Restless leg syndrome is a disorder in which there is an urge or need to move the legs to stop unpleasant sensations.
Restless legs syndrome may affect up to 10% of the U.S. population. It affects both sexes but is more common in women and may begin at any age, even in young children. Most people who are affected severely are middle-aged or older.
RLS is often unrecognized or misdiagnosed. In many people it is not diagnosed until 10 to 20 years after symptoms begin. Once correctly diagnosed, RLS can often be treated successfully- however please know treating the symptom, restless leg syndrome is not the answer. Finding the cause and correcting the cause(s) is the answer.
RLS leads to sensations in the lower legs between the knee and ankle. The feeling makes you uncomfortable unless you move your legs.
- Usually occur at night when you lie down, or sometimes during the day when you sit for long periods of time
- May be described as creeping, crawling, aching, pulling, searing, tingling, bubbling, or crawling
- May last for 1 hour or longer
- Sometimes also occur in the upper leg, feet, or arms
You will feel an irresistible urge to walk or move your legs, which almost always relieves the discomfort.
What Causes RLS and what can you do about it?
In most cases, doctors do not know the cause of restless leg syndrome; however, they suspect that genes play a role. About half of people with RLS also have a family member with the condition.
However in my expert opinion the root of the condition-stress and of course poor sleep, which leads to more stress, and more poor sleep-a vicious cycle!
Other factors associated with the development or worsening of restless legs syndrome include:
Chronic diseases. Certain chronic diseases and medical conditions, including iron deficiency, Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure, diabetes, and peripheral neuropathy often include symptoms of RLS. Treating these conditions often gives some relief from restless legs symptoms.
Medications. Some types of medications, including anti-nausea drugs, antipsychotic drugs, some antidepressants and cold and allergy medications containing antihistamines may worsen symptoms.
Stress And Poor Sleep are the Usual Cause of RLS (not the only cause but the most likely cause)
Depleting your stress coping chemicals from poor sleep and or chronic stress, often leads to RLS. One of the main stress coping chemicals you need to help you deal with stress, is the mineral magnesium. The more stress you are under the more magnesium you use up.
Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant. When you suffer with poor sleep and other stressors, you deplete your magnesium, which then leads to tight achy muscles or worse, muscle cramps, twitches or spasms. Poor sleep also causes you to deplete other stress coping chemicals including the “happy hormone” serotonin, which leads to more pain, low moods, and further compromises your sleep. Of course it is a vicious cycle-Restless leg syndrome can result in a decreased quality of sleep (insomnia). Lack of sleep can lead to daytime sleepiness, anxiety or depression, fibro fog, and poor-sleep. Of course poor sleep also leads to more pain as those who struggle with their sleep increase their inflammatory chemicals by 40 percent.
I recommend supplementing with Magnesium Chelate, 100 mg to start with an additional 100 mg added each day until have a loose bowel movement. and then following my sleep protocols. Patients who follow my protocols including restoring stress coping chemicals, and reestablishing deep restorative sleep, see their RLS go away within several days.
Finding the cause(s) and correcting the cause(s), most likely poor sleep, depleted stress coping chemicals, including magnesium are at the root of solving the RLS problem.
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