Facts about Restless Legs Syndrome

Did you know that there is no cure for restless legs syndrome and that there is no known cause yet? What is known is that the condition has been associated with other underlying conditions such as pregnancy, obesity, smoking, having an iron deficiency and also anemia. It can also be associated with individuals who have nerve disease, polyneuropathy, having a heavy metal toxicity or other toxins in your body, having a hormonal disease such as diabetes, or kidney failure when it is associated with a vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Medication Woes

Certain medications can increase the severity of symptoms for RLS including the taking of caffeinated products and drinking alcohol. H2-histamine blockers such as the medication Zantac and Tagamet as well as taking antidepressants such as Elavil can contribute to the severity of symptoms of RLS.

There may be a heredity factor with RLS as recent studies have shown that a common genetic factor. Other studies have shown that RLS symptoms do increase with age.

RLS is often misdiagnosed as muscle diseases, joint diseases, nerve problems or circulation problems. It is important to have a doctor that is familiar with RLS to make the diagnosis for you.

Treatments vary with the age and severity of the symptoms of RLS. There is usually a combination of lifestyle improvements, physical therapy, self-help methods and relaxation techniques that are tried first before going the medication route.

Any of this information a surprise to you yet?

The treatment may have to address any underlying conditions first before focusing on the RLS symptoms as getting any other conditions under control may have an impact on the RLS symptoms.

Sometimes the best way to reduce symptoms of RLS is to eliminate caffeine, alcohol and tobacco from the individual’s system. Next, it is important to get daily exercise without going to extremes.

If lifestyle changes and self-help methods as well as relaxation techniques have not relieved the symptoms; medications may then be introduced to the treatment plan.

Medications commonly prescribed for RLS are:

carbidopa-levodopa, opioids, bromocriptine, clonidine, gabapentin, and the newly approved Requip.

Non-conventional treatments such as acupuncture, warm/cold baths, electric nerve stimulation, oral magnesium, and massage have all shown to be helpful to some patients.

RLS sufferers have unpleasant sensations to deal with while sitting or while sleeping and often have involuntary limb movement.

Insomnia is a common bedfellow for the RLS patient

There is hope to find relief from the symptoms that plague the RLS patient.

Treatment often changes over time because the condition worsens with age.

RLS runs in families so it is common to find siblings that have RLS in common.

There are RLS groups that patients can join locally so that they can have a source of support and a place to share information.

There is hope for those who suffer from the condition known as restless legs syndrome.

By the way, did you know that RLS is not limited to the legs? An individual can have symptoms of RLS in any limb as well as in the trunk of the body.

Hope you learned some facts that you did not know before reading this article. Perhaps you have found some useful information to share with someone who can benefit from it.