Restless legs syndrome (RLS), also referred to as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a disorder that causes a strong urge to move. RLS can cause sensations often described as itching, throbbing, creeping, or pulling. A serious concern for people suffering from RLS is that it interferes with sleep, causing daytime fatigue and sleepiness. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH), RLS can occur at any age, though usually more severe in middle age and older adults. Women are twice as likely as men to have RLS.
What are RLS symptoms?
• Irresistible urge to move the legs
• Worsening of symptoms in the evening
• Relief with movement
• Nighttime leg twitching
• Sensations are generally described as crawling, creeping, throbbing, itching, and aching.
What causes RLS?
RLS is a mystery. There could possibly be a genetic predisposition or environmental trigger. RLS varies from person to person and can be made worse by other health conditions. These may include low iron, diabetes, and medications.
Here are a few tips to help manage RLS:
• Regular exercises such as walking or biking
• Reduce stress
• Quit smoking
• Reduce caffeine and alcohol
• Strive for regular sleep schedules
Restless leg syndrome typically occurs at night and can lead to sleeplessness that effects the day hours with feelings of fatigue. Speak with a medical professional about the symptoms of RLS to discuss lifestyle changes or medical treatment to help reduce the symptoms of RLS.