Everything You Should Know About Restless Legs Syndrome


15% of the American population is struggling with restless legs syndromes. In addition to causing uncomfortable leg movements, this disorder can potentially harm your heart. Luckily, Vein & Vascular Center offers effective Sebring restless legs syndrome treatments that improve your symptoms and quality of life.

An overview of restless legs syndrome

Restless legs syndrome, also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a nervous system disorder that results in an overwhelming urge to move your legs constantly. The urge often becomes overpowering at night or late in the day when you are lying down or sitting. Moving the legs eases the uncomfortable urge temporarily. This disorder can strike at any age, but as you get older, the symptoms worsen.

If left untreated, RLS symptoms may deteriorate, affecting your ability to concentrate at school or work. 10% of the US population has RLS, and women and middle-aged people have a higher risk of developing severe symptoms. In some cases, diagnosing RLS can be tricky, mainly when the symptoms rarely occur or are mild. But with the skilled team at Vein & Cardiovascular Center, you can rest assured of an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Factors contributing to the occurrence of restless legs syndrome

Medical research shows that restless legs syndrome is a genetic disorder. A substantial 92% of patients diagnosed with RLS have a family history of the illness, and they tend to show signs before age 45. In addition to genetics, medical conditions can result in restless legs syndrome. They include kidney disease, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism, uremia, and peripheral neuropathy. Medications such as anti-nausea medications, antidepressants, and allergy drugs can also cause RLS. Alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine may worsen the symptoms.

Diagnostic techniques for restless legs syndrome

Researchers are yet to develop a standard test for restless legs syndrome. The Vein & Cardiovascular Center specialists base their diagnosis on your symptoms. They review your medical history, perform a neurological and physical exam and conduct blood tests to rule out other medical problems. They may also recommend an overnight sleep study to examine you for sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea. If you struggle with insomnia, you may need to mention it during your consultation.

How your doctor can treat restless legs syndrome

Your treatment plant relies on the intensity of your symptoms. You should seek immediate treatment if RLS affects the quality of your life or results in intense daytime drowsiness. Your provider may recommend a specific treatment if the disorder is due to an existing medical condition.

Your non-drug treatment plan may involve regular exercise, avoiding caffeinated beverages, soaking in a warm bathtub, and developing good sleep habits. If your symptoms are unbearable, your provider may prescribe specific anti-seizure medications to slow the pain signals from your legs, dopamine agonists to regulate your urge to move, and opioids to relieve your symptoms. Your doctor involves you every step of the way until you determine what works for you.

Explore more about restless legs syndrome by calling Vein & Cardiovascular Center or booking an appointment online.

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