements ,
- carbidopa-levodopa ,
- opioids ,
- carbamazepine ,
- clonazepam ,
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.
Tip : Improve Your Sleep
The symptoms of restless legs syndrome can make it hard to get to sleep. When youre sleep deprived, you not only feel terrible, but youre more vulnerable to stress. Stress and fatigue can worsen RLS, making it a vicious cycle, so doing what it takes to get enough sleep is crucial.
Try sleeping with a pillow between your legs. It may prevent nerves in your legs from compressing and result in fewer nighttime RLS symptoms.
Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Support your bodys natural sleep rhythms by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day .
Optimize your bedroom for sleep. Make sure the room is dark , quiet, and cool.
Wind down with a relaxing bedtime routine. Try curling up in bed with a book, listening to calming music, or taking a hot bath .
Power down electronics 1-2 hours before bed. The blue light from screens suppresses sleep-promoting hormones and stimulates your brain.
Keep a sleep diary of RLS symptoms
Logging changes in your diet, lifestyle, sleep habits, and routine might help you make helpful connections between your daily activities and the quality of your sleep at night..
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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.
- 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.
Ruling Out Potential Causes
Your first step in addressing RLS should be to figure out if something is causing it. While RLS can be related to things that are largely out of your control, such as genetics or pregnancy, other possible factors can be addressed.
These factors could be daily habits, medications youre taking, health conditions you have, or other triggers.
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Restless Legs Syndrome: Causes Home Remedies And Treatments
Restless Legs Syndrome or Willis-Ekbom disease is a frustrating condition.
The symptoms of this neurological disorder can be unpleasant and even distressing. For some sufferers symptoms are mild, but for others theyre severe.
Restless Legs Syndrome affects up to 10% of people in the UK, including children, but is most common in women over the age of 40. People describe feeling sensations such as constant tickling, burning, fizzing, or even insects crawling over the skin. Some people also report pain or feeling hot or cold in the affected area. Symptoms are worse at night, interrupting sleep and causing tiredness and fatigue in the daytime. As a result, its also a sleep disorder.
RLS doesnt just affect the legs sufferers have reported odd sensations in their arms, head and other parts of the body.
We asked consultant neurologist Dr Lucio DAnna of Dementech Neurosciences about RLS, what usually causes it, and what you can do at home to ease symptoms.
Take A Warm Bath With Epsom Salts
Preparing a warm bath with Epsom salts and soaking your feet there for a few minutes is another way to help treat RLS. The magnesium from the Epsom salts will solubilize in the water, and as you spend more time soaked in the bath, the magnesium will start entering your legs and helping your muscles relax. The concept is similar to consuming magnesium supplements to help ameliorate symptoms.
That being said, some people find that warm temperature makes their symptoms worse. If you find this is the case for you, try using a water temperature that makes you more comfortable and using that for your Epsom salt bath.
Additionally, Epsom salts further help get quality sleep by decreasing stress levels and helping you feel more relaxed. It also has the benefits of reducing inflammation, improving nerve function, preventing artery hardening, and relieving muscle cramps and headaches.
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What Are The Best Essential Oils To Treat Rls
There’s no cure for restless legs syndrome. But there are treatments to help you manage the sensations. One popular remedy involves essential oils. Several options are available that seem to work well for RLS. Choose any of the following oils to either massage into your skin or apply to a bath to start enjoying their therapeutic properties.
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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