Restless leg syndrome

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Restless leg syndrome is a condition with unpleasant sensations of tingling, crawling and prickling felt in the lower leg and can be relieved when walking and strolling. This syndrome is considered as a common sleep disorder because it usually happens during night time and can cause disruption while sleeping. Elderly people particularly women are highly susceptible to this condition but it can also happen at any age.

Causes of restless leg syndrome

There are various causes of restless leg syndrome. If an individual is suspected with restless leg syndrome, a doctor should be consulted for proper assessment of the condition and determine the exact cause.

  • Restless leg syndrome can be hereditary.
  • Diabetes can cause peripheral neuropathy which is a condition where the nerves of the limbs are injured due to the disease.
  • People suffering from kidney failure are susceptible to this condition and can be caused by anemia.
  • Iron deficiency can cause symptoms of restless leg syndrome such as inadequate intake of food, loss of blood through the orifices or defective absorption.
  • Symptoms of restless leg syndrome become worse during pregnancy due to hormonal changes.
  • Using certain medications such as calcium channel blockers for hypertension and the use of caffeine and narcoleptics can cause restless leg syndrome.
Restless leg syndrome
The sensations are minimized when moving the leg or walking around as well as stretching the legs.

Several symptoms of restless leg syndrome

  • Sensations that can be felt such as unbearable itching, tingling, crawling, electric-like aches and gnawing. These sensations vary from person to person and these can be felt usually when lying down or sitting for long periods of time.
  • The sensations are minimized when moving the leg or walking around as well as stretching the legs.
  • The tingling sensations can be felt after sunset or in the evening. Take note that there are no sensations during daytime.
  • The sensations that are felt usually last for 1 hour and the severity of the sensation tend to vary every day.
  • There is drowsiness during daytime caused disrupted sleep at night.
  • The individual can oftentimes shake the legs while sitting in order to minimize or prevent the sensations.
  • Being stressed out and emotionally upset makes the symptoms worse.

Treatment and home remedies of restless leg syndrome

  • Alternate apply hot and cold compress over the affected area.
  • Encourage the individual to take warm water baths before going to bed. Keep the leg in warm water for a few minutes and then try stretching the legs before going to sleep at night.
  • Massage using coconut or olive oil.
  • Take the herb valerian either in capsule form or drink the tea. This herb helps in relieving the symptoms of restless leg syndrome as well as minimizing daytime sleepiness. Pregnant and children should avoid consuming this herb.
  • Encourage the individual to engage in moderate exercises on a daily basis.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol, caffeine and tobacco.

If the symptoms still persists even with these treatments, it is time to seek medical help right away.

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