Restless legs syndrome (RLS) or Willis-Ekbom disease (WED) is a condition causing an uncontrollable, unpleasant sensation and a strong urge to move the legs. It usually begins in lower legs, but there is pain throughout the legs. Both sides of the body get affected by it.

Normally, RLS occurs during evening or night hours when one is sitting or lying down. It causes difficulty in sleeping. The symptoms of this syndrome may also be felt in arms, torso, face and genital region though rarely.

Leg movements like walking or kicking temporarily ease the unpleasant feeling. Person of any age may get affected with RLS, but it is most frequent and severe in older people and affects the daily routine.

Following May Be The Underlying Conditions For RLS:

  • Kidney disorder and hemodialysis
  • Consumption of alcohol, caffeine and nicotine
  • Iron deficiency
  • Neuropathy
  • Pregnancy

Generally, sensations like creeping, crawling, throbbing, pulling, itching, aching and electric sensation occur within the limbs but not on the skin. Affected people complaint about their consistent desire of leg movement but not muscle cramps or numbness.

Sensation mostly arises when a person has been sitting or lying down for a long time. Another more common condition referred to as periodic limb movement of sleep may also be associated with RLS.

Diagnosis And Treatment

The doctor may conduct a complete physical and neurological examination to diagnose RLS and may also refer to a sleep therapist.

Often, RLS has been associated with abnormalities in neurotransmitter “dopamine”. Therefore, to treat RLS, a combination of medicine promoting better sleep and medication that helps to correct dopamine abnormality is prescribed by healthcare providers.

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