Restless Leg Syndrome

What Is Restless Leg Syndrome and Why Does it Occur?

Restless Leg Syndrome Can Be Linked to Vein Disease

What Is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a condition characterized by an urge to move the legs. Those suffering typically experience the strongest symptoms in the evening and at night and often struggle to fall asleep because of the sensations. The severity can vary from patient to patient and even from day to day for a single patient.

Who Is at Risk of Developing Restless Leg Syndrome?

Restless leg syndrome effects women more often than men and can occur at any age, although the majority of sufferers are middle-aged or older. Approximately 10 percent of the United States population suffers from the disorder. RLS is also common among pregnant women during their third trimester, but typically subsides after delivery.

What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome?

While the cause of RLS is often unknown, there are several factors that can cause RLS or worsen symptoms including:

  • Vein disease such as varicose veins, spider veins, or venous insufficiency
  • Other chronic diseases like kidney failure, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, iron deficiency, and peripheral neuropathy
  • Alcohol use
  • Pregnancy, especially during the third trimester
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Medications including some antidepressants, allergy medications, antipsychotic medications, and antinausea medications

What Are the Treatment Options for RLS?

The treatment options for RLS often depend on the cause of the symptoms and in many cases a cause is not identified. There are some steps that can be taken at home to alleviate symptoms before medical treatment is sought if there is no underlying disease. Patients can increase physical activity during the day, limit or eliminate alcohol intake, and keep a structured sleep schedule.

When these measures don’t work or when there is an underlying disease, medical treatment should be sought. When varicose veins are present, evaluation and treatment are imperative.

To learn more about the link between vein disease and restless legs syndrome, contact the Mclean Vein and Wellness Center today to schedule a consultation appointment.