If you’ve ever spent a restless night tossing and turning and unable to find a comfortable sleeping position, then you might be suffering from restless leg syndrome and not even know it. This disorder, while not life threatening, can sure be a hassle, and it often interferes with your waking life as well—especially, if you’re feeling tired during the day from the lack of sleep you’re getting at night. If you live in the Tucson area and are suffering from restless leg syndrome, then Lean Healthy Life is here to help. Keep reading to learn more about the causes of RLS and how we can help you manage your symptoms.
What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome?
Unfortunately, in most cases doctors don’t actually know what gives your legs that awful urge to move. However, it’s believed that genetics plays an important role in RLS, since almost fifty percent of people living with the disorder also have a close relative that’s a sufferer.
Even though no definitive cause has been found at this time, there are some certain factors that doctors believe can aggravate the symptoms of RLS, such as:
- Medication: It’s believed that certain types of drugs (antidepressants, anti-nausea, and antipsychotic) can worsen the already-present symptoms of RLS. Cold and allergy medications have also been considered as a cause.
- Disease: There are several chronic diseases, such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and peripheral neuropathy that have symptoms similar to restless leg syndrome. Often when these disorders are treated, the symptoms of RLS will dissipate.
- Pregnancy: Sometimes pregnant women will complain of restless leg syndrome during the last trimester. This often resolves itself one to two months after giving birth.
What Are the Symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome?
The one and only symptom of RLS is the classic discomfort in the patient’s legs, but it’s often described in many different ways. For example, some people see it as an itching or crawling sensation, while others experience it more as a compulsion to move their legs. Regardless, symptoms often get worse when the patient is sitting or lying down, and this means that it can interfere with their normal sleep cycle.
Who is at Risk of Restless Leg Syndrome?
It’s believed that RLS affects almost ten percent of the American population, but these numbers could be inaccurate because of the difficulty in diagnosing the disease. It’s more common in middle-aged or older women, but it has been observed in both sexes at all ages.
There is no official diagnostic test for restless leg syndrome, but doctors may perform blood work and other tests to rule out any other possible causes of symptoms.
How Can Restless Leg Syndrome Be Treated
Treatment for this disorder is geared at managing symptoms. While patients may never experience a complete removal of their symptoms, it is possible to keep them under wraps. Medication can be used for RLS, but it should be used as a last resort after more natural, safe methods have been attempted. Some good, all-natural RLS treatments include:
- Massaging the legs
- Apply hot or cold compresses
- Developing a regular sleeping habit