Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a condition in which sufferers feel a creepy, crawling, jittery, or jumping sensation in the legs. This sensation is often accompanied by an urge to move the legs. Sometimes it's described as an aching, tingling sensation deep within the legs. Up to 10% of the American population is affected by mild, moderate, or severe RLS. It's slightly more common in women. The severity of the condition increases with age.
Symptoms usually occur during periods of inactivity, commonly present in the evening or at night. RLS can affect sleep patterns since the symptoms may keep sufferers awake during the night. RLS tends to run in families and is more common in the elderly. Overuse of caffeine or alcohol may make symptoms worse. Iron deficiency, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, peripheral neuropathy, and kidney disease can contribute to RLS. Diagnosis for RLS is done by a through medical and family history intake, as well as lab screening for vitamin and mineral deficiencies, especially Vitamin B12 and Iron.
About 80% of RLS patients also suffer from Periodic Limb Movement Syndrome or PLMS, which is a condition characterized by sudden leg jerking (usually occurring repeatedly every 10-40 seconds) during sleep. These leg movements may awaken the patient and cause disturbed sleep.
Treating RLS Symptoms
Medications may be prescribed by your healthcare provider. Certain lifestyle adjustments may be beneficial in treating your symptoms:
Be advised that some medications, including over the counter or herbal medications, may worsen your RLS. Talk to your doctor if you're concerned about any of the medications you're taking.
For immediate relief from RLS symptoms, try different techniques to reduce your discomfort:
RLS is a condition in which sufferers feel a creepy, crawling, or jumping sensation in the legs. This sensation is often accompanied by an urge to move the legs.
Restless Legs Syndrome is slightly more common in women. The severity of the condition increases with age.