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    Aug 2011
    Lahore, Pakistan
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    Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Restless Leg Syndrome

    If you are always feeling an urge to move your legs in order to stop an unpleasant sensation, then you may be suffering from restless leg syndrome (RLS). This disorder is more common in middle-aged adults and up. The cause of this disorder is usually unknown in most patients. According to studies, stress makes you more prone to this disorder. A patient suffering from RLS may have trouble sleeping and will always have a constant urge to walk or move his legs. Read this article to find out more about RLS and its symptoms.
    Causes of Restless Leg Syndrome

    According to experts, stress can make you more prone to restless leg syndrome. RLS is also more likely to occur in patients who have diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, chronic kidney disease, iron deficiency, and peripheral neuropathy. Pregnancy, withdrawal from sedatives, and medications such as neuroleptics, lithium, calcium channel blockers, and caffeine may also cause restless leg syndrome. The RLS disorder is also passed down in families. So if your parents or one of your parents has RLS, then you are more prone to developing RLS yourself. If the symptoms of RLS started when you are still young, then it is most likely genetically caused.
    Symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome

    restless leg syndrome causes certain sensations in your lower legs between your knee and ankle. The sensations will make you uncomfortable and moving your legs is the only way to make it stop. These uncomfortable sensations usually occur when you lie down at night. They may also occur during daytime if you have been sitting for a long period of time. The sensations are described as crawling, bubbling, tingling, searing, pulling, aching, and creeping. These sensations may also be felt on other parts of the body such as on the arms, feet, or upper leg. The discomfort caused by the RLS sensations is only relieved by moving your legs or walking. Most patients with RLS have rhythmic leg movements while sleeping. These rhythmic leg movements are symptoms of PLMD or Periodic Limb Movement Disorder. The symptoms of restless leg syndrome often disturb your sleep and may lead to insomnia, depression, confusion, slowed thought processes, anxiety, and daytime sleepiness. Emotional upset and stress can make the symptoms of RLS worse.
    Treatment of Restless Leg Syndrome

    There is currently no cure for RLS. Treatment for restless leg syndrome focuses on helping your muscles relax and reducing your stress. Warm baths, massages, and gentle stretching exercises can help reduce the symptoms of RLS. In some people, low doses of ropinirole (Requip) or pramipexole (Mirapex) are very effective in reducing the symptoms of RLS. If your sleep is always severely disrupted by the symptoms of RLS, your doctor may prescribe drugs such as gabapentin, pregabalin, clonazepam, or Sinemet (used for Parkinson’s disease). However, these drugs may also cause daytime sleepiness. If your RLS is caused by iron deficiency, your doctor may also prescribe iron supplements to boost the iron levels in your body. Low doses of narcotics sometimes help relieve the symptoms of RLS. RLS is not life-threatening or dangerous, but if left untreated, the symptoms can affect the quality of your life.
    First – Dispell the Myths around Restless Leg Syndrome

    Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) affects a fair percentage of the world’s population, and yet is often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all. As with all things that are misunderstood, “old wives tales” soon crop up. Here are just a few of the myths that we would like to address immediately:

    • RLS MYTH 1

    Adults Only – RLS does not discriminate between children and adults. In Majority cases where RLS is found in children it has been noted that the children have had an iron deficiency, usually caused by lactic acid found in their milk. The lactic acid interferes with the body’s ability to absorb iron.

    • RLS MYTH 2

    Pharmaceutical Giants Conspiracy – Ask any person suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome whether or not it’s a conspiracy… The big drug companies have in fact highlighted the syndrome and created awareness. They do make their money though, they are not a charity.

    • RLS MYTH 3

    Symptoms are “capped” – It has been shown that as the age of the patient increases, the symptoms of RLS become progressively worse. The earlier one can start managing this disease the better.

    • RLS MYTH 4

    If your parents have it, you will have it – Genetics obviously play a big role in the development of diseases. Experts and researches of Restless Leg Syndrome have not been able to conclusively determine that it is hereditary.

    The bottom line is that information is power. Don’t take chances with your health. If you are not comfortable or you display some of the symptoms of RLS, go to your Doctor. Get a proper check up and take their advice. If required, get a second opinion. You are entitled to that, it is your body and you only have one. It always fascinates me that when folks are doing renovations to their house, they will get quotes from at least three different contractors, but when it comes to their own body, the first doctor they see is always good enough!

    • What is Restless Leg Syndrome
    • What are the causes of Restless Leg Syndrome
    • What are the signs and symptoms to look out for
    • How is Restless Leg Syndrome diagnosed
    • What are the different treatments available
    • Chances of getting better from Restless Leg Syndrome
    • Are there any complications involved
    • Possible solutions through lifestyle alterations
    • Alternate therapies and Natural Remedies
    • Necessary Precautions in case of Restless Leg Syndrome

    Restless Legs Syndrome is characterized by an urge to move the legs, usually accompanied by or caused by uncomfortable leg sensations. People with RLS often have difficulty describing their symptoms. Common terms used to describe the sensations are aching, twitching, tingling, burning, creeping, crawling, itching, flowing, pulling, searing and painful. Many people experience these sensations in their legs, but the arms or other body regions also can be affected. The symptoms of RLS are generally worse at night, can be brought on by rest and are relieved by standing up or walking around.

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