Restless Leg Syndrome Symptoms

Restless leg syndrome symptoms

Restless leg syndrome symptoms (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease (WED) is a treatable medical condition which causes an uncontrollable impulse to move in the legs (and sometimes the arms). People with RLS experience a irritating tugging or pulling sensation in their legs. This sensation is typically much worse in the evening or throughout the night while you are at rest whether you are sitting or lying down. Moving your legs temporarily alleviates the unpleasant sensation.

Willis-Ekbom disease (WED), can originate at an early age but is more common in people 50 years or older. WED generally gets worse as you age. It may often disrupt sleep, which in turn interferes with your daily activities.

Basic lifestyle changes along with some simple self-care might be all that is needed to eliminate the symptoms. There are also medications available to help people suffering with restless legs syndrome.

Why does restless leg syndrome occur?

The majority of the time, there is no clear reason why someone would experience restless legs. Idiopathic or primary restless legs syndrome is what is referred to as this, and it can run in families. Some neurologists (doctors who specialize in treating neurological disorders) think the symptoms of restless legs syndrome may be related to how the body processes the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Dopamine plays a role in muscle control and may be to blame for the uncontrollable leg movements linked to restless legs syndrome.

Sometimes the root of restless leg syndrome can be a hidden health problem like kidney failure, anaemia, or even iron deficiency. A restless leg syndrome caused by such cases is known as secondary RLS.

Furthermore, pregnancy is also one reason that may lead to this problem. Most pregnant women experience symptoms of RLS in their third month of pregnancy. But it doesn’t happen to everyone and it’s not found out why it happens, maybe the pressure on legs due to increased weight causes RLS in pregnant women.

However, it’s also found that when a women gives birth the symptoms of restlessness leg syndrome gradually decrease and completely disappear after sometime.

What are the symptoms of RLS/WED?

The primary symptom is an overwhelming urge to move one’s legs (and sometimes arms). Some common additional characteristics of RLS/WED are:

  • Growing restless after sitting. The urge to moves one’s legs typically starts after one has been sitting or lying down (such as in an airplane, movie theater or a car) for an extended period of time.
  • Symptoms improve with movement. The tugging and pulling sensations associated with RLS/WED improve after moving. Standing, walking, stretching, pacing, jiggling or massaging your legs can provide relief.
  • Symptoms get worse in the evening. Symptoms present themselves almost exclusively or get worse at night.
  • Leg twitching at night. RLS/WED seems to be closely associated with a much more common medical condition. Periodic limb movement during sleep is when your legs kick and twitch while your in bed, possibly all through the night.

Sufferers usually report that their restless leg syndrome symptoms are worse at night. They are characterized as atypical, disturbing pulling or tugging felt deep inside the legs or feet (and sometimes arms). It is typical that the sensation manifests on both sides of the body (bilateral). Although less common, the condition can also affect the arms.

These sensations, which are generally felt deep inside the leg not on the surface, have been described as:

  • Tugging
  • Creeping
  • Crawling
  • Throbbing
  • Aching
  • Pulling
  • Electric
  • Itching
  • Pulsing

Sometimes restless leg syndrome symptoms sufferers have a hard time describing the sensations. It is rare that an affected person describes the condition as numbness or a muscle cramp. However, the majority do consistently report an overpowering yearning to move their legs.

It is common for restless leg syndrome symptoms to come and go. They commonly fluctuate in severity. Symptoms will even sometimes disappear for periods of time, only to return at a later time.

Home Remedies For Restlessness Legs Syndrome

1. Avoid Alcohol

IRS true that alcohol helps you sleep faster so you must be wondering why is it in the list, right?

Its because it can make you fall asleep but it will give you a restless sleep, you will wake up again and again and you will not be able to sleep properly which will make your restlessness legs syndrome even worse.

2. Make a Schedule For Sleeping

Making a sleep schedule will help you body to sleep easily, so you should add these things in your schedule:

• Waking up at the same time everyday

• Eating at least two hours before sleeping

• Keeping devices like phones, laptops and tablets away from you at least 30 minutes before sleeping

• Going to bed at the same time daily

• Keeping your bed and bedroom cool, dark and quiet.

