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What Does Restless Leg Syndrome Look Like

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How Is It Treated

What does Restless Legs Syndrome Feel Like

People suffering from RLS have many options, said Dr. Lee-Iannotti. There are pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods of treatment, depending on the severity of the symptoms. If mild, simple changes in lifestyle including increased exercise, improving sleep hygiene and avoiding caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol may be solutions. If moderate or severe, medications including dopaminergic drugs can be used to help relieve the discomfort and improve sleep.

Overall, the prognosis with proper treatment of RLS is good. Any condition that robs you of healthy sleep will lead to further complications. A tired brain is more likely to experience depression, anxiety and poor workplace performance. With time, these effects can damage your internal organs and physical health. Visit your doctor immediately to recover your ability to rest. In fact, restoring healthy sleep habits is key in reducing the symptoms of RLS.

Is Rls A Disability

Only claimants who have severe cases of RLS have a chance of qualifying for Social Security disability. Claimants with moderate or intermittent cases of RLS will not be able to meet Social Securitys requirement that the disabling condition must significantly limit the persons ability to work for at least 12 months.

Restless Legs Syndrome: Seeking Help

Studies estimate that one out of 10 people suffer from restless legs, yet its not always easy to find help and support. Many people with RLS never receive proper treatment. Part of the problem is that its hard to explain and sufferers are often dismissed as being nervous. Those who havent experienced the distressing symptoms may not understand how severely they can impact the quality of your life. Even doctors may not take restless legs seriously, recognize the symptoms, or realize that they point to a real medical condition.

The good news is that recent research has increased our understanding of restless legs syndrome, leading to more effective treatments. At the same time, RLS is becoming more widely recognized. If you or your partner suffers from restless legs, theres never been a better time to find relief.

A night in the life of RLS

If you have restless legs syndrome, a typical night might go like this: You lie down in bed, ready to go to sleep, and just as your body begins to relax, the crawling, tingling, or itching in your legs begin. You try to ignore the uncomfortable sensations, hoping they will go away, but eventually the urge to move is too much. You get out of bed to stretch and pace the floor and, for a moment, you find relief. But when you lie down again, the restless sensations in your legs start all over again.

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Restless Legs Syndrome Symptoms

People with restless legs syndrome have unusual feelings in their legs and a powerful urge to move their legs to make the sensations go away. The condition can also happen in other areas like the arms, chest, or head. The feelings usually happen on both sides of the body. They can also happen on only one side, or they might start on one side and then move to the other.

RLS symptoms range from mild to unbearable. They might come and go, and the intensity can vary between episodes. Theyâre generally worse in the evening and at night.

Symptoms almost always go away in the early morning, so people who have RLS can often sleep well then.

The severity of RLS symptoms ranges from mild to intolerable. Symptoms can come and go and severity can also vary. The symptoms are generally worse in the evening and at night. For some people, symptoms may cause severe nightly sleep disruption that can significantly impair their quality of life.

Living With Restless Leg Syndrome

10 Home Remedies for Restless Leg Syndrome

Keep your doctor posted on how youre feeling. He or she can suggest different relaxation techniques and can change your medicine if its not helping. You may want to join a support group to talk to other people who are suffering from RLS. Also, because RLS tends to run in families, you may want to talk to your relatives about your RLS and see if they have similar symptoms.

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Treatment Options For Restless Legs Syndrome

RLS is a condition that affects many adults, and it can be difficult to get enough sleep without medication. There are several factors you should consider when trying to treat RLS with lifestyle changes first before reaching for the prescription pad. First of all, try taking iron supplements or magnesium as they have been shown in studies help improve symptoms by increasing dopamine levels within your brain which provides relief from RLS sensations like creeping feelings on the body and getting worse at night time. Another alternative treatment option worth considering would be some anti-seizure medications such as Gabapentin enacarbil because this drug has also been found effective against treating both neuropathic pain conditions including fibromyalgia along with restless leg syndrome.

Restless Leg Syndrome And Sleep Apnea

Research also shows that a link exists between RLS and sleep apnea. Specifically, people who have severe RLS usually have higher Epworth Sleepiness Scale scores. The higher your ESS score is, the greater your daytime sleepiness level is.

In other words, RLS can disrupt your sleep and thus cause you to wake up feeling groggy and unrested. The feelings associated with being perpetually tired can interfere with the activities you complete each day.

In fact, a study showed that insomnia was more prevalent in those who suffered from both RLS and untreated sleep apnea versus those with untreated sleep apnea only.

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What Does Restless Leg Syndrome Feel Like At Night

Rather, patients with RLS describe them as twitching, itching, aching, crawling, tingling, or tugging. Symptoms range from uncomfortable to painful. Restless leg syndrome is so-called because sensations are primarily felt in the legs, although up to 57 percent of people may experience similar sensations in their arms.

Using Cbd Oil To Treat Restless Leg Syndrome

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.

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Are Bananas Good For Restless Legs

Tips for increasing your potassium include: Eating more fruits, like bananas, can help restless legs syndrome. Eating more vegetables, like leafy greens, can help restless legs syndrome Talk to your doctor before taking a potassium supplement to make sure you dont take too much.

