Restless Leg Syndrome [RLS]: is a disorder of the part of the nervous system that causes an urge to move the legs. Because it usually interferes with sleep it is also considered a sleep disorder.
Symptoms: uncomfortable sensation in legs [and sometimes other parts of the body] that causes the person to have to move. Sometimes it’s an itchy feeling or creepy crawly feeling and even pins and needles. It never fails symptoms are worse at times you are trying to rest. The severity mild to intolerable. It can come and go, and for some, wreak havoc in their lives as it disrupts sleep.
Causes: no one really knows, but they suspect genes may play a part. [Kind of wanted to laugh at this because I can certainly see it. My youngest has it too. And my oldest. One slightly worse than the other.] Nearly half of people with RLS also have family with RLS.
Some Things Make It Worse.
Chronic Disease: iron deficiency, Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure, diabetes and peripheral neuropathy can include symptoms of RLS.
Medicine: anti-nausea drugs, anti-psychotic drugs, anti-depressants, cold and allergy and antihistamines can aggravate symptoms.
Pregnancy: Some women experience it during their pregnancy, especially during the last trimester. They go away a couple months after delivery.
Sleep deprivation and alcohol can trigger symptoms.
There is no test for RLS. Detailed medical history and blood test to rule out other conditions. So basically family history and questions regarding symptoms.
Drugs That Treat RLS:
Dopaminergic: Mirapex, Neupro and Requip
Narcotic pain relievers
Anti-convulsant: Tegretol, Lyrica and Neurontin.
A Few Fun Facts On RLS [With some humored commentary from author]
• Slightly more women than men get it. [Because we don’t have enough fun things like periods and childbirth, let’s throw in RLS to make it even more interesting.]
• Most with severe RLS are middle-age or older. [https://www.webmd.com/brain/restless-legs-syndrome/restless-legs-syndrome-10-questions#1] [Again, what is the deal? Middle age comes with menopause, which comes with hot flashes, but you want to add RLS to the mix? That is not nice.]
• Children and adolescents do get RLS. 1.5 million children and adolescents said to have it. [This seems like cruel and unusual punishment for a child. I know, I was one of the children. Especially back then when no one understood. And even today, the medical community is torn whether or not children suffer from this condition.]
• Folate and Magnesium supplements can help relieve RLS symptoms.
• RLS is real. The drug companies did not create it. They just began running ads in 2005/2006. [This was hilarious to me. It’s like saying Erectile Dysfunction isn’t real, it’s just the drug companies wanting money. You think anyone could say that about ED? No. But RLS..sure.][http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20551484,00.html#drug-companies-didn-t-create-rls-0]
• Your chance of developing RLS or it getting worse increases with age. Many suffer daily symptoms and significant sleep interruptions after age 50. [Again, another milestone, another thing to look forward too. Getting old sucks.
• Exercise can curb symptoms or keep them under control. Gentle stretching and massage or yoga before bed can help. [See next paragraph on treadmill. Coming full circle I guess.] [https://blog.paleohacks.com/restless-legs-syndrome/]
What It’s Really Like
Ever been on a treadmill? Ever been on a treadmill going full speed until your legs feel like rubber and you feel like you might crumple into a heap after you are done? Seriously, like the moment the treadmill stops you fill like your legs are gonna give way? Now, imagine involuntarily running that treadmill non-stop, for days. Not all the time, but when you are ready to go to sleep, that seems like when it is the readiest to rev up. Imagine, sheer exhaustion, wanting to fall asleep but your body refuses to let you. Instead you twitch and shake and sometimes have to get up and sometimes are jerking around so brutally, you hurt yourself. THAT, my friends, is what it is like having RLS. Continue that with the following morning, when you are exhausted, when your significant other is tired too because you kept waking them up when they were trying to sleep too and a less than happy boss, because you can’t stay awake during the morning meeting, and you can see why this might not be something to fun to suffer from. It is important to understand that this is not some funny chronic issue, but it is quite serious as sleep deprivation can have nasty side effects and when coupled with other chronic issues, like Rheumatoid Arthritis, it can be down right painful.<br><br>
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