Restless Leg Syndrome: Know Everything About It    
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Restless Leg Syndrome: Know Everything About It

  • April 23, 2022
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Restless Leg Syndrome: Know Everything About It

What Is Restless Legs Syndrome?

If you have constant urges to move your legs at night, you likely have restless legs syndrome. These symptoms include a crawly, itchy, burning, or prickling feeling in your legs. These feelings worsen as you sit or lie down. If you are having restless leg symptoms, you should visit a doctor to get a proper diagnosis.

The urge to move your legs is strong and accompanied by abnormal sensations. This urge is more prevalent at night and is worse when you are resting. Movement can help alleviate some of the symptoms. In severe cases, restless legs may interfere with your ability to sleep, work, or even form a healthy relationship. Although some people feel relief by walking or moving their legs, the urge will return after exercise. Restless legs syndrome is a serious condition that can be a major source of distress and should be treated as soon as possible.

If you have severe symptoms, your doctor may suggest some medications to reduce your caffeine and alcohol consumption. Smoking and alcohol can exacerbate restless leg symptoms. Taking supplements may help reduce the symptoms. Alcohol and caffeine can also be triggers. Your health care provider may recommend a sleep-promoting sleep environment. Your bedroom should be cool and free of unnecessary light. You should also avoid excessive alcohol consumption and read a book in bed.

But always be aware of not consuming melatonin supplements for your RLS as melatonin can exhibit an inhibitory effect on your syndrome and it can worsen your condition. Melatonin supplements are specifically for regulating the circadian rhythm of the body and not for the ones experiencing Restless Leg Syndrome. And if you have consumed melatonin then you must look for melatonin hangover symptoms and immediately inform your doctor. 

Restless Legs Syndrome

If you are wondering what causes restless leg syndrome, you are not alone. There are numerous treatments for restless leg syndrome, including medications and non-drug therapies. People who suffer from RLS have an insatiable urge to move, often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations in their lower limbs. These sensations can range from aching to throbbing to crawling and can even affect the chest. While these sensations can be extremely irritating, they can be very uncomfortable and in many cases, painful.

Symptoms

Restless legs syndrome is a disorder in which muscles in the legs tighten or flex uncontrollably. These periodic movements can be a source of discomfort, especially for people who can’t sleep. While it is unlikely to develop into a more serious neurological disorder, long-term sleep deprivation can lead to depression, anxiety, and diabetes. In severe cases, restless legs syndrome can also affect the arms, face, and trunk. The symptoms of restless legs syndrome can affect an individual’s life and interfere with his or her daily activities.

Causes

Sleep specialists are well-equipped to help you determine whether you have restless legs syndrome. These specialists will ask you about your medical history and what you have been doing for the last few weeks. They may also ask you to keep a sleep diary for two weeks and rate the effects of your restless legs on your sleep quality. Blood tests are also usually required. However, if you are experiencing more than a few episodes of restless legs each night, a sleep study may be in order.

Treatments

Treatment for restless leg syndrome depends on the frequency of symptoms and severity of the problem. For instance, if the symptoms are intermittent, daily, or persistent, you might consider different medications or lifestyle changes. In addition, you should find out whether you are suffering from RLS as a chronic condition or if you are experiencing only a few episodes each week. If you feel that the condition is refractory to treatment, you may want to consider undergoing some type of surgery.

A Proper Bed And Mattress

As mentioned above, RLS can also be caused by excessive stress and therefore you need to rest on a proper bed to be relieved of your illness. A big size bed is suggested for such patients where you can rest freely. For singles, twin xl or full beds are ideal but for the couples or the ones sleeping with their partners and having RLS must choose none other than a king or a California king mattress. The exact distinction between California king vs king mattresses is only the size. A California king is four-inch narrower and four-inch longer than a king-size mattress. 

Exercise

Among the many methods to ease the symptoms of restless legs syndrome, exercise is a common and safe addition to other treatment options. According to the Help Guide, a nonprofit health information source, one in ten Americans suffers from RLS. While many people find relief through exercise, others find it exacerbates the symptoms. If you have been diagnosed with restless legs syndrome, consult a physician before beginning any type of exercise program.

OTC Remedies

Various herbs and OTC remedies have been used to treat restless leg syndrome. One herbal remedy has shown promise. Valerian root, which is often used as a sleep aid, has been found to relieve restless leg syndrome symptoms and reduce daytime sleepiness. Similarly, vitamins C and E can reduce the symptoms of RLS. However, it’s important to note that many natural treatments have side effects, and you should discuss these with your doctor before starting any new regimen. A blood test is also recommended to determine the exact cause of your symptoms.

Medication

For people with primary RLS, doctors may prescribe daily medications. Some people may only need medication if their symptoms are a few nights a week. For those who experience sporadic restless leg syndrome, a doctor may prescribe medications only when symptoms arise. Some of the most common medications prescribed to treat RLS are listed below. If none of these treatments have worked for you, your doctor may prescribe another medication.

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes may also help treat RLS symptoms. Some patients have reported relief by avoiding alcohol and tobacco products, maintaining a regular sleep pattern, and undergoing moderate exercise. Other methods include massaging the legs, using ice packs, and taking warm baths. In addition to these methods, new medical devices, including foot wraps and vibration pads, have recently been approved by the FDA. Some studies have reported significant improvements in patients’ sleep quality.

Summary

There are a variety of treatments available for Restless Legs Syndrome, which are often quite effective. Benzodiazepines can help with the symptoms in milder cases, but they may also cause other side effects, including unsteadiness, slow thinking, and drowsiness. Other treatments include stretching exercises and mental occupying activities. While there are many available treatments, most people find that a combination of treatments is most effective.