These sensations are usually only present when
the person begins to relax, especially when trying to fall
addition, most people with RLS also commonly experience their limbs
moving around uncontrollably during sleep. Due to these
effects, this condition is also considered a sleeping disorder in
addition to a neurological problem.
a person suffers from restless legs disorder, they always report
having strange, painful,
or uncomfortable sensations in their legs that
usually begin once the person starts to relax in the late afternoon or
sensations can range from itching
and burning to mild
discomfort or the pins
and needles feeling you get when your legs fall
asleep. The only way to alleviate these symptoms is to continuously
move the legs or affected limbs around, which temporarily makes theses
sensations go away or at least lessens them.
strange sensations can be incredibly frustrating, as they make it
incredibly hard to focus on anything else, and often make it quite
difficult to fall asleep. Additionally, many people experience
uncontrollable jerking of their limbs once they finally do fall
different factors can lead to a severely
degraded quality of
sleep, which can in turn cause many other serious health
Therefore, if you are experiencing the symptoms of restless legs
syndrome, you should immediately contact your doctor to undergo testing
and determine what steps you can take to allow yourself to fall asleep
easily and sleep peacefully throughout the night.
of Restless Legs Syndrome
of the biggest problems with RLS is that doctors do not yet know
what actually causes this disorder. Most research has shown that it is
related to genetics in some way, as more than fifty
sufferers have a family history of the disorder.
Still, there are also many other conditions and factors that are
thought to contribute to this disorder, or at least cause it to worsen.
Some of these other factors include:
many different medications that are thought to worsen symptoms of RLS,
cold/flu medications which contain antihistamines.
- Taking Certain Medication
Many women experience
worsening RLS symptoms or start to experience these symptoms for the
first time while they are pregnant, especially in the later stages of
pregnancy. It is not known why pregnancy causes these symptoms, but
they typically go away
within a month or two after giving birth.
There are also a number of other diseases and illnesses that are known
to worsen RLS symptoms, including Parkinson's
disease, diabetes, iron
deficiencies, and kidney
failure. In most cases, treating these
conditions usually results in lessening the symptoms of RLS.
- Chronic Illnesses and
Sleep deprivation is
known to worsen the symptoms of RLS, which is quite worrying, as RLS
can also lead to sleep deprivation.
who drink alcohol excessively are also more likely to develop symptoms
of RLS, while quitting
or cutting back on drinking usually makes the
- Excessive Alcohol
and Treating Restless Legs Syndrome
doctors are still not sure what actually causes
restless legs disorder, they are at least more knowledgeable when it
comes to diagnosing and treating this condition. Still, the problem
remains that there is no
actual test to determine if a person is indeed
suffering from RLS.
Diagnosis of RLS is also based on a patient's self-reported symptoms
and what medications they are currently taking, as well as their
medical history and that of their family. When a person
complains to their doctor about their symptoms, blood tests are usually
performed to rule out all other possible causes, after
for RLS can begin once the other possible causes are ruled out.
After a doctor determines that a person is most likely suffering from
RLS, a treatment plan is developed that is mainly focused on targeting
the particular symptoms to provide relief from them.
Depending on the
severity of the condition, there are many different treatment options
available than can help provide relief from the symptoms of RLS.
In mild to moderate
cases, making changes to
your lifestyle are often all that is needed to provide
relief. Some of these lifestyle changes may include developing more regular sleeping patterns;
eliminating the use of caffeine,
tobacco, or alcohol, especially in the hours leading up to
bedtime; and beginning a regular exercise
changes aren't enough to combat a person's symptoms, a doctor may then
decide to try other treatment methods, such as regular massages of the
in a warm bath before going to bed, or applying icepacks
or a heating pad to the legs for a period of time directly
Nonetheless, sometimes the symptoms of RLS are so severe that none of
these treatment methods have much of an effect on lessening them. In
these cases, most doctors will then move on to prescribing drugs or
other medication to help treat the symptoms. Ask your
doctor for advice. Some of the
A class of heavy
sedatives that can help a person fall asleep easier, despite their RLS
symptoms. The only problem is that these medications can also cause
drowsiness, and sometimes worsen problems with sleep
There are quite a
few drugs which work on
dopamine receptors in the brain that have
received an FDA approval for the treatment of RLS.
drugs used to treat seizures and uncontrollable convulsions have also
been shown to sometimes be effective at treating the convulsions and
limb jerks associated with RLS.
strong narcotics are used to treat severe pain associated with RLS.
Overall, there is no set
cure for RLS, but it is almost always possible to
treat and relieve a person's symptoms. Still, it may be necessary to
try several different methods, or a combination, before
permanent relief from restless legs syndrome.
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