Moderate exercise such as brisk walking has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of RLS in many patients; however, this should be avoided to close to bedtime as this has the potential to increase the symptoms associated with RLS in some individuals. Stimulants such as beverages containing caffeine and alcohol should be avoided – particularly in the evening – as these can cause the symptoms of RLS to become worse.
Probably the simplest description of just how RLS affects a person is to say that it is a disorder in which you are quite simply unable to relax. When a person either sits or lays down at night their legs begin to feel as though pins and needles are being stuck into them or experience a creepy or crawling feeling and the need to continually move their legs, making it nearly impossible to sleep. This alone can explain why one of the principle effects of RLS is insomnia.
Restless leg syndrome, or RLS, actually causes the legs to feel the need to move. The discomfort is described as a pulling at the muscles or tense twitching sensation. RLS symptoms are strongest when the body is at rest and become worse at night, making sleeping difficult. It’s not known exactly why women experience RLS during pregnancy, and it is possible that there are multiple causes for onset of the disorder. It seems that amongst causes like folate deficiency, hormone changes and circulation issues, iron deficiency is the most common culprit for RLS in pregnant women.
The syndrome often becomes worse with age and is frequently diagnosed in middle age. RLS often can be a secondary symptom of conditions that cause iron deficiencies. This is perhaps why RLS presents itself during pregnancy when iron deficiencies can occur. End stage renal disease and neuropathies can also cause RLS symptoms. The severity of symptoms range from mild to uncomfortably irritating to painful. Management of RLS, depending on the severity, can involve simple lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise or in severe cases medications that can be prescribed by a family physician.
However, there are some practical non-medical treatments that can be tried to see if they will work for you. In many cases exercise will help to relieve or alleviate the pain so take some form of exercise before bedtime such as walking, stretching or yoga. However strenuous exercise should not be taken as this may exacerbate the problem. Soaking the legs in warm water will often help to relieve the pain so it is a good idea to have a warm bath then a milky drink before bedtime. An unusual remedy that will work for some people to rub a dry bar of soap over the entire legs and thigh area.
Treatment begins by dealing with any underlying medical condition that may be cause the symptoms. Many times the cause is unknown, but it can be associated with neurological disorders, diabetes, stress and pregnancy. The serious sleep loss can not only lead to drowsiness, but could lead to depression and accidental injuries as well. In recent years, researchers have discovered that iron, folate or vitamin E levels are often low in RLS sufferers and supplementation can frequently help.
Absolutely! First there are many factors that must be determined by your doctor. Specific treatments will be based on your overall health, your age, your sex, your medical history. How long you have had the disease. You tolerance for certain medicines.The first thing you must try to change is your sleep habits. Do not drink coffee or have any caffeine. Eliminate all triggers such as alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. Eat well balanced nutritional meals.