Do you keep moving your legs? You may have Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a disorder of the part of the nervous system that causes an urge to move the legs and is commonly seen in females than in males. RLS can be treated with home remedies, lifestyle changes, or medication, say experts

Do you keep moving your legs? You may have Restless Legs Syndrome

RLS is a condition marked by unpleasant leg sensations while resting. Arti Shroff, a Clinical Psychologist in Mumbai said “Restless leg syndrome belongs to the class of neuro – motor and sleep – wake disorders. It is characterized by a constant and persistent urge to move the legs by shaking, stomping and rubbing the legs in a bid to provide relief from the physical sensations such as twitching and tingling. It often disrupts the sleep of a person leading to constant sleep disturbances.”

Shroff further explains the causes and treatments:

Causes:

  • One of the causes aside from a genetic predisposition is abnormal levels of the neurotransmitter glutamate which is implicated in arousing the brain and central nervous system.
  • Commonly seen in females than in males. It is more likely to afflict females if they have a family history of RLS.
  • It frequently occurs during night time especially if the person’s legs have been still for a long period of time. Though it is quite common, it often goes undiagnosed.

Treatment: Psychiatric consultation is advised for individuals suffering from RLS .

Dr Gautam Bhansali, consultant physician, Bombay hospital said, “RLS also causes due to lack of sleep or due excessive use of alcohol. It is commonly seen in diabetic or parkinson’s patients. People often feel irritated, anxious and weak. The condition can be tackled making lifestyle alteration like exercise, by massaging legs, performing leg stretches, applying hot pads on legs and limiting alcohol and caffeine and taking medications.”

Dr Rajesh Kumar, Senior consultant internal medicine, Paras hospitals Gurgaon said, “One of the most important causes of RLS is iron deficiency. In some cases, deficiencies of certain vitamins and minerals, such as iron, folic acid, magnesium, and vitamin B may cause RLS. Vitamin supplements and nerve agents are given to treat it.