3. Change Temperature For Your Feet

Taking a warm or cold bath before sleeping can relax you and provide you a much better sleep!

If you don’t want to take bath then you can use a wet or warm cloth to compress your legs, it will make you feel better as well.

Change in temperature will distract your muscle which will relax you so make sure to do it daily before sleeping!

4. Stop Caffeine Intake

Caffeine will prevent you from sleeping and if you take it before going to bed then you are making your RLS worse.

Its okay to take caffeine after waking up, it will keep you active but if you take it at evening or at afternoon then you should stop it.

Even if you take it in afternoon its still going to make it difficult for you to fall asleep which will worse your RLS.

Restless sleep will ruin your morning and you will be tired all day so the best thing you can do here is avoid caffeine before sleeping!

What Should RLS Patients Eat?

Actually, there’s no specific diet for people suffering from restlessness leg syndrome, but still it’s a good idea to change your diet and try out something that helps you decrease it’s symptoms. A healthy diet will also make your immune system strong, which means if an underlying problem is causing you RLS then it will be cured on it’s own.

However, until then try these iron rich foods, since iron deficiency can be the reason you are suffering from restlessness leg syndrome.

• Beans

• Meat and pork

• Red meat

• Sea food and fishes

• Poultry

• Leafy green veggies

• Broccoli

• Tomatoes

• Pepper

• Citrus fruits

When should I visit my doctor?

Make an appointment to visit a vein center if you notice the sensation of tugging or pulling deep in your legs. A doppler ultrasound noninvasive, painless exam can give a lot of informeation. Help is available. Many RLS/WED sufferers put off seeking help because they are afraid that there is nothing that can be done or that the doctor won’t believe them. Don’t let fear stop you from living your life to its fullest. RLS/WED can lead to sleepless nights and lethargic days. If RLS/WED is lessening you quality of life, don’t wait. Talk to your doctor today. RLS/WED is a serious medical condition that your doctor can treat.

How does restlessness syndrome affect mental health and overall well-being?

Restlessness syndrome can significantly impact mental health and overall well-being due to its disruptive effects on sleep and daily functioning. Here are ways in which the syndrome may affect individuals:

  1. Sleep Disruption: Restlessness syndrome often leads to frequent and intense movements during sleep, causing disruptions in the sleep cycle. This can result in poor sleep quality and contribute to daytime fatigue.
  2. Daytime Fatigue and Sleepiness: Insufficient and disrupted sleep can lead to excessive daytime fatigue, sleepiness, and difficulties concentrating, affecting cognitive function and overall alertness.
  3. Irritability and Mood Changes: Sleep disturbances associated with restlessness syndrome may contribute to irritability, mood swings, and increased stress levels. Persistent sleep disruption can exacerbate mood disorders.
  4. Impaired Memory and Cognitive Function: Chronic sleep disturbances can impair memory consolidation and cognitive function, impacting learning, problem-solving, and decision-making abilities.

Is restlessness syndrome more prevalent in certain age groups or demographics?

Restlessness syndrome, also known as Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLMD), can affect individuals of various age groups, but its prevalence may vary. Certain factors, such as age and underlying health conditions, can influence the likelihood of experiencing this disorder.

  1. Adults: PLMD is more commonly diagnosed in adults, particularly in middle-aged and older individuals. The prevalence tends to increase with age.
  2. Elderly Population: The incidence of PLMD appears to be higher in the elderly population. Aging may be associated with changes in sleep patterns and an increased likelihood of experiencing periodic limb movements during sleep.
  3. Gender Differences: PLMD can affect both men and women, but some studies suggest a slightly higher prevalence in men. However, the gender difference is not as pronounced as in Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), a related condition.
  4. Co-occurrence with Other Conditions: PLMD may occur in association with other sleep disorders, such as insomnia or sleep apnea. It can also be linked to certain medical conditions or neurological disorders.