Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless legs syndrome can be defined as an uncontrollable urge to move the legs due to an uncomfortable feeling. This usually happens in the evening or at night while sitting or lying down. Movement temporarily relieves the feeling of discomfort.

Symptoms can begin at any age and usually worsen with advancing age or with some co-occurring chronic diseases. When it reaches levels that will disrupt sleep patterns, it may begin to affect daily life.

Reasons

Restless legs syndrome has no known definitive cause. Research suggests that the condition is secondary to disruptions in dopamine balance in the brain. But some known reasons:

  • Genetic predisposition

  • Disorders in iron metabolism (some anemia diseases)

  • drug side effect

  • some chronic diseases

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made by history and anamnesis. Presence of the following 3 main criteria suggests restless legs syndrome. It is necessary to question the underlying anemia, genetic background, drug use or chronic diseases. Criteria:

  • Onset of involuntary movement or unidentified sensation when lying in bed or standing still

  • Reduction or disappearance of the complaint with movement or walking

  • Complaints increase in the evening hours and become more severe at night

Treatment

  • Primary treatment is to eliminate or treat the underlying causes.

  • Suggesting a lifestyle away from triggers

  • To resort to certain medical treatments.

Important details

In restless legs syndrome, it is important to intervene before the complaints become severe and chronic. Otherwise, both resistance to treatment may develop, and the resulting sleep problem may reveal complaints such as distraction, irritability, and forgetfulness.

Support from a neurologist is required for treatment and lifestyle changes.

Healthy eating habits and regular sports are effective in disease control.

Restless legs syndrome is both a movement disorder and a sleep disorder. While single-focus treatments may reduce the patient’s complaints, they may not eliminate them.

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