Restless legs syndrome is not life threatening, but severe cases can disrupt sleep (causing insomnia) and trigger anxiety and depression. The charity Restless Leg Syndrome UK (RLS-UK) provides information and support for people affected by restless legs syndrome.
If you have RLS, you should also see a doctor if you are: Losing sleep often. Feeling depressed or anxious. Having trouble concentrating.
With moderately severe RLS, your symptoms might only occur once or twice a week but often result in significant delay of sleep onset, with some disruption of daytime function. In severe cases of RLS, the symptoms occur more than twice a week. RLS can cause you to experience the following: Changes in mood.
massaging your legs. taking a hot bath in the evening. applying a hot compress to your leg muscles. doing activities that distract your mind, such as reading or watching television.
Magnesium supplementation is often suggested for restless legs syndrome (RLS) or period limb movement disorder (PLMD) based on anecdotal evidence that it relieves symptoms and because it is also commonly recommended for leg cramps.
Along with a new mattress, how you sleep is essential to alleviating RLS symptoms. For instance, sleeping on your back is ideal because it evenly distributes your body weight and lets your back muscles relax.
In some cases, restless legs syndrome is caused by an underlying health condition, such as iron deficiency anaemia or kidney failure. This is known as secondary restless legs syndrome. There's also a link between restless legs syndrome and pregnancy.
There are many conditions that can mimic restless leg syndrome, including Parkinson's disease, fibromyalgia, muscle diseases, joint conditions, circulation difficulties, and nerve problems such as peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes. In children, restless leg syndrome is often misdiagnosed as "growing pains."
Restless Leg Syndrome is a common symptom of anxiety. We traced this symptom to the adverse effects of chronic stress. Specifically, apprehensive behavior stresses the body. A body that becomes chronically stressed can exhibit symptoms of stress.
Although there's no cure for restless legs syndrome, medications and lifestyle changes can help minimize symptoms and increase restful sleep. Cutting back on caffeine, alcohol and tobacco may help. Taking a hot bath, massaging the legs or using a heating pad or ice pack can also relieve symptoms.
Fast facts on restless legs syndrome:
The condition is often caused by a combination of mental and physical factors. Women are more likely to be affected with RLS during pregnancy.
Dopamine agonists: These are most often the first medicines used to treat RLS. These drugs, including pramipexole (Mirapex), rotigotine (Neupro), and ropinirole (Requip), act like the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain.
Gabapentinoids — Pregabalin, gabapentin, and gabapentin enacarbil are all appropriate first-line therapies for chronic persistent RLS in many patients [7,49,50]. The mechanism of action in RLS is unknown.
RLS symptoms are generally worse in the evening and night and less severe in the morning. Whereas RLS may present early in adult life with mild symptoms, by age 50 years it usually progresses to severe, daily disruption of sleep leading to decreased daytime alertness.
Medications that increase dopamine in the brain.
Rotigotine (Neupro) and pramipexole (Mirapex) are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of moderate to severe RLS . Short-term side effects of these medications are usually mild and include nausea, lightheadedness and fatigue.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a T-cell−mediated demyelinating disease of the CNS. Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurologic condition characterized by a distressing urge to move one's legs and is often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations.
Many people with RLS find it difficult to fall or stay asleep. Severe RLS can cause marked impairment in life quality and can result in depression. Insomnia may lead to excessive daytime drowsiness, but RLS may interfere with napping.
Stretches for RLS
Slightly bend your right knee and step your left leg back a foot or two, positioning its heel and foot flat on the floor. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Now bend your left knee while still keeping its heel and foot flat on the floor. For a deeper stretch, move your foot back a bit farther.
Taking magnesium and vitamin B6 supplements can reduce the severity of symptoms of RLS/WED patients and improve their sleep quality.
The top three foods to avoid are chocolate, sugary sodas, and fried foods. Additionally, you will also want to avoid any foods or beverages that contain caffeine, since this can stimulate your nerves and make your symptoms more severe. These include coffee, tea, energy drinks, and chocolate.
The recommended daily amount of elemental magnesium in a supplement form is between 200 to 400 mg daily for adults. Taking it at bedtime should benefit sleep.
Magnesium deficiency is diagnosed via a blood test and sometimes a urine test. Your doctor may order the blood test if you have symptoms such as weakness, irritability, abnormal heart rhythm, nausea and/or diarrhoea, or if you have abnormal calcium or potassium levels.