Restless legs syndrome rls treatment

Restless legs syndromeAn uncomfortable feeling in the legs and a strong urge to move the legs are typical symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS). The symptoms only occur at rest, especially in the evening and at night. They can lead to significant sleep disturbances.

At a glance

– People with restless legs syndrome (RLS) feel an uncomfortable tingling or pulling sensation in their legs and an agonizing urge to move their legs. – The insensations occur only during periods of rest and subside when the legs are moved. Symptoms are most severe in the evening and at night. – RLS can occur without an identifiable cause, but can also be associated with pregnancy, iron deficiency, or certain medical conditions. – There are some measures that can alleviate the symptoms. For example, some people are helped by regular exercise and abstaining from caffeine and alcohol.

What is restless legs syndrome?? "Restless Legs is English. Means "restless legs".

People with restless legs syndrome (RLS) feel an uncomfortable tingling or pulling sensation in their legs. They also have an urgent need to move their legs. The discomfort occurs only at rest and subsides, at least temporarily, when the legs are moved.

Also, RLS is usually accompanied by involuntary, jerky leg movements during sleep. A distinction is made between a primary. A secondary restless legs syndrome. In the primary form, the cause is unknown. It runs in families. The secondary form occurs in association with certain circumstances or conditions – for example, pregnancy or an iron deficiency.

Medical professionals also refer to RLS as Wittmaack-Ekbom syndrome.

What are the symptoms of restless legs syndrome??

People with restless legs syndrome (RLS) feel an uncomfortable sensation in their legs and a strong urge to move them. They describe the sensation as tingling, tightness, or pulling deep in the legs. There is usually no pain, nor is the skin sensitive to touch.

Symptoms occur only at rest. Walking or other leg movements improve it temporarily. Rubbing or massaging also relieves symptoms. Disabling sensations are most severe in the evening and at night, typically beginning shortly after bedtime.

In people with severe RLS, symptoms occur earlier in the day while sitting or lying down, for example, while reading a book or going to the movies. At night, the sensations can be so excruciating that you feel you have to get up to find relief.

Interesting to know: Periodic leg movements during sleep occur in 80 percent of people with RLS. These are jerky, last a few seconds, and repeat in a specific rhythm. Doctors also refer to this as "Periodic Limb Movements of Sleep" (PLMS).

What are the causes of restless legs syndrome??

The exact causes of restless legs syndrome (RLS) are unknown. However, there is a genetic predisposition to "restless legs." In 40 to 60 percent of people with RLS, the syndrome occurs more frequently in the family. Probably a genetic predisposition interacts with other factors and thus triggers the restless legs syndrome.

These factors include:

– iron deficiency – certain medications – pregnancy – thyroid metabolism disorder

What exactly happens in the body during restless legs syndrome has not yet been clarified. However, people with RLS have been found to have several changes in the nervous system that may be related to the syndrome. This includes, among other things, an iron deficiency. A disturbance in dopamine balance. Dopamine is a messenger substance of the nervous system. Known as the "happy hormone". Dopamine not only promotes feelings of happiness, but also regulates movements.

A circulatory disorder of the legs may also play a role in the development of restless legs syndrome.

What factors promote restless legs syndrome??

An important factor that increases the risk of restless legs syndrome (RLS) is an iron deficiency. Low blood iron levels may be an indication of RLS.

Some medications also promote "restless legs". These include:

– Antihistamines for allergy symptoms – Certain antidepressants, used for example in depression – Beta-blockers: drugs that lower blood prere – Dopamine antagonists: drugs that interfere with nerve metabolism

People with restless legs syndrome are best off talking to their doctor about this.

In addition, RLS may develop in association with certain diseases: 25 to 50 percent of people with end-stage chronic renal failure develop "restless legs". It also occurs in diseases of the nerves and spinal cord, multiple sclerosis and possibly Parkinson's disease.

In children, restless legs syndrome often occurs in conjunction with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression.