Nighttime And Sleep Tips To Ease Restless Legs Syndrome

  • Regular, moderate exercise may help you sleep better. Take a walk with the kids, the dog, or a friend.
  • Warm up to bedtime. A heating pad may soothe away symptoms of restless legs.
  • Take it easy! Moderate workouts can relieve RLS symptoms, but excessive exercise may cause them to spike.
  • Sleep a little better tonight by avoiding nicotine and caffeine close to bedtime.
  • Youll sleep better, and feel better, if you maintain a regular sleep schedule.
  • Get a better nights sleep avoid alcohol close to bedtime.
  • Avoid napping during the day for better sleep at night.
  • Count sheep, daydream, or just close your eyes but whatever you do, try not to make bedtime worry time.
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    Lifestyle Tips To Ease Restless Legs Syndrome

  • On a conference call? Watching TV? Use that time to give your legs a gentle massage.
  • Unwind with a hot bath. It relaxes body and soul and for some it soothes RLS symptoms, too.
  • Chill out: Ice packs may calm those restless legs.
  • Are you getting enough iron? Iron deficiency is one cause of RLS. Talk to your doctor.
  • Bottoms up? Go easy on the alcohol. It can make RLS symptoms worse.
  • Ease symptoms and get a better nights sleep avoid heavy meals close to bedtime.
  • Relaxation techniques, such as meditation or progressive muscle relaxation, may reduce RLS symptoms.
  • Certain drugs can cause RLS. Take medications, including herbal remedies, only as directed by your doctor.
  • Can Restless Leg Syndrome Be Prevented Or Avoided

    Pin on Gout

    RLS cant be prevented because doctors arent sure what causes it. But there are some things you can do to help lessen your symptoms.

    Lifestyle changes to treat RLS:

    • For mild symptoms, use an over-the-counter pain reliever to reduce twitching and restless sensations.
    • Cut back on alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco.
    • Try taking a hot bath and massaging your legs before bedtime to help you relax.
    • Relaxation techniques, such as meditation and yoga, can help you relax before bed.
    • Apply warm or cool packs to your legs, which can help relieve sensations.
    • Try to distract your mind by reading or doing a crossword puzzle while you wait for sleep to come.
    • Moderate exercise may help, but dont overdo it. Exercising vigorously or late in the day may make symptoms worse.
    • Try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Also try to get a sufficient amount of sleep each night.

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    Replace The Urge To Move

    When your legs are tingling, throbbing or hurting, it can be difficult for the brain to focus on anything else. One way to break the cycle is to replace the urge to move with another sensation.

    Any kind of counterstimulation, like taking a bath or shower in the evening, can be helpful, Dr. Vensel-Rundo says. Even rubbing or massaging the legs can provide temporary relief.

    Light stretching can help, but rigorous exercise before bed isnt a good idea, she says.

    What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome

    More often than not, the cause of RLS is a mystery. There may be a genetic predisposition and an environmental trigger.

    More than 40 percent of people with RLS have some family history of the condition. In fact, there are five gene variants associated with RLS. When it runs in the family, symptoms usually start before age 40.

    There may be a connection between RLS and low levels of iron in the brain, even when blood tests show that your iron level is normal.

    RLS may be linked to a disruption in the dopamine pathways in the brain. Parkinsons disease is also related to dopamine. That may explain why many people with Parkinsons also have RLS. Some of the same medications are used to treat both conditions. Research on these and other theories is ongoing.

    Its possible that certain substances like caffeine or alcohol can trigger or intensify symptoms. Other potential causes include medications to treat:

    • allergies
    • depression
    • psychosis

    Primary RLS isnt related to an underlying condition. But RLS can actually be an offshoot of another health problem, like neuropathy, diabetes, or kidney failure. When thats the case, treating the main condition may resolve RLS issues.

    There are certain things that may put you in a higher risk category for RLS. But its uncertain if any of these factors actually cause RLS.

    Some of them are:

    Having RLS can affect your overall health and quality of life. If you have RLS and chronic sleep deprivation, you may be a higher risk of:

    • heart disease

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    Restless Legs Syndrome In Children

    Though RLS most commonly affects adults, it can also develop in childhood. Researchers believe that many cases of childhood RLS may go undetected for a number of reasons. Children can have trouble communicating their experiences, meaning that symptoms may be mistakenly attributed to other causes such as growing pains, motor tics, muscle pain, leg cramps, or sleep apnea. RLS also affects sleep, which can cause secondary effects such as hyperactivity or moodiness that are easily mistaken for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder . For example, parents may observe their child being restless and fidgety in situations where they are required to sit still, such as a classroom or at the movies. . Children with RLS often find it difficult to stop these compensatory movements, regardless of where they are.

    Diagnosis of restless legs syndrome in kids is based on the same criteria that are used for adults, though children may describe their symptoms differently than adults. When evaluating a child for RLS, a doctor may ask them to describe their symptoms in their own words. Some common phrases used by kids with RLS to describe their symptoms include âenergy in my legs,ââwant to run,ââcreepy crawlies,â or âboo-boos.â

    Doctors may also collect observations of symptoms consistent with RLS when the child is sitting or lying down. In addition, they may assess for sleep disturbance, check for periodic limb movements during sleep, or ask if other family members have RLS.

