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An Extensive Guide to Restless Leg Syndrome

An Extensive Guide to Restless Leg Syndrome

People with restless leg syndrome have uncomfortable sensations in their legs, including crawling, itching, pulling, throbbing, aching or pins and needles. The symptoms usually appear on both sides of the body. However, it can also fall on only one side and then move to the other. Rather than performing surgery or other harmful treatments, there are various natural cures for restless leg syndromethat provide instant relief.

People with a higher chance of restless leg syndrome

RLS symptoms may vary in severity and frequency, from day to day and person to person.

1. It is estimated that up to 8% of the US population have restless leg syndrome. RLS occurs in men and women, although women have more chance of getting it than men.

2. It can begin at any age. Most people who are critically affected are middle-aged or older. The symptoms become more frequent and last longer with age.

3. People who have RLS and an associated medical condition tend to develop more severe symptoms regularly.

4. People who have RLS that is not related to any other condition show very slow progression of the disorder.

5. People who experience RLS symptoms regularly that result in burdensome interruption of sleep and impairment of daytime function are at higher risk.

Nevertheless, most cases of restless leg syndrome are treated with non-drug therapies.

Restless leg syndrome triggers

Sitting and resting are some of the common triggers of restless leg syndrome. Moreover, some substances can make the symptoms worse, such as:

  • Nicotine.
  • Caffeine.
  • Alcohol.
  • Medications (including certain drugs used to treat colds, nausea, allergies and mental health conditions).

Causes of restless leg syndrome

The top researchers suspect the condition as the cause of an imbalance of the brain chemical dopamine that sends messages to control muscle movement. Here are some of the common causes of restless leg syndrome.

1. Heredity

The researchers have identified special genes relate to RLS, and they can be run in families. In these cases, the symptoms usually occur before the age of 40. However, performing natural cures for restless leg syndrome at the beginning of symptoms can reduce the risk of RLS.

2. Pregnancy

Pregnancy or hormonal changes worsen the signs and symptoms of restless leg syndrome. Some women get RLS for the first time during pregnancy in their last trimester. However, the symptoms can disappear within four weeks of giving birth.

3. Nerve diseases

The nerve cells in the legs can have heightened excitability in patients with restless legs. If you are suffering from nerve diseases, it can cause your nerve cells to fire out an abnormally high number of signals to each other.

4. Long term health conditions

There is a higher risk of RLS to people suffering from chronic kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia, underactive thyroid gland, or any other long-term health condition.

Symptoms of restless leg syndrome

RLS symptoms vary from minor to intolerable. They might come and go, and the intensity of the symptoms can vary between episodes. The symptoms generally worsen in the evening and at night when lying down. However, it can go away in the early morning.

1. Leg discomfort

People suffering from restless leg syndrome experience an uncomfortable itching, tugging, throbbing and burning sensation. It usually occurs at bedtime, or other times of limb inactivity.

2. Sleep disruption

People find it hard to sleep as they get an instant urge to move their limbs to relieve the discomfort. As a result, staying asleep can also become difficult for them.

3. Behavior issues

Due to sleep disruption, symptoms may result in daytime behavior changes, such as moodiness, frustration, difficulty in concentration and work performance.

Natural cures for restless leg syndrome

There is no permanent cure for restless leg syndrome although treatments can help control it so that you can get a good night’s sleep. Here are some of the proven natural cures for restless leg syndrome.

1. Exercise

As physical inactivity often triggers RLS symptoms, exercise is helpful to reduce the symptoms. However, you need to avoid heavy exercise within a few hours of bedtime.

2. Sleep hygiene

Maintain a bedroom environment and a daily routine that supports high quality sleep. Avoid reading and watching television while lying in bed.

3. Warm and cold compress

Massage, hot baths, heating pads and cold compressions provide temporary relief to leg discomfort.

4. Weighted blankets

A weighted blanket offers constant counter-stimulation to reduce the symptoms of restless leg syndrome.

Sleep hygiene for restless legs syndrome

1. Sleep in a calm and quiet bedroom.

2. Going to bed at the same time every night.

3. Getting up at the same time every morning.

4. Avoid working late in the evening.

5. Decrease the amount of light you are exposed to for an hour before bed.

6. Avoid the consumption of alcohol and tobacco.

7. Reduce stimulating drinks such as sugar and caffeine.

How long will restless legs syndrome last?

In most cases, the symptoms of primary or idiopathic RLS typically worsen over time. However, in some people, it can take weeks or months to reduce the symptoms of restless leg syndrome when you follow natural cures for restless leg syndrome. If the RLS steams from a condition, pregnancy, or illness, it may go away as soon as the trigger has gone.

The bottom line

Restless leg syndrome can lead to significant physical and emotional disability. Therefore, it’s better to talk with a top therapist or other people who know what you’re going through. Performing natural cures for restless leg syndrome regularly can also help get effective results.

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