Restless Legs Syndrome; Causes And Treatment

Restless Legs Syndrome; Causes And Treatment

31 Oct 2017

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a part of an individual's nervous system disorder that brings about the urge or need to move your legs. It is one of the sleep disorders since it disrupts the sleep-wake cycle. Quality sleep is quite important as it contributes to an individual’s well being thus anything that disrupts sleep is a disorder that needs to be treated to avoid long-term sleeplessness effect.

What are the symptoms of (RLS) Restless Legs Syndrome

Individuals suffering from restless legs disorder experience itchy feelings in some parts of their body, for instance, the legs, the arms among other body parts. Apart from the itchy sensation, there is this overwhelming urge to move the legs in order to alleviate the itchy sensations. Restless legs at night are a major symptom of RLS. The itchy sensation increases when one is sitting or lying.

RLS symptoms effects start as mild symptoms but with time they become intolerable. RLS symptoms may appear and then disappear while severity differs. However, in the evening and in the night, RLS symptoms get worse. Such symptoms interfere with the sleep of most people leading to a poor quality life and low performance in one's daily activities.

Which gender is prone to Restless Legs syndrome?

Restless legs syndrome affects both male and female but quite prominent among women. It is said to occur at a tender age thus even young children are likely to suffer from Restless Legs. However, this sleep disorder severely affects the older people as well as the middle-aged.

In most cases, it is very hard to recognize or even diagnose RLS, especially in cases of mild or intermittent symptoms. Early RLS diagnosis is important as the condition can be treated successfully.

What are the main causes of RLS?

The experts as well as the doctors are yet to discover RLS cause, but word has it that genes have a hand in the condition. This is because roughly half of the patients suffering from Restless legs syndrome have a history of a member of the family who suffered or has the same problem.

All the same, there are various factors related to the growth of restless legs syndrome, which includes:

  • Pregnancy; pregnancy comes with a list of problems though this isn’t the case among all women. Some women view pregnancy as a walk in the park while others have the worst stories to narrate. RLS is a common condition among some expectant women, particularly during the 3rd trimester. However, RLS symptoms during pregnancy are temporal as they disappear within a period of 1 month after a woman has given birth.
  • Medications; they are certain medications, for instance, antinausea drugs, certain antidepressants, allergy medications, antipsychotic drugs that may lead to the increase of RLS symptoms.
  • Chronic diseases; some medical conditions and chronic diseases such as Parkinson's disease, diabetes, iron deficiency, kidney failure as well as peripheral neuropathy have RLS symptoms. These conditions should be first treated in order to reduce the symptoms of RLS.

Restless legs syndrome home remedies

There are Restless legs syndrome home remedies that can be of so much help. They include:

  • Good lifestyle

Some problems like RLS are as a result of poor lifestyle. Improving your lifestyle may help fight some of those sleep disorders. A changed lifestyle starts right from what you do, eat, wear, or even where you sleep in the evening. One's lifestyle has a major effect on an individual's health.

  • Balanced diet

Consumption of a healthy diet helps enhance better sleep. One is also supposed to completely stay away or reduce the amount of caffeine and alcohol one takes especially prior to bedtime. All foods known to keep one awake should be avoided by all means some few hours to bed.

  • Medications

There are certain medications that pose a challenge to the relaxation of your muscles and may even cause insomnia. If any of the medications enhance the development of the problem at hand (RLS) you can find an alternative to that medication in order to avoid substances that interfere with your so much needed sleep.

  • Avoid smoking

Smoking affects a person’s sleep leading to poor quality sleep. If you can quit smoking completely, it is imperative to cut down the amount of cigarette one takes.

  • Manage your pain

RLS symptoms vary from being less painful to extremely painful. You can manage the pain through alternating cold and hot compresses o the legs to lower the pain. A hot bath can be of so much help too and you can as well invite a family member or friend to massage the muscles of your legs to enhance relaxation.

  • Avoid stress

Stress combined with Restless legs can be such a headache. However, you can find ways of distracting your stress so as to get some sleep.

  • Clean and conducive bedroom

The condition of your bedroom is a major determining factor, whether you get a good sleep or not. Ensure you clean your bedroom and that your bedroom is comfortable enough to entice you to sleep. RLS can be quite unbearable in an uncomfortable bedroom.

Restless leg syndrome treatment

Restless leg treatment can be done via a number of ways, including through the use of medication. The 1st prescribed drugs are Dopaminergic drugs. They are ideal for reducing or eliminating RLS symptoms. However, these drugs are known to lead to the development of other problems and have side effects too. There are various drug types used to relieve the RLS symptoms. Other drugs include:

  • Gabapentin: this is simply antiseizure medication. Studies conducted have proven that it is ideal for reducing the RLS symptoms.
  • Opioids: these are the drugs that doctors use to relieve pain. They are usually used in low doses though…, to treat the Restless Legs conditions.
  • Restiffic or Foot wrap: this drug is quite effective in releasing the RLS symptoms
  • Benzodiazepines: sleep problems as well as anxiety are treated using these drugs. Other types of such drugs and Clonazepam are given to RLS patients alongside other drugs.
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