Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS or Ekboms Syndrome)
RLS is a neurological movement disorder rather than a sleep disorder, however the effect that this condition can have on our sleep and consequently our general well being, is such that it deserves a mention here.
RLS can be mild or severe, the symptoms in severe cases are quite distressing and can disrupt sleeping patterns quite dramatically. Restless legs syndrome is unique in that the symptoms appear when relaxing and are relieved by movement and activity. RLS affects millions of people worldwide. It can run in families and the symptoms can begin in early childhood and generally increase as a person ages.
It is notoriously hard to diagnose, people sometimes waiting two years for an accurate diagnosis.
The problem is that we don’t know exactly what causes it and it may occur on its own or as a result of other conditions. Research is ongoing to try to find a cure, tests on brain tissue are still being carried out through the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Centre. The problem is compounded by some medical practitioners who refuse to take the problem seriously and will tell you it’s all “in your head” (sigh!)
Recent findings have now vindicated RLS and scientists think they have actually isolated the genes that cause it. (MAOA and MAOB)
What are the symptoms?
People with this condition often complain of unpleasant sensations in the legs such as burning, tingling or crawling, which are uncomfortable rather than painful. These sensations can also sometimes be felt in the thighs and feet and less often in the arms as well. There is a strong compulsion to move the legs to relieve the sensations which seem to get worse with rest. This can be a problem when travelling, especially long distances or when sitting in a movie theatre.
The symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome often seem worse at night, in fact some people don’t have any symptoms until they go to bed. This can keep them awake, causing a type of insomnia called sleep onset insomnia. When they finally go to sleep they move their legs in their sleep. These movements which occur in the lighter phase of sleep may be severe enough to wake people up several times. More severely affected people can experience spasmodic movements in the legs whenever they relax even during the day.
Natural cure for restless legs
It is now possible to significantly alleviate the symptoms which should provide almost complete relief in some cases. (See below or click here)
A total cure is sometimes possible, but only when the syndrome occurs as a result of another condition, this is called secondary RLS. If the underlying condition is treated, the RLS can disappear at the same time.
The conditions that can lead to the secondary syndrome development are Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, a lack of iron, magnesium or folate in the diet, diabetes and thyroid imbalance. If you think you may have a problem with one or any of these, seek medical attention.
It could be a good idea to take extra vitamins to supplement your diet. Vitamins A and C are water soluble and will not cause any problems. Try also vitamin E, magnesium and extra folate. Be careful with iron supplements, they can be toxic.
Caffeine and nicotine are both stimulants that can worsen symptoms, try cutting these down too.
Some people find hot or cold baths to be helpful, massage is also worth a try.
There are certain drugs which can aggravate or even cause RLS so be sure to tell your doctor about any medications you may be taking as he/she could recommend a substitute. Don’t stop any medications without medical advice.
Pregnancy also can be a primary cause which leads to Restless Legs Syndrome. As many as one in four pregnant women were found to have some symptoms according to a recent study, possibly caused by low haemoglobin. In this case it would be sufficient to treat the symptoms and make sure your diet is good. The symptoms should cease after the pregnancy.
Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (PLM) is often confused with RLS and while the two are similar, PLM only occurs during sleep and is not as debilitating to the sufferer. It is possible to experience both conditions together.
Unfortunately primary Restless Legs Syndrome which does not rely on any other disorder is not curable (according to doctors) and treatment and management of the symptoms is currently the only option. There are some medications available that will help the condition. See your doctor for advice. Please be aware that any drug related restless legs syndrome medication may have side effects so do research them thoroughly before taking them.
Good news! At last a new product has been released by Native Remedies that will alleviate RLS symtoms safely and effectively. LegCalm contains homeopathic and herbal ingredients which combine to ease and eliminate distressing symptoms. Here is one of the testimonials issued during the testing of this product.
“Your LegCalm Formula has really been a miracle for me – no more hideous, crawling feeling in my legs every time I lie down to go to sleep at night!!! I really didn’t know what to do with myself at night and I would twist and turn in bed and kick and shake my legs trying to get comfortable and relax enough to fall asleep.
LegCalm has changed all that and now I barely know myself – I sleep peacefully without restlessness at all and can sit still through an entire dinner party without having to get up constantly to relieve the funny feeling in my legs.
I introduced people I know through an online RLS support group to your remedy and have had great feedback from those who have tried it! Thank you for a great product.” – Victoria, UK.
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