Restless legs syndrome (RLS), which is also known as Willis-Ekbom disease (WED), is a nervous system disorder, which causes an unpleasant sensation, resulting in an uncontrollable desire to move your legs. While moving the legs eases the uncomfortable feeling, it only works temporarily; the sensation usually returns in minutes.
RLS typically occurs at night when you’re lying down or sitting, and it may affect the quality of your sleep. In severe instances, the condition may cause interference to your daily activities. RLS, which generally worsens with aging, can affect any person irrespective of age or gender.
Causes of RLS
Often, the condition has no apparent cause. However, research suggests that RLS could be as a result of dopamine imbalance. Dopamine is the brain chemical responsible for controlling muscle movement. In some cases, WED runs in families. This is especially true for patients under the age of 40.
RLS may also occur as a result of an underlying medical condition. This is called secondary RLS. Peripheral neuropathy and iron-deficiency anemia are the most common culprits. Other conditions which may cause RLS include:
- Kidney failure
- Varicose veins
- Parkinson’s disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Lyme disease
Pregnancy, smoking, and medications such as beta-blockers, antidepressants and antipsychotics can also cause RLS.
Typically, mild RLS, which is not linked to any underlying condition, does not need treatment, other than specific lifestyle changes, to resolve. These lifestyle modifications may include massages and warm baths to relax the muscles, and leg exercises such as walking to negate the symptoms
Another remedy for RLS is your sleep routine, which may include such things as sleeping in a quiet environment, avoiding stimulants such as caffeine before bedtime, and sticking to your sleep timetable.
The third option is to use try natural supplements such as Snooze from Aeryon Wellness. This all natural, one a day, vegan combination has been reported to assist those in dealing with RLS. As with anything it is advisable to seek your medical practitioner’s advice before embarking on a new supplement regime.