By restless leg syndrome, one feels unpleasant crippling in the legs. This crippling can usually be alleviated by moving the legs, which prompts one to move the legs constantly, steadily shifting position, stretching, or even rise and walk.
There will also often be tiny automatic cramps and movements in the legs. Secondarily the condition also causes difficulties to fall in sleep and keep sleeping without interruption.
TYPES AND CAUSES OF THE RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME
In many cases of restless legs, the primary type, the deeper cause is not yet known.
In other cases, called the secondary type, there is a known disease, injury, substance abuse, or deficiency of nutrients causing the condition. Deficiency of iron or vitamin folic acid can cause the syndrome.
A too hard training regime can result in restless legs, and also a too high consumption of caffeinated beverages. Smoking can give this syndrome. Injuries or diseases in the nerve channels from the brain to the legs can give such s syndrome. So can other diseases like liver disease, kidney problems, and rheumatism.
The use of certain medications, especially antipsychotic drugs and drugs against allergy can give restless legs as symptoms. Having it too cold when one sleeps can aggravate the symptoms.
A primary syndrome of restless legs can of course be aggravated by those other causes. For example, can tiredness caused by a primary type give incitement to consume exaggerated amounts of caffeinated drinks, which will aggravate the condition and create a bad circle?
The deeper cause, known or unknown, often causes a deficiency of the transmitter substance dopamine in the brain, or the dopamine does not transmit nerve signals efficiently. This deficiency will often be the immediate cause of the symptoms.
LIFESTYLE ADVICE AND TREATMENTS TO HELP FOR RESTLESS LEGS
If one has symptoms indicating other diseases than just the restless legs, these should be investigated and ailments found then treated. Then also the problem of restless legs may disappear or lessen.
If one takes daily medicines, one should seek advice about the reduction or alteration of the medication.
The room one sits or sleeps in should be pleasantly warm.
Replacing a hard training program with a less strenuous one can often alleviate and sometimes even cure the ailment.
Some moderate strength or condition training combined with stretching in the evening may alleviate the symptoms in some cases.
One should check the iron level in the blood, and if to low take a supply of iron some time, and more permanently eat more foods with high iron content.
Also, one should take a supplement of folic acid or consume more food containing this vitamin. One should also provide that one gets enough of other vitamins in the B-group and of the mineral magnesium since these substances are needed for the production of transmitter substances. You should also get enough calcium since this mineral is important for correct muscle response.
Medical herbs that may help are those that help to relax the tension and give better sleep, for example, milky oats, Gotu kola, ashwagandha, passionflower, kava, and valerian. You can also find herbal drugs on the market specially designed to treat restless legs, composed of a blending of the mentioned vitamins, minerals and herbs, and also of others.
If such simple measures as those above do not help, one should seek professional assistance.
The condition can be alleviated by medication that increases the level of dopamine in the nervous system. Those are the same preparations that are used to treat Parkinson’s disease but taken in much lower doses. Relaxing pharmacological drugs can also help. But all these drugs have side effects and possible risk for dependence, so they should be the last option onto.
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