How common is restless legs syndrome??

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) occurs frequently. It occurs in about 5 to 10 percent of adults and 2 to 4 percent of children and adolescents. However, it is estimated that only 2 to 3 percent of adults have moderate to severe symptoms.

RLS can occur at any age. However, it is more common in older people aged 65 and over. It occurs about twice as often in women as in men. In children, there is no difference in frequency between boys and girls.

Even during pregnancy, some women experience "restless legs" – especially in the last trimester of pregnancy. After birth, the symptoms disappear again.

What is the course of restless legs syndrome??

Primary restless legs syndrome (RLS) – in this form, the cause is unknown – occurs before age 30. The first signs of RLS appear at the age of. Often there is a history of the condition in the family. It typically develops slowly. Occurs between the age of 40. and 60. It reaches its full expression at the age of six.

In about 70 percent of people with RLS, symptoms worsen with age. In severe forms, symptoms often occur in the arms, often years after the onset of leg symptoms.

One consequence of restless legs syndrome is difficulty falling asleep and waking up at night. The sleep disturbances can significantly impair the quality of life and lead to exhaustion during the day. People with "restless legs" are also prone to high blood prere and headaches.

How restless legs syndrome is diagnosed?

The doctor asks about complaints and previous illnesses and can determine restless legs syndrome (RLS) on the basis of the typical symptoms.

The physical examination is usually unremarkable. Additional tests are not needed for diagnosis. However, the doctor will take a blood sample to determine iron levels, as these are often low in people with RLS. If another condition causing the symptoms is suspected, further testing may be needed.

How to treat restless legs syndrome?

There are some measures to alleviate the symptoms of restless legs syndrome (RLS). In mild cases of restless legs, massaging or moving the legs is sufficient to relieve the symptoms. When symptoms are severe, some actions can help people with RLS need less medication.

Measures include regular exercise and mental activity during periods of rest, such as solving crossword puzzles. Abstaining from caffeine, nicotine and alcohol also has a positive effect.

It makes sense to check whether medications that you are already taking can aggravate the symptoms. If this is the case, one can discuss with the doctor whether there are suitable alternatives.

It is also important to get enough sleep, because lack of sleep can also promote the symptoms. Especially in children with restless legs syndrome, parents should ensure regular and adequate bedtimes.

If the iron level in the blood is low, the doctor prescribes iron tablets. Without consulting your doctor, you should not take iron to avoid an overdose.

For more severe symptoms where these measures are not enough, medication can help.

The following agents are primarily used to treat RLS with medication:

– Dopamine agonists such as pramipexole, ropinirole or rotigotine: They mimic the effect of dopamine in the brain. – Anticonvulsants such as gabapentin or pregabalin: These are anticonvulsant medications that are also used for epilepsy.

Important to know: These medications work well, but can have side effects. With dopamine agonists, symptoms may suddenly worsen even though the drug initially works well – an effect known in medicine as augmentation. That's why doctors make sure to keep the dose of these medications as low as possible.

Levodopa – an agent that increases the amount of the neurotransmitter dopamine – and, in severe cases, painkillers from the opioid class are also used.

Source link

– DynaMed [Internet], Ipswich (MA). Restless Legs Syndrome. EBSCO Information Services. Record No . T114812. 2018 (1995). Retrieved 02.07.2021. – Mansur A, Castillo PR, Cabrero FC, Bokhari SRA. Restless Legs Syndrome [Updated 2021 Apr 28]. In: StatPearls [Internet].Treasure Island (FL): StatPearlsPublishing; 2021 Jan -. Retrieved 02.07.2021. – UpToDate (Internet). Clinical features and diagnosis of restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder in adults . Wolters Kluwer 2021. Retrieved 02.07.2021. – UpToDate (Internet). Restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder in children . Wolters Kluwer 2020. Retrieved 02.07.2021. – UpToDate (Internet). Treatment of restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movement disorder in adults . Wolters Kluwer 2021.

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