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Having a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health. But if you have difficulty falling asleep or find yourself tossing and turning in bed at night, it might not be due to that second cup of afternoon coffee. You may be one of the 10% of Americans suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome, or RLS.
What is Restless Leg Syndrome?
Restless Leg Syndrome is a nervous system condition that causes one to fidget, move, and feel generally anxious in their legs. Anyone can have RLS, but the condition is most commonly found in women who are middle-aged or older. Symptoms range from simple restlessness to a perceived crawling sensation throughout the feet and legs.
How Do I Know If I Have Restless Leg Syndrome?
While the only true way to know whether or not you suffer from RLS is by getting an official diagnosis from a doctor, there are a few warning signs that could indicate you have this common condition. People with RLS report a “tingly” feeling in their feet and legs, and most sufferers say they have trouble sitting for long periods of time. Another indicator is something called “Periodic Limb Movements in Sleep,” or PLMS; 80% of people with RLS report that their legs jerk or twitch uncontrollably during sleep, sometimes so severely that it wakes them or their partner.
These are just some of the indicators of RLS, and your personal experience with Restless Leg Syndrome may differ. Before an official diagnosis, your doctor may run blood tests and other diagnostic tests to rule out all other potential sources of your discomfort before diagnosing you with RLS.
What Are the Causes of Restless Leg Syndrome?
Doctors and physicians are unsure of what exactly causes Restless Leg Syndrome. It is suspected that genes play a role – around half of all people with RLS also have a relative with the condition – but efforts to find an exact source of the condition have thus far proven fruitless.
It is known that Restless Leg Syndrome symptoms are a side effect of (and are frequently exacerbated by) certain medications, specifically anti-nausea drugs, antipsychotic drugs, and some antidepressants. Furthermore, chronic disease and other medical conditions may also play a part in the symptoms of RLS, with iron deficiency, kidney failure, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and more all counting RLS symptoms as a side effect.
Could My Restless Leg Syndrome Be Caused by a Venous Disease?
Ample evidence exists of a link between vein disease and restless leg syndrome, and many who undergo treatment for venous disease-related issues also report an improvement in their RLS symptoms. In one study, an incredible 98% of participants found a marked reduction in RLS symptoms immediately after sclerotherapy treatment, with a majority reporting that their relief persisted two years after the initial study.
A similar result was found in a study that looked at endovenous ablation treatments. In this study, almost 90% of participants reported an improvement in RLS symptoms, and about a third indicated that the procedure had completely relieved their RLS symptoms.
One of the most common misconceptions about venous diseases is that they are always visible, taking the form of leg swelling, varicose veins, or spider veins. While this is sometimes the case, venous diseases frequently have no visible markers. If you experience symptoms like throbbing pains, burning or stinging sensations, general aches, perceived heaviness, or swelling not related to a previous injury, you may have venous disease, even if no abnormalities are visible.
What Are Some Treatment Options?
The best treatment option for you depends on a number of different factors. In order to make sure you receive the best care possible, we’ve created a free virtual vein consultation, which will allow us to accurately evaluate your best vein treatment options. To begin the evaluation or to find out more, simply click here.