Dealing with the Jitters of Restless Leg Syndrome

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Restless leg syndrome or RLS is a condition wherein the legs feel very uncomfortable, especially when lying or sitting down, more so at night. As the name suggests, one may actually appear jittery and listless when there is an onset of the condition. To alleviate the discomfort, one may have the urge to get up and move around after which the unpleasant feeling or the restlessness goes away.

Photo of restless legs
Restless Legs Syndrome affects approximately 10% of adults in the U.S.

At times, such a means to relieve restless leg syndrome may be effective, or otherwise. Both men and women can suffer from restless leg syndrome. In some cases, the first onslaught of the condition manifests while one is young, or when an individual grows older. One of the major consequences of restless leg syndrome is daytime sleepiness as the condition can evidently disrupt one’s regular sleeping pattern.

Several factors are thought of to be behind restless syndrome although a real cause cannot be established. Researches have been conducted pertaining to restless leg syndrome and presuppositions were obtained that the major precursor to the syndrome could be that of an imbalance of a chemical, dopamine, in the brain.

Dopamine is known to be the neurotransmitter which sends messages for muscle movement control. Studies have indicated that restless leg syndrome runs in families as well, and that the condition is aggravated by stress. Findings were obtained as well citing that hormonal alterations can cause an exacerbation of restless leg syndrome.

In some cases, women during pregnancy experience restless leg syndrome after which the condition disappears after delivery of their baby. Restless leg syndrome is generally not associated with any serious medical condition, but it can accompany other conditions, one of which is peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is one of the complications of diseases such as diabetes and alcoholism and it causes damage in the nerves of the hands and the feet.

Iron deficiency is also thought of as one of the precursors or aggravators of restless leg syndrome. To some degree, researchers assume that kidney failure can bring about an onset of RLS as well. When kidney failure occurs, there is apparently a malfunction of the kidney leading to a diminished iron store in the blood by which restless leg syndrome can be attributed to.

Other than such conditions which instigate alterations in body chemistry, other known causes of the syndrome are prolonged sitting and muscle overexertion. Decreased potassium levels in the body and dehydration can also lead to restless leg syndrome. The same can be said with intake of medications such as diuretics, niacin and albuterol.

Parkinson’s disease which is a neuromuscular disorder can cause bouts of restless leg syndrome. Alcohol use instigates the onset of the syndrome as well as some anti-psychotic medications and calcium channel blockers. For further information on RLS, one can always visit credible sites online so as to find means in coping with the discomfort and possible distress of the condition.

Awareness can go a long way in alleviating and combating restless leg syndrome sparing one from the annoying agitation of the condition.

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