Restless Leg Syndrome What is it? Symptoms and Treatments

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Restless legs syndrome, also called Willis-Ekbom disease, is a condition in which a person feels an uncontrollable urge to move their legs and move them even when you are sleeping, which prevents you from getting a good night's sleep. .

Restless Leg Syndrome What is it? Symptoms and Treatments

Restless Leg Syndrome What is it? Symptoms and Treatments

Causes

In most cases the cause of RLS is unknown, but it has a genetic component and can be found in families where the onset of symptoms appears before age 40. The main cause of restless legs is believed to be due to a disorder in the part of the nervous system that causes the need to move the legs.

It can start at any age and usually gets worse as we get older. Simple self-care steps and lifestyle changes can help alleviate it, medication use can also be an alternative treatment in some cases.

Considerable evidence also suggests that restless legs syndrome is related to a dysfunction in one of the parts of the brain that control movement (called the basal ganglia) that uses the brain chemical dopamine to send messages to the brain to control movement. the muscular movements of our body.

basal ganglia

Disruption of these pathways often results in involuntary movements. Individuals with Parkinson's disease, another disorder of the basal ganglia dopamine pathways, are more likely to develop this health problem.

Risk factors

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Check out the risk factors for restless legs syndrome below.

  • End-stage renal disease and hemodialysis
  • lack of iron
  • Pregnancy, especially in the last trimester; in most cases, symptoms usually disappear within 4 weeks of delivery
  • Neuropathy (nerve damage).
  • alcohol use
  • Sleep less than necessary
  • smoking
  • Anemia
  • Obesity
  • Chronic diseases

Symptoms

Patients with restless legs syndrome have uncomfortable sensations not only in the legs but sometimes in the arms, knees and other parts of the body. In addition to feeling an irresistible urge to move your legs to relieve the sensations. See other symptoms below:

restless legs syndrome

  • Tingling
  • throbbing pain
  • leg cramp
  • Involuntary urge to move the legs when lying down or sitting.
  • Feel relief when you are on the move, such as stretching, bending your legs, running or walking.
  • Feels a worsening of symptoms at night.

Restless Legs Syndrome Specialists

In case, you are experiencing this problem but you don't know what kind of specialist to look for, know that the specialists who can diagnose this problem are the general practitioner or a neurologist.

Diagnosis of Restless Leg Syndrome

There is no specific medical test to diagnose the condition, however, doctors may use blood tests and neurological exams to confirm whether or not you have the condition.

The diagnosis of restless legs syndrome is based on the patient's symptoms and answers to questions regarding a family history of similar symptoms, medication use, the presence of other symptoms or medical conditions, or problems with daytime sleepiness.

Restless legs syndrome treatments

In people with mild or moderate restless legs syndrome, lifestyle changes such as starting a regular exercise program, establishing habitual sleep patterns, and eliminating or decreasing the use of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco may be helpful. Useful.

Other treatments may include:

  • leg massages
  • Hot baths or heating pads or ice packs applied to the legs
  • good sleep habits
  • Use of vibrating pad
  • If your restless leg problem is caused by stress, yoga or meditation can be great relaxation techniques.

Medicines

  • Medications that help increase the amount of dopamine in the brain
  • Benzodiazepines, a class of sedative drugs, that can be used to help with sleep but can cause daytime sleepiness.
  • Narcotic pain relievers can be used for severe pain.
  • Anticonvulsants or antioxidants.

Make sure your doctor knows all the medications you are taking, both prescription and over-the-counter. Talk to your doctor about whether they could be making your problem worse.

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