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Restless Leg Syndrome

Published by monica on Sunday, February 10, 2013

Photo credit by Bryan Gosline

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a leg movement disorder due to unlikable sensations. It happens mostly during times of rest, for instance when the sufferer is trying to go to sleep.

RLS commonly affect people after the age of 40. More than 50 percent patients over 60 years old with RLS also have insomnia (Sleeplessness). Family history of RLS may play a role and it can occur to teenager or even children. It sometimes described as painful, while some people may complain of a unpleasant tugging, creeping, or painful sensation. More than 80 percent patient with RLS also connected to periodic limb movements of sleep (PLMS) as known as nocturnal myoclonus.

Causes and Symptoms

Although RLS occur to be related to family history in some cases, several causes may have to be ruled out and treated before beginning a medication. Certain conditions and diseases are more highly linked with RLS. Persons experiencing symptoms should be periodically examined and tested for uremia, anemia, and imbalances of vitamins and electrolytes. Renal breakdown is a main predisposing cause. This syndrome can associate with pregnancy as well. As many as 1/7 or more female may experience it to some level.

Persons with RLS should talk to the health care specialist before consume certain medications because some of drugs can induce or deteriorate the symptoms of RLS. Drugs that may cause a problems for some patients are some antihistamines, antidepressants, phenothiazine tranquilizers, antinausea medications, sinemet, some psychiatric drugs, and several calcium channel blockers (for hypertension).

Restless Leg Syndrome - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Generally, RLS sufferers have relatively mild symptoms experience. 85 percent of RLS sufferer have problem falling asleep, remaining asleep, and wake few times during the night. Nearly 50 percent of patients experience daytime tiredness or sleepiness. Discomfort in the legs may disappear for a few moths and then return without noticeable reason.


Alternative therapies can often be used together with conventional medicine without conflict. Medicines that relaxes muscles, relieves pain, nervous system drug, may be used together with levodopa (amino acid that is concerted to dopamine in the brain). The doctor who prescribes the drugs should supervise any combined treatment.

Acupuncture can relieve rheumatoid arthritis alongside RLS symptoms. This treatment believed to be helpful in arthritis healing and may encourage those parts of the brain that are implicated in RLS.

Nutritional supplements such as calcium, vitamin E, folic acid, and magnesium may be useful for persons with RLS. Therapeutic treatment may be helpful if RLS causes associated to metabolic abnormalities or diet.

Drug therapy may be needed to help and restore a healthy sleep pattern. Generally, prescription drugs used for RLS include dopamine agonists, dopaminergic agents, opioids, anticonvulsants, benzodiazepines, clonidine, and iron.

Statistic shows that patient response to those drugs is variable; therefore it is better to talk to healthcare provider to decide which medication is the best for individual conditions. Doctor and patient should have a good communication to minimize of side effects and best possible result.

RLS typically doesn’t specify the onset of additional neurological illness. It may remain stagnant, although 2/3 of sufferers get worse gradually. Healing with dopamine agonists is helpful in some cases that may include significant PLMS. Dopamine agonists, on the other hand, generate major side effects, such as nausea and sleepiness. The diagnosis is generally best if RLS symptoms are new and can be traced to another treatable circumstance that is related with RLS.

Dietary changes may also be useful in the prevention of RLS symptoms. A helpful diet will include a sufficient intake of B vitamins, especially B12, folic acid and iron. Alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine use should be lessen or eliminated if possible.

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