Restless Leg Syndrome

What is Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)?

Restless Leg SyndromeRLS is described as an irresistible urge to move the legs or arms to relieve an uncomfortable sensation.  The sensations you may feel during RLS may include: itching, throbbing, cramping, painful, “antsy,” and “creepy crawly.”  These sensations usually become worse as you start to relax and start to fade away when you begin to move around. 

The exact cause of RLS is unknown, it has been associated with certain conditions such as: iron deficiency, varicose veins, sleep apnea, uremia, diabetes, thyroid disease, Parkinson’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.

What is the Treatment for RLS?

Currently there is no cure for RLS; however there have been strategies that have been found to relieve your symptoms.

  • Certain medications have been found to be an effective tool in combating the sensations in the arms and legs. 
  • Don’t fight the urge to get up and move around.  Find an activity to keep your mind and body busy during these sensations.
  • Discuss possibly changing habits with the Sleep Medicine Physician:
    • Eliminating alcohol or caffeine from your diet.
    • Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet.
    • Identifying what makes your RLS worse: keep a diary of the days you have these sensations to see if there is a pattern.
    • Implement good sleeping habits.

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