Living With Restless Leg Syndrome
I had a question the other day about restless leg syndrome.
Restless leg syndrome is a disorder of the nervous system that affects your legs and causes an urge to move them.
Because it usually interferes with sleep, it’s also considered a sleep disorder.
It creates an uncomfortable sensation in your legs (and sometimes arms or other parts of your body) and an irresistible urge to move your legs to relieve the sensations.
It causes an uncomfortable, itchy, pins and needles or creepy crawly feeling in your legs.
The sensations are usually worse when lying or sitting.
Symptoms can come and go and severity can also vary.
Symptoms are usually worse in the evening and at night.
For some people, symptoms cause severe sleep disruption and impair their quality of life.
Restless leg syndrome may affect up to 10% of the population.
It affects both sexes but is more common in women and may begin at any age, even in young children.
Most people who are affected severely are middle-aged or older.
Restless leg syndrome is often unrecognized or misdiagnosed.
This is especially true if your symptoms are intermittent or mild.
Once correctly diagnosed, restless leg syndrome can often be treated successfully.
Researchers don’t really know the cause of restless leg syndrome, but they think genes play a role.
Almost half the people with restless leg syndrome also have a family member with it.
Other factors associated with restless leg syndrome include:
>Chronic diseases: Iron deficiency, Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure, diabetes, and peripheral neuropathy often include symptoms of restless leg syndrome. Treating these conditions often gives some relief from restless legs.
>Medications: Antinausea drugs, antipsychotic drugs, some antidepressants, and cold and allergy medications containing antihistamines may worsen symptoms.
>Pregnancy: Some women experience restless leg syndrome during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester. Symptoms usually go away within a month after delivery.
Other factors, including alcohol use and sleep deprivation, may trigger symptoms or make them worse.
Improving sleep or eliminating alcohol use in these cases may relieve symptoms.
There’s no medical test to diagnose restless leg syndrome, but doctors might do testing to rule out other conditions.
The diagnosis of restless leg syndrome is based on your symptoms and answers to questions about your family history, medications, other symptoms or conditions, or problems with daytime sleepiness.
Although there’s no cure for restless legs syndrome, current treatments can help control the condition, decrease symptoms, and improve sleep.
To deal with restless leg syndrome it’s beneficial to:
*Adopt a regular stretching and exercise program
*Eliminate or decrease your use of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco
*Hot baths, heating pads or ice packs applied to the legs
*Good sleep habits
*Eat more foods high in vitamins, magnesium, and calcium
*Stay well hydrated, drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily
*Breathe deeply to oxygenate your cells.
*Increase EFAs (essential fatty acids) with Omega 3, flaxseed oil, olive oil, etc., because these help decrease inflammation
*Increase B-complex, Lecithin, Cal/Mag, and VitalMag because these support nerve function.
*Maintain a healthy weight.