So Restless Leg Syndrome/RLS is a syndrome that has been around for years and years that’s only been more recently that the public has been made aware of. Restless Leg Syndrome can be a very debilitating disease for patients.
So Restless Leg Syndrome is a syndrome where people will get this desire to move their legs at night. They get kind of a creepy crawly difficult to describe feeling that typically comes when they’re resting. It typically involves their extreme lower extremities their legs, sometimes though if it’s severe enough it can affect their upper extremities and sometimes if it’s very severe it can affect people during the day as well as at nighttime when they’re just sitting to relax.
Restless legs has been found to be genetic. So there’s a large genetic component of restless leg syndrome. Restless leg syndrome is associated with iron deficiency. And so when patients are being evaluated for restless leg syndrome, it is the doctor will always check iron. Some patients Restless Leg Symptoms can improve just by replacing their iron level. Sometimes patients iron levels are very, very low and they require an IV Infusion within then in turn it can help their restless leg syndrome.
Other reason why people can get restless leg syndrome is some people will have an underlying what’s called the peripheral neuropathy or damage to the nerves in their legs and it’ll increase the risk for developing Restless Leg Syndrome. And some people have this what’s called idiopathic restless leg syndrome meaning that it is not really known why they develop Restless Leg Syndrome. What Restless Leg Syndrome can do is as it can cause disruption of sleep at night. And so even when people are sleeping, their legs can bother them even know that they are asleep and they’ll want to move and kind of kick their legs all night.
And so as moving legs one can be unable to sustain a deep level of sleep. And so when people sleep they range from being awake to very deep levels of sleep and with the restless legs, they kind of keep some fluctuating. And so you don’t keep that deeper sleep and then you wind up being very, very tired during the day in fatigued and sometimes can miss events or work or not be as sharp as you would like to be.
Restless Leg Syndrome can be treated by medications and the medications that are commonly used for Parkinson’s disease are often the medications that we use to treat restless leg syndrome. It’s been found that restless leg syndrome is also associated with a dopamine deficiency like Parkinson’s disease although patients with Restless Leg syndrome are not necessarily at higher risk for developing Parkinson’s disease or vice versa.
Other medicines that can be used to treat it are the dopamine agonist which as re-equip and marrow packs and sometimes some of the epilepsy medications. But it is a quite it’s a very treatable disease and it’s a matter of just getting into a physician that’s aware of the disease and knowing how to treat it and what medications are appropriate.