Restless Legs Syndrome Effects on Your Overall Wellness

Everyone expects to relax their feet after a tiresome activity-filled day. Unfortunately, foot relaxation is not a luxury among persons with restless legs syndrome (RLS). Also referred to as Wilson-Ekbom disease, restless legs syndrome affects both adults and children. However, victims with a family history of the condition might start having symptoms earlier in life. The condition worsens in the evening, especially when resting and might force you to get out of bed and start walking to relieve the symptoms. Is RLS diminishing your sleep, affecting your overall wellness? If so, your leading El Paso general surgery specialist, Dr. Atur Kasha and his team at Desert West Vein & Surgery Center can help. 

What are the symptoms you are likely to have with restless leg syndrome?

RLS is not a preserve for a specific age group or gender. It affects everyone, including children. However, you are at an increased risk of having the condition if you are a woman. Additionally, your chances of having RLS increase as you age. The signs you might have with the ailment include:

  • Limb discomfort that might happen at bedtime or during limb inactivity
  • Sleep disruption. You may need additional time to fall asleep because you might opt to move your legs to relieve the discomfort instead of sleeping. In other instances, enjoying a good night’s sleep might be challenging because you may find yourself walking when you should be asleep. 
  • An irresistible urge to move your legs. You might have the irresistible desire to move, mainly when resting, to help ease your discomfort.
  • Daytime sleepiness. You might experience daytime sleepiness since you had difficulty falling and staying asleep at night

Sleep disruption may also result in irritability, hyperactivity, or trouble concentrating, affecting your work performance.

What factors increase your risk of developing RLS?

A significant percentage of RLS cases result from genetic instigations. Thus, your children are at an increased risk of having the condition, especially if it runs in your family. in such cases, the individuals might start showcasing symptoms earlier in life, unlike the others missing the genetic link. Besides genetics, other medical issues likely to contribute to RLS include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Depression
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease or failure
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Iron deficiency
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Certain medications may also contribute to the condition. For instance, allergy drugs and antidepressants increase your risk of developing RLS. Additionally, alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine may also worsen RLS symptoms.  

What complications are you likely to have with RLS?

Though the ailment rarely leads to a severe health concern, the symptoms that range from mild to almost incapacitating will make it challenging for you to fall and stay asleep. In extreme cases, the condition may cause depression. Insomnia might also result in excessive drowsiness, especially during the day.

Most people fail to seek professional assistance with RLS for fear that no one might understand their predicament. Unfortunately, the unrelenting sensations you are likely to feel with the condition may interfere with your sleep, significantly affecting your life quality. Talk to your doctor to know more about RLS and how to prevent the disease from negatively impacting your overall wellness.