Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is also known as Willis-Ekbom Disease, where the condition is characterised by unpleasant or rather uncomfortable sensations in the legs with an almost irresistible wish to move them. The symptoms for this condition commonly surface in the later part of the afternoon and evenings. Most of the time this condition gets severe at night while the person rests, like lying or sitting on bed. They also could occur when someone remains inactive and sitting for long periods. Since the severity of the incidents is high in the night, sleeping could be difficult especially after waking up in the middle of the night. Moving the legs or even taking walks actually brings down the level of discomfort however, the sensations usually resurface with the stopping of movement. The best characterization described of this condition is the neurological sensory anomaly along with symptoms produced inside the brain.
Out of the numerous disorders, RLS is one that could bring about fatigue and sleepiness in the day. It could also strongly affect the concentration, mood, personal relationship, performance at school and work. From moderate to highly severe RLS conditions could lead to around 20 percent reduced productivity and could possibly lead to anxiety and depression. It could also make travelling really tough. About 80 percent of the patients suffering from RLS also feel periodic limb movement of sleep (PLMS). This condition is characterized by jerking or twitching of involuntary legs and arms movements while sleeping and it typically occurs between every 15 and 40 seconds, at times through the entire night. Although, most of the cases of this condition could be treated using non-drug therapies, medications are provided in cases necessary.
Signs and Symptoms
Individuals suffering from RLS tend to have irresistible urge of movement, often combined with uneasy sensations in their lower limbs. This feeling is in uncommon with individuals who show no symptoms of the disorder. They often find it difficult to define the sensations in the legs, however, are found stating the sensation as creeping, crawling, itching, pulling, or throbbing. The least common areas affected are the arms, chest, or the head. Though the sensations can occur on only a side of the patient’s body, most of the time they affect both sides. The sensation could be alternately felt between the two sides and could range between severely painful and irritating. As moving the legs or other parts affected in the body bring comfort, people with the condition often move the parts to prevent or minimize the sensation. One unique feature is that the symptoms go worse during the night and disappear early morning, enabling the patient to sleep better in the wee hours of morning. Some of the people with this condition find it difficult to sleep.
In almost 80 percent of the cases, the reason behind RLS is not known. However, there is a genetic component with RLS and could be observed in families where the symptoms starts before the age 40 years. Specific variants of genes are generally associated with the condition, where low levels of iron in our brain could also be responsible. There are considerable evidence that suggest RLS to be related to dysfunctions in one part of the brain that controls movement using a brain chemical called dopamine. We need dopamine to produce seamless, purposeful activities and movement of the muscles. Disruptions in these pathways mostly end up involuntary movements. People with Parkinson’s disease and a disorder of basal ganglia’s dopamine route bring increased chance of contracting RLS.
Cura Multispecialty Hospital’s Treatment
At Cura, we understand the complex mental condition of the individual undergoing the condition and its symptoms. Our physicians and the medical team is specially trained to provide with best of care and treatment to every individual along with catering to the overall wellbeing of the individual.