It is a condition affecting millions of people around the world, causing an almost uncontrollable desire to move one’s legs, usually at night-time. The condition of the nervous system is sometimes referred to as Willis-Ekbom disease, but it is more commonly known as Restless legs syndrome.
Those living with the ailment experience a disagreeable creeping or crawling feeling in their thighs, calves and feet, as well as the arms sometimes. It can be felt during the day, but it is especially intense in the evening and at night-time.
The condition is linked to the spontaneous, involuntary jolting of the arms and legs, referred to as PLMS or periodic limb movements in sleep. Many show the signs of restless legs syndrome at regular intervals, every now and again, while others feel the symptoms daily, ranging from the minor to the severe.
However, when it comes to finding the cause of restless legs syndrome, it may not be obviously apparent. In most cases, the condition referred to as primary or idiopathic restless legs syndrome can be hereditary.
Many specialists in the field of neurology attribute the symptoms to how the body manages the chemical called dopamine, which controls the movement of muscles and may bring on involuntary leg movements synonymous with the condition.
Some instances referred to as secondary restless legs syndrome may be linked to an ongoing, underlying health issue like kidney failure or iron deficiency anaemia. There is also often a coalition between restless legs syndrome and pregnancy, where around 20% of pregnant women will exhibit the signs in the final three months of their term, although the symptoms normally recede when the baby arrives. Women, in general, are invariably more prone to restless leg syndrome than men. Most cases affect people in middle-age, but it can affect any age group.
If your case of restless leg syndrome is linked to an underlying health illness, you could eradicate the symptoms by treating the condition. However, if your symptoms are not connected to any underlying problem then, you could alleviate the signs of restless leg syndrome by changing your lifestyle somewhat. Ranging from improving your sleep habits to giving up smoking and getting more exercise.
However, if your symptoms are more intense, they may require treatment, to control your dopamine and iron levels, to counteract the effects of iron deficiency anaemia. Be assured restless legs syndrome is not a life-threatening condition. However, in certain cases, it can cause great pain and discomfort in a person’s everyday life, leading to physical or psychological issues such as restlessness, insomnia, depression and anxiety.
These are just a few of the hardships people living with restless leg syndrome may face on a day to day basis. However, there are steps you can take to try and countermand the symptoms, from making lifestyle changes to seeing a doctor and receiving treatment. It may feel as if you may be afflicted with the condition forever sometimes, but It is possible to defeat restless leg syndrome. So, do not give up hope.