    Treatments For Restless Leg Syndrome

    What is Restless Leg Syndrome?

    What is the best home remedy for restless leg syndrome?

    Lifestyle changes may be the first step. For instance, you should exercise regularly and follow a specific sleep schedule. You also need to avoid tobacco, caffeine, and alcohol.

    You can also treat RLS by placing ice packs or heating pads on your legs. Hot baths and leg massages may also help.

    Your doctor might also recommend that you take iron supplements.

    Restless leg syndrome can be a hindrance to good sleep. RLS can lead to interruptions in your sleep stages, which will leave you feeling tired and unproductive throughout the day. Talk to your doctor about finding a restless leg syndrome solution to be on your way to peaceful nights of sleep.

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    Causes And Risk Factors For Restless Leg Syndrome

    The cause of primary RLS is unknown. It can occur at any age, and generally gets worse with age. There are many theories as to what causes restless leg syndrome. One theory is that there are specific hereditary gene variants that can cause restless legs. Another theory is that its cause is related to a dysfunction in the part of the brain that controls movement. This part of the brain uses the brain chemical dopamine to control smooth and seamless movement. A deficiency in dopamine or a disruption in those neural pathways can cause involuntary movements.

    However, there are some accompanying factors that are known to put you at risk for restless legs. For example, RLS is often aggravated by other sleep conditions, such as sleep apnea or insomnia. Lack of iron is another common risk factor. Other factors for RLS include hormonal changes and the consumption of certain substances, such as alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, or antidepressants. Women are also more likely to develop restless leg syndrome than men. Clearly, there are many underlying conditions that may predispose you to developing restless leg syndrome. It is difficult to diagnose and often requires a doctor to help ascertain the issue and advise the treatment.

    Twitchy Legs: Are You Ready To Relieve Your Rls

    As you can see, twitchy legs are not something you want to ignore.

    If you have any questions about restless leg syndrome, please drop us a comment below. And, if you think you might be suffering from RLS, be sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor!

    Also, be sure to keep browsing our blog for more health tips and tricks.

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    Consume Less Caffeine Or Alcohol

    If youve been here for a while, then you already know that alcohol consumption and nicotine use can lead to restless legs syndrome or worsen existing symptoms. Caffeine is also an RLS risk factor as it keeps us awake at night.

    Modifiable lifestyle factors such as caffeine, tobacco products like cigarettes and chewing gum may result in sleeping disorders including circadian rhythm abnormalities which often leads to short sleep duration .

    For those who are concerned about their risk of developing RLS, there is good news. A study has shown that people who exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight have a lower chance on getting Restless Leg Syndrome . In fact, the more lifestyle choices someone makes which are considered to be healthy, like exercising or drinking alcohol in moderation the less likely they will get RLS.

    Symptoms And Signs Of Plmd And Rls

    Symptoms and Treatment of Restless Leg Syndrome

    Periodic limb movement disorder is characterized by repetitive twitching or kicking of the lower or upper extremities during sleep. Patients usually complain of interrupted nocturnal sleep or excessive daytime sleepiness. They are typically unaware of the movements and brief arousals that follow and have no abnormal sensations in the extremities.

    Restless legs syndrome is a sensorimotor disorder characterized by an irresistible urge to move the legs, arms, or, less commonly, other body parts, usually accompanied by paresthesias and sometimes pain in the upper or lower extremities symptoms are more prominent when patients are inactive or recline and peak in severity around bedtime. To relieve symptoms, patients move the affected extremity by stretching, kicking, or walking. As a result, they have difficulty falling asleep, repeated nocturnal awakenings, or both. Symptoms may be worsened by stress. Episodes may occur occasionally, causing few problems, or several times a week.

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    What Are Common Signs And Symptoms Of Restless Legs

    People with RLS feel the irresistible urge to move, which is accompanied by uncomfortable sensations in their lower limbs that are unlike normal sensations experienced by people without the disorder. The sensations in their legs are often difficult to define but may be described as aching throbbing, pulling, itching, crawling, or creeping. These sensations less commonly affect the arms, and rarely the chest or head. Although the sensations can occur on just one side of the body, they most often affect both sides. They can also alternate between sides. The sensations range in severity from uncomfortable to irritating to painful.

    Because moving the legs relieves the discomfort, people with RLS often keep their legs in motion to minimize or prevent the sensations. They may pace the floor, constantly move their legs while sitting, and toss and turn in bed.

    A classic feature of RLS is that the symptoms are worse at night with a distinct symptom-free period in the early morning, allowing for more refreshing sleep at that time. Some people with RLS have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. They may also note a worsening of symptoms if their sleep is further reduced by events or activity.

    People with RLS can sometimes experience remissionsspontaneous improvement over a period of weeks or months before symptoms reappearusually during the early stages of the disorder. In general, however, symptoms become more severe over time.

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