Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a nervous system disorder that causes uncomfortable sensations in the legs. The sensation can vary depending on the person and creates an overwhelming need to move the legs. Some of the different ways people describe the feeling include:
- tingling sensations
- creeping feeling as though insects are moving across the skin
For most people with RLS, the condition is at its worst in the evening time, especially when the body is at rest. Since it commonly strikes at night, it can also cause sleeplessness, therefore it is also classified as a sleep disorder.
Risk Factors of Restless Leg Syndrome
With most cases of restless leg syndrome, the cause is unknown. Risk factors include:
- side effects of medications
- iron deficiency
- lifestyle and dietary choices
- health conditions like Parkinson's disease, kidney failure, diabetes, and peripheral neuropathy.
- certain genetic component leading to RLS
Who is at Risk?
It is estimated that up to 10% of Americans suffer from restless leg syndrome and that about 2-3% of these cases are categorized as severe RLS. It can affect people of all ages, but is most common in middle-aged and older individuals.
Alternative Tips for Relief
Once diagnosed with restless leg syndrome, it is usually possible to manage the symptoms. While doctors may prescribe various medications to help treat restless leg syndrome, there are some alternative ways to find relief.