Restless legs syndrome appointments

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About Restless legs syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS), also known as Willis-Ekbom disease, is a sleep disorder that causes an intense and uncontrollable urge to move your legs, often accompanied by other sensations of crawling, pulling, throbbing, and aching. Restless legs syndrome usually occurs when you’re lying in bed or sitting for long periods of time. The symptoms of restless legs syndrome often appear in the evening or at night, which can make it difficult to fall or stay asleep.

Restless legs syndrome can affect men, women, and children at any age. The disorder becomes more common with age and affects women more commonly than men. The symptoms of RLS may get worse as you age, or if you become pregnant. Some people experience the symptoms of RLS for the first time during pregnancy, only to have these sensations cease after delivery.

There is no common cause of RLS, but it is widely believed that the disease is passed down through genetics. People who inherit RLS from first-degree relatives usually experience symptoms before the age of 40. In other cases, the development of RLS may be associated with other medical conditions such as:

  • Anemia or iron deficiency
  • Kidney disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid gland)
  • Diabetes
  • Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage in the hands and feet)
  • Pregnancy
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

While RLS won’t lead to serious medical complications, it can adversely affect your rest and daily activities. It can also be a signifier for more serious health concerns. There is no specific test used to diagnose restless legs syndrome, but if you are experiencing persistent disruptions to your sleep or the symptoms detailed above, talk to your doctor.

Common Medication
Treatment Options

Specific treatment for RLS will depend on whether or not the disease is associated with another underlying medical condition. If this is the case, treatment for that condition will usually alleviate symptoms of RLS. Below is a list of treatment options used to treat symptoms of restless legs syndrome unassociated with other diseases or conditions. During your appointment, talk to your provider about which of these treatment plans is right for you.

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