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Restless legs syndrome

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Restless legs syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a unpleasant feeling in the leg which causes a strong urge to move one’s legs due disorder of the part of the nervous system. It is also considered as sleep disorder as it usually interferes with sleep. As it occurs mainly in the night sleep consequences related restless legs syndrome are day time sleepiness, low energy, irritability, and depressed mood.

Causes

  • RLS is often due to iron deficiency
  • And some other conditions like
    • varicose vein or venous reflux, folate deficiency, magnesium deficiency, fibromyalgia, sleep apnea, uremia, diabetes, thyroid disease, peripheral neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, POTS,
  • Autoimmune diseases such as Sjögren’s syndrome, celiac disease, and rheumatoid arthritis are also responsible for RLS
  • RLS is more worsen in pregnancy.

Signs and symptoms

  • An urge to move, usually due to uncomfortable sensations that occur primarily in the legs, but occasionally in the arms or elsewhere.
  • an uncomfortable, “itchy,” “pins and needles,” or “creepy crawly” feeling in the legs.

Risk factors 

  • low iron levels,
  • kidney failure,
  • Parkinson’s disease,
  • Diabetes mellitus ,
  • rheumatoid arthritis,
  • pregnancy.

Diagnosis

  • There is no particular medical diagnosis for RLS, but it only diagnosed only based on the symptoms of the patient and medical history. Some blood tests and other exams are done to rule out other conditions.

Treatment

  • Treatment of RLS involves identifying the underlying cause of the symptoms and treatment is done according to reduce the symptoms.
  • Pharmacologic treatment involves dopamine agonists or gabapentin enacarbil as first line drugs for daily restless legs syndrome, and opioids for treatment of resistant cases.

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