Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a neurological condition that is characterized by the irresistible urge to move the legs. This may sound strange but it is a very real disorder that affects 10 percent of the population. The inability to control the movements of your own legs is very frustrating.
To be officially diagnosed with RLS you must have a strong urge to move your legs which you can’t resist or control. This is often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations- itching, tingling, or a creepy crawly feeling. Many patients find that symptoms start or become worse when resting and symptoms get better during activity and leg movement. Symptoms also tend to be worse in the evenings and can cause difficulty falling or staying asleep. This is usually the main complaint of people with RLS. RLS not only affects your legs but can also cause jerky movements during sleep that can awaken you and your spouse. These uncontrollable movements can cause sleep deprivation, which seriously impacts your work, relationships and health.
The causes of RLS are unknown, but some of the common symptoms have a connection to varicose veins. Researchers think there may be many different overlapping causes of RLS. RLS does run in the family but can also appear as a result of other conditions. A substantial number of women also develop RLS during pregnancy.
There is currently no cure for RLS, but there are options to help ease symptoms. There are pharmaceutical drugs that offer help but doctors will also advise you to look at your daily routines. Monitor your diet, make sure it is healthy and balanced and consider cutting out caffeine and alcohol. Take daily vitamins and have your doctor check for an iron deficiency. Find an exercise schedule and physical activities that help. Maintain a good sleeping schedule and try to find things to occupy your mind when you feel RLS coming on.
If you experience any of these symptoms or think you may be affected by the condition, schedule an appointment with your doctor